<h1>on Architecture and related Media … </h1>

Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret
Urban Schemes
Online since May 2008
Last changes: 26th of JDecember 2014

'Ville Contemporaine' by Le Corbusier 1922, View of the station square, detail from 'Le Corbusier 1910-65' edited by Willy Boesiger and Hans Girsberger, published by Birkhäuser 1999
I.) Img. _01 III.) Img. _01

Caption: » […] We are in the very centre of the city, the point of greatest density of population and traffic; there is any amount of room for both. […] « III.) 1

Caption: » A contemporary city: The center of the city seen from one of the tiered cafés surrounding the place of the station « I.) 16

1922 Ville Contemporaine
'A Contemporary City of Three Million Inhabitants' III.) 17
Presented at the Salon d'Automne in Paris

'RAILWAY SYSTEM: SUBURBAN AND MAIN LINES' from 'The City of To-morrow and Its Planning [Urbanisme]' by Le Corbusier, published by J. Rodker, 1987 [published first 1925]
III.) Img. _05

Label: » RAILWAY SYSTEM: SUBURBAN AND MAIN LINES [of a contemporary city]
The inter-urban system; the tubes, following the main arteries; the outer loop system of one-way traffic; the main lines.

(a) The sky-scraper : 1,200 inhabitants to the acre [4046,8m2].
(b) The residential blocks with set-backs : 120 inhabitants to the acre. These are the luxury dwellings.
(c) The residential blocks on the "cellular" system, with a similar number of inhabitants.

This great density gives us our necessary shortening of distances and ensures rapid intercommunication.
Note.—The average density to the acre [4046,8m2] of Paris in the heart of the town is 146, and of London 63 ; and of the over-crowded quarters of Paris 213, and of London 169.

Of the area (a), 95 per cent of the ground is open (squares, restaurants, theatres).
Of the area (b), 85 per cent. of the ground is open (gardens, sports grounds).
Of the area (c), 48 per cent. of the ground is open (gardens, sport grounds). «
III.) 2

'Quartiers Modernes' Pessac, 1925 by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, detail from 'Vers une architecture' by Le Corbusier, published by Dover Publications, Inc. 1986, reprint of the 1931 first English edition published by Rodker [published first 1923]
VIII.) Img. _11

Showing part of a large housing-scheme. The primary elements have been minutely fixed and are multiplied with endless variations. This is a genuine industrialization of the Builder's Yard. «
VIII.) 11

44° 47' 56.38'' N, 0° 38' 50.88'' W

1925 I.) Village of Pessac (Bordeaux)
Modern housing [working-class district commissioned by entrepreneur Henry Frugès]

'Voisin Plan' detail, districts to be demolished and their replacement in the same scale - 1925 by Le Corbusier, 'The City of To-morrow and Its Planning [Urbanisme]' by Le Corbusier, published by J. Rodker, 1987 [published first 1925]
III.) Img. _04

Caption: » Here is the solution proposed by the 'Voisin' Scheme. Here are the districts which it [.] proposed to demolish and those which it [.] suggested should be built in their place. Both plans are to the same scale. « III.) 5

48° 51' 38.31'' N, 2° 21' 8.08'' E
The "irregular void" ['rue Beau Bourg' ? straightened 1911 - as depicted in the areal photography] absorbed 1934-36 by 'plateau Beaubourg' [] today locates the Centre Georges Pompidou; the cut through traffic artery superimposes Haussmann's mid 19 century Boulevard de Sébastopol.

1925 Plan Voisin III.) 6 III.) 7 (Paris)
Shown in the Pavillon de L'Esprit Nouveau at the Paris International Exhibition of Decorative Art [...]

'Plan de Paris', 1937 by Le Corbusier, netpic, detail
V.) Img. _07

Label: » 1937 « I.) 15 The Y-shaped ["chicken-claw"] "Cartesian" Sky-scraper featured since 1930. I.) 10

48° 51' 48.27'' N, 2° 21' 3.29'' E
Less ambitious in terms of immediate demolition this scheme proposes a "historically more sensitive intervention" as a (first) step in transforming Paris. With its new centre (4 type Y high-rises) just north of Île de la Cité it retains Plan Voisin's massive east-west axis (Vincennes bis Levallois-Perret) III.) 7 passing Img. _07 approximately between the streets Étienne Marcel and Réaumur.

