about Le Corbusier

LE CORBUSIER (1887-1965)

Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris was born in La Chaux-de Fonds in Switzerland on October 6, 1887. The son of a designer and a music teacher became famous as Le Corbusier, the name he adopted later in his life.

In 1901 he went to the art academy École d´Árt in his home town in order to become a painter, engraver and goldsmith. It was only in 1904 that he devoted himself to architecture. Three years later he started to travel across Europe for three years until 1911. During these years, he worked for several renowned site offices in different cities.

In 1917 he moved to Paris and became editor of the magazine “L´Esprit Nouveau“ in 1919. In this magazine he also published his avant-garde architectural concepts which Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris signed with the pseudonym “Le Corbusier” for the first time. In the same year he also published his “manifesto of Purism“ which in the magazine “L´Esprit Nouveau“. This manifesto propagated all basic geometric forms.

Le Corbusier´s concept for “the radiant city“ was published in 1922. The outstanding and ground-braking features of this city for three million inhabitants were the separated routes for cars and pedestrians, as well as large living units with lots of space for trade and business enterprises. His architectural concepts also followed plain and simple basic geometric forms.

However, reactions to the designs of Le Corbusier were quite controversial among the experts. Many cursed his puristic approach as a form of radicalism.   

In 1927 Le Corbusier contributed some of his own designs to the construction of the “Weißenhofsiedlung“ in Stuttgart. From then on, he was seen as one of the leading architects of the so-called “Neues Bauen“ (New Building). His first furniture designs evolved from a cooperation with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. These pieces, including the famous lounge-chair LC4, were exhibited at the Paris Autumn Salon in 1929.    

No matter if we are talking about architecture or design: the designs of Le Corbusier are marked by a suitable, functional and efficient design. He used the technical potential of his time to the full: steel, reinforced concrete and prefabricated parts for housing constructions. Sometimes he even used the reinforced concrete for furnishings like tables or boxes. The rest of his furniture designs are also based on industrial mass-produced articles – never of inferior quality but always aiming at the best possible and most reasonable use of all technical possibilities.

Le Corbusier died near Cap Martin in France on August 27, 1965.