LE CORBUSIER BOOKS PDF
Page 1. TOWARDS. A NEW. _ARCHITECTURE. Le Corbusier. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page Page 7. The Architectonic Colour: Polychromy in the Purist Architecture of Le Corbusier () By Jan De Heer This book dissects and examines Le. PDF | On Jan 1, , Armando Rabaça and others published Le Corbusier, History and Tradition. Book · January with 1, Reads. Publisher.
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Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier . developed in his articles in this journal, became his rallying cry for the book Vers une. Reviews | Documents + Events Le Corbusier: Toward an Architecture () which not part Jean-Louis Cohen's introduction sets the book of the original plan. Le Corbusier and his work on Contemporary Cities: A Critical Perspective. A brief .. His books, whose essential lines of thought were born of travels and.
Those who aspire to true initiation must on the contrary rely only on themselves. No one will present them with a ready-constructed philosophical system to which they merely have to adapt. That construction does not usually occur without the preliminary demolition of the building that is no longer proving adequate, the clearing of the land is therefore anticipated in the art of construction; but the constructor demolishes only insofar as reconstruction is required. He respects what remains solid, useful, and beautiful, without persisting in making everything accord with the taste of the day and the style of the era.
The artist in construction appreciates the works of his precursors. He works as they do in the interest of human beings in search of a temporary shelter.
For everything passes and no construction claims to be eternal. It is anticipated that the temple will be destroyed and that it will have to be reconstructed.
It is therefore wrong to portray Freemasons as the sworn enemies of all religion. All those who apply themselves to good actions are our brothers, and we love them without worrying about their metaphysical conceptions. They must battle incessantly to escape the tyranny of the most vicious inclinations.
His interpretation was based on his belief in the existence of universal symbols from archaic civilizations, ancient traditions, and classical myths, including alchemy, the kabala, and Vedism, and in their revelatory possibilities and initiatory potential.
Wirth saw symbols as the suggestive initiators of a process of education and perfectioning: To explicate this spiritual and symbolic mode, a small digression is useful to another example of this freethinking, intellectual, republican, and deeply spiritual form of francophone Freemasonry.
An eminent French Mason, Marius Lepage, writes: Admittedly the Order has seriously deteriorated; many of its members do not even know what it is about: They receive the light symbolically, but in reality what are they taught? But how many of those are there. It is obvious that it is impossible to follow more than one at any given time and that, having embarked on one of them, it is best to follow it to the end without swerving.
The candidate is led into the foyer. There, to disorient him, he is made to turn round a few times; then he is led to the entrance of the temple.
The superintendent has opened both sides of the door; slightly in front has been placed a large frame over which are stretched several layers of strong paper, which is held by brothers on every side. Then two brothers violently throw the candidate onto the frame, whose paper breaks and allows him through. Two other brothers receive him on the other side on their interlinked arms.
Both sides of the door are vigorously closed. A ring of iron, grated several times against an indented iron rod, simulates the noise of a lock being closed with several turns. For a few moments, the deepest silence is observed. Profane, he adds, when this command is carried out, join in the prayer that we are going to address on your behalf to the author of all things. He is One; he exists by himself, and it is from him that all beings gain their existence. He is revealed in everything and by everything; he sees and judges all things.
Deign, oh Great Architect of the universe, to protect the peacemakers who are gathered in your temple: The Rite Schroeder is characterized by an anomaly. As he explained: Even if old customs have no more value than the guild practices of the stone masons, even if the interpretations of them is entirely useless—enough, they are the basic material from which the great chain of brotherhood was formed and as long as we do not admit major changes, as long as we remain with the English system, so long will our meetings be absolutely safe from intrusion by mystics, illuminati and other dreamers.
Together with the German accompanying parts it dramatically expresses a combination of high moral earnestness with the gentle and forgiving spirit of true humanitarian principles.
The prayers at the opening, and indeed all the prayers, are in beautiful verse. One also notices that the large old books. The candidate is prepared. The preparation room is quite bare, except for a table with writing materials, and these words are displayed in a notice on the wall: You will not feel at home amongst us if you are afraid to learn your own faults and shortcomings.
Do not proceed if you do not trust us but you will certainly be welcome if your heart and mind are pure.
Once more, he is left alone with a pen and a sheet of paper containing three questions: What do you hope to gain from the fraternity for your mental, spiritual and worldly happiness? What can the fraternity hope to gain from you? When the candidate has answered the three questions, [he is] brought to the Master.
The Master then orders that the candidate be prepared and brought into the Lodge. The candidate is led backwards to the West. The Orator. From this brief and rather sketchy description we may see how much more is expected of the candidate, but, once admitted, he is accepted in every sense of the world. It is not enough to develop the power of perception; his faculties of sensation and volition must also be cultivated and disciplined. Only the man whose spirit has evolved and been trained in every aspect will arrive at the goal of our earthly destiny, and discover the true and lofty joys of this earthy life.
