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Le Corbusier: A Visionary Architect and Designer

Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier, an iconic name in the realm of modern architecture, carved a path that changed the landscape of design and urban planning. Let’s explore the life, design aesthetic, and architectural marvels of this legendary figure.

A Brief Biography of Le Corbusier:

Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Le Corbusier was an architect, designer, painter, and urban planner. His journey began with an early interest in visual art, leading him to study under Charles L’Eplattenier, a prominent Art Nouveau painter.

Throughout his early career, Le Corbusier traveled extensively, drawing inspiration from various countries including Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe. These experiences deeply influenced his architectural philosophies.

By 1917, he settled in Paris, and by the 1920s, he had adopted his famous pseudonym, “Le Corbusier”, drawing from his grandfather’s name, Lecorbésier.

Le Corbusier’s Design Aesthetic:

Le Corbusier’s designs are characterized by a few defining principles:

1. Purism: This was an extension of his artistic pursuits where he sought purity and simplicity in design. He envisioned architecture as a harmony between man and the environment.

2. Five Points of Architecture: Le Corbusier is renowned for his ‘Five Points’ which include: Pilotis (slender columns supporting the building, lifting it off the ground), Flat Roofs, Open Floor Plans, Long Horizontal Windows, and Freely Designed Facades.

3. Modulor: This was a scale of proportions devised by him. Drawing inspiration from the human figure and the golden ratio, the Modulor was an attempt to create a universal system of proportions. He believed that architecture, at its core, should be in resonance with the human scale.

4. Form and Function: Like many modernists, Le Corbusier believed that the function should dictate form, leading to the phrase “a house is a machine for living in”.

Highlighting an Architectural Marvel: The Villa Savoye

One of Le Corbusier’s most iconic works, the Villa Savoye, perfectly encapsulates his Five Points of Architecture. Located in Poissy, France, and completed in 1931, this modernist villa is a masterpiece of form meeting function.

Pilotis: The Villa is elevated on slender columns, creating a functional space underneath for car parking and making the building appear as if it’s floating.

– Flat Roof: This serves as a garden terrace, restoring the greenery that the building occupies on the ground.

– Open Floor Plan: The interior of Villa Savoye is open and free-flowing, without any obstructive supporting walls.

Horizontal Windows: These run along the facade, providing ample illumination and allowing for panoramic views of the surroundings.

– Freely Designed Facades: Without the need for supporting walls, the facades are non-structural, giving Le Corbusier complete freedom in their design.


Le Corbusier’s impact on modern architecture is undeniable. His visionary approach, combined with a desire to create functional, harmonious spaces, reshaped urban landscapes worldwide. His buildings, each a testament to his genius, continue to inspire architects and designers to this day. In essence, Le Corbusier was not just an architect; he was a philosopher of space and design, one whose legacy is etched in concrete, glass, and the annals of architectural history.


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