1922 - [1946 I.) ] 1956 Plan de Paris

'A GARDEN-CITY HOUSING SCHEME ...' 1925 by Le Corbusier, detail, from 'The City of To-morrow and Its Planning' by Le Corbusier, published by Dover Publications, 1987, NY
III.) Img. _10

The portion shown forms the entrance to the "Nouveaux Quartiers Frugès" at Bordeaux. «
III.) 8

1925 Garden City

  • http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/
    [...] The houses and their "hanging" flower gardens are juxtaposed in immense blocks "with set-backs" in three superimposed double storeys. The sun gets in everywhere, as does the air. The garden is paved with red tiles, its walls are hung with ivy and clematis; laurels and other shrubs cluster thickly in large cement pots: the place is gay with flowers; this is a real urban garden easy to keep up. [...] There would be a farmer in charge of every 100 such plots and intensive cultivation would be employed. The farmer undertakes all the heavy work. The inhabitant comes back from his factory or office, and with the renewed strength given him by his games, sets to work on his garden. «
    III.) 9

'City-Planning for Algiers, Projekt A [Obus]' by Le Corbusier 1930-34, image of model, detail from 'Le Corbusier 1910-65' edited by Willy Boesiger and Hans Girsberger, published by Birkhäuser 1999
I.) Img. _02

» Project A, called Project Shrapnel, [Obus: alluding to the parabolic trajectory of these projectiles VII.) 14 VII.) 18 ] to stress how revolutionary are its general ideas « I.) 13
Caption: » General view of the project « I.) 12

36° 47' 10.69'' N, 3° 2' 59.49'' E

1930 [ - 1934 I.) ] - 1939 VII.) 18 City-Planning for Algiers

'Ville Radieuse', project 1930 by Le Corbusier, netpic, detail
VI.) Img. _09

Developed on a scheme to reconstruct Moscow. Le Corbusier's "Réponse à un questionnaire de Moscou" from 1930 abrades the entire city ...

1000 inhabitants per hektar VII.) 4 [approx. 400 per acre]

Label: [strict zoning, top to bottom] » Villes satelites, par ex.: siège du gouvernement ou centre des études sociales, etc.
La cité d'affaires:
La gare et l'aérogare.
Les hôtels.
Les ambassades.
Les manufactures.
Les entrepôts généraux.
L'industrie lourde.

1930 [1935 I.) ] Ville Radieuse
'The radiant City'

1935 Zlín [for the Baťa corporation]

'Hellocourt' [for the Baťa corporation] 1936 by Le Corbusier, netpic, detail
IV.) Img. _06

Label: » BA 3432

Geoposition [north of Bataville]
48° 42' 4.65'' N, 6° 48' 38.62'' E

1935 Hellocourt [for the Baťa corporation]

'Chandigarh' current city map - 2008, Google Maps
II.) Img. _03

30° 43' 59.93'' N, 76° 46' 45.90'' E

1950 [1952 I.) ] - 1965 Chandigarh

Competition for the redevelopment of the centre of Berlin [just before construction of the Berlin Wall], project 1958 by Le Corbusier, netpic, detail
V.) Img. _08

52° 30' 59.33'' N, 13° 24' 7.17'' E

1958 [1961 I.) ] International Planning Competition for Berlin



  1. 'Le Corbusier 1910-65' edited by Willy Boesiger and Hans Girsberger, published by Birkhäuser 1999 [published first 1967]http://books.google.at/ http://www.isbnsearch.org/

    16 Caption for Img. _ 01 [detail, page 319] 'Plan for a City of 3 million inhabitants' 1922 by Le Corbusier
    12 Caption for Img. _ 02 [detail, page 328] 'City-Planning for Algiers' 1930-34 by Le Corbusier
    13 Caption of site plan [page 327] 'City-Planning for Algiers' 1930-34 by Le Corbusier
    10 [pages 122, 123 'The "Cartesian" Sky-scraper']
    15 [page 323]
  2. Google Maps - 2008
    Img. _03 current city map of Chandigarh, Punjab, India
  3. 'The City of To-morrow and Its Planning [Urbanisme]' by Le Corbusier, published by Dover Publications, 1987, NY, translated by Frederick Etchells [published first 1925, 1929 in English] http://books.google.at/ http://www.isbnsearch.org/