He then turns each candidate, separately, to face a pedestal, on top of which is a frame, covered by a blue curtain. The curtain is drawn quickly, and the surprised candidate stares into a mirror, on which are the words: The Master elaborates the theme, explaining that the mirror shows both the beauties and imperfections of our bodies, just as a rigorous self-examination reveals both that which is valuable in us and that which is faulty.
Thus the knowledge of the true motives of our actions should make us just towards ourselves and tolerant of others. During each of these tours the Master gives a symbolical explanation of the proper working tools of the degree.
Finally, the Orator delivers a long explanation of the symbolical meaning of the procedural details of the ceremony.
Such choices shocked contemporary audiences: Only fragmentary descriptions, textual and visual, exist. Various other fragmentary texts exist. Arab architecture has much to teach us. This is a principle contrary to Baroque architecture. It is interesting to obtain so much diversity when one has, for example, allowed from the standpoint of construction an absolutely rigorous pattern of posts and beams.
Casa del Noce, at Pompeii. Again the little vestibule which frees your mind from the street. And then you are in the Atrium; four columns in the middle four cylinders shoot up towards the shade of the roof, giving a feeling of force and a witness of potent methods; but at the far end is the brilliance of the garden seen through the peristyle which spreads out this light with a large gesture, distributes it and accentuates it, stretching widely from left to right, making a great space.
This transitional space accomplishes a particular function in the sequence: A second, larger space of arrival follows. Architectural Press, , p. While the initial vestibule was a threshold space of physical transition, the atrium is a space of mental transition, a spiritual threshold.
These correspond to both the sketch and the description of the Casa del Noce, where the columns in the atrium are discrete against the surrounding walls and an opening in the wall reveals a colonnade II In La Chaux-de-Fonds 5.
Le Corbusier, photograph of Pompeii. Yet another representative element of the architectural promenade is featured here, too: This photograph of the Villa Savoye shows elements that represent columns, colonnades, and walls but are not actual columns, colonnades, and walls.
A freestanding chimney evokes a loadbearing column. Strips of curtains evoke a colonnade-like screen. A freestanding element on the rooftop, a partition, evokes a wall.
The architectural elements along the architectural promenade consist of scenographic props, which represent building elements and, as such, can be thought of either as gimmicks or as symbols. Again, the architectural promenade is a process of representation. The plan is the generator. It receives the impact of the masses that rise up around it.
If these masses are of a formal kind and have not been spoilt by unseemly variations, if the dispositions of their grouping expresses a clean rhythm and not an incoherent agglomeration, if the relationship of mass to space is in just proportion, the eye transmits to the brain co-ordinated sensations and the mind derives from these satisfactions of a high order: The eye observes, in a large interior, the multiple surfaces of walls and vaults; the cupolas determine the large spaces; the vaults display their own surfaces; the pillars and the walls adjust themselves in accordance with comprehensible reasons.
The whole structure rises from its base and is developed in accordance with a rule which is written on the ground in the plan: A profound projection of harmony: The plan is at its basis. Without plan there can be neither grandeur of aim and expression, nor rhythm, nor mass, nor coherence. Without plan we have the sensation, so insupportable to man, of shapelessness, of poverty, of disorder, of wilfulness.
The plan calls for the most active imagination. It calls for the most severe discipline also. The plan is what determines everything; it is the decisive moment.
Rhythm is a state of equilibrium which proceeds either from symmetries, simple or complex, or from delicate balancings. Rhythm is an equation. In these same pages, the text is underlined by a subliminal message conveyed by the images, which are illustrations of temples. He embodies these in a series of dualisms: To the previous plane layers of parallel space are added three-dimensional weight, mass, and gravity. The enclosing rooftop wall does not separate outside from inside; it has no load-bearing mass but only surface, so it is not a wall at all but only a partition.
Now, before concluding which particular form of ritual parallels the architectural promenade, a problematic factor must be mentioned. Very simply: Perhaps other forms of the Trois Voyages, developed either during the transitional period — or in Parisian contexts, are relevant? Indeed, there were many contacts between La Chaux-de-Fonds and lodges in Paris. At the Grande Loge de France, a typical early-twentieth-century planche on Les quatre substances primordiales The Four Primordial Substances , develops the idea of their importance and of their continuous metamorphosis: He explains that the air involves dematerialization and thus symbolizes the desire to attain higher goals.
The planche continues: This is indicated by Oswald Wirth when he states that the painters of the Middle Ages wanted in their 15th Arcana to convey the principle of individualizing rebellion, which is symbolized by the ancient serpent that inspires the drive for autonomy and sets the microcosm at odds with the macrocosm.
They draw the devil with the torso and arms of a woman, the head and feet of a goat, without forgetting the wings of a bat. The author then analyzes the symbolism of numbers: Equals 12, or 3, the trinity One. Please accept, dear friend, all my best wishes, Jean Cassou. He is the individual who is useful to others. He is 5. Plon, As far as I remember, he is never given a name in the novel, he remains the Architect. How disappointing.
Anyone can invent symbols.
Le Corbusier and the Occult
And then what? Once