    5 Caption for Img. _ 04 [page 289] Image top approximates north. [My copy apparently printed Le Corbusier's montage upside down.]
    Img. _ 05 [page 181] Railway system of 'a contemporary city'.
    1 [page 246] Caption for Img. _01 [page 246 - 247]
    2 [page 172] sic!
    6 » [...] I thought of interesting the manufacturers of cars in the construction of the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition of Decorative Art [...] I saw the heads of the Peugeot, Citroën and Voisin Companies [...] M. Mongermon, of the Voisin Company, without any hesitation agreed to finance my researches into the question of the centre of Paris, so the resulting scheme is called the "Voisin" scheme for Paris. « [Note 1, page 277 - 278]
    7 a » The "Voisin Plan" for Paris is the result of combining two new essential elements: a commercial city and a residential city. [...] The central station [...] would be underground. The principal axis of the new plan of the centre of Paris would lie east to west, from Vincennes to Levallois-Perret. [...] It would serve as the principal artery for fast traffic; it would be nearly 400 feet wide, and would have a speedway for one-way traffic without cross roads. [...] « [page 277 - 279]
    8 Caption for Img. _ 10 [page 204]
    9 [page 202 - 206]
    17 [page 163 and the following ones]

    3 The title of the English translation from 1929 [non native speakers would have expected 'Urbanism'] hints at: 'Garden Cities of To-morrow' by Ebenezer Howard [title and spelling of the popular 1902 edition] Reference, reaction or strategic publishing … such bibliographic proximity is simply too ingenious to be accounted for by incompetence, error or coincidence ... Considering the first translation of 'Vers une architecture' anything seems plausible though.
    Compare Corbusier's 'RAILWAY SYSTEM' [Img. _ 05] to Howard's 'Social City'. [1898]

  4. Img. _ 06 'Hellocourt' project for the Baťa corporation in France 1936. [Netpic from http://arkinetblog.wordpress.com/]
  5. 'Fondation Le Corbusier' http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/
    Img. _ 07 'Plan de Paris' formal proposal for the transformation of Paris, project 1937 [Netpic, Detail retrieved in June 2014 from http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/]
    Img. _ 08 Competition for the redevelopment of the centre of Berlin [just before construction of the Berlin Wall], project 1958 [Netpic, Detail retrieved in June 2014 from http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/]
  6. Img. _ 09 'La Ville radieuse' project by Le Corbusier (and Pierre Jeanneret) published in l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui 1935 [details acording to http://expositions.bnf.fr/ Netpic, retrieved in June 2014]
  7. 'Die Stadt im 20. Jahrhundert. Visionen, Entwürfe, Gebautes' by Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani, published by Wagenbach Verlag, Berlin, in 2010
    http://www.lampugnani.arch.ethz.ch/ http://www.isbnsearch.org/

    4 » [...] Mit einer Dichte von 1000 Einwohnern pro Hektar (bei der Ville contemporaine waren es noch 300 [See:'(b) The residential blocks with set-backs'] vermag sie sich mit jeder eng besiedelten europäischen Großstadt zu messen, strebt aber dabei die von der architektonischen Moderne geforderten Standards von Hygiene und Lebensqualität an. Die gesamte Wohnstadt, die Ville verte, steht einschließlich der Verkehrsstraßen auf pilotis, so dass der Boden zu einem durchgängigen Park werden kann. [...] «
    14 [cf. page 399]
    18 project A 1931-32; project B + C 1933; Project D 1938; project E 1939 [page 400, 401]
  8. 'Towards a New Architecture' ['Vers une architecture' now translates as 'Toward an Architecture'] by Le Corbusier, published by Dover Publications, Inc. 1986, reprint of the 1931 first English edition published by Rodker [published first 1923] http://www.isbnsearch.org/ (I still haven't upgraded to the new translation by John Goodman :-) http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/
    11 Caption for Img. _ 11 [page 252]





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<h3>&copy; Franz Sdoutz, October 2011</h3>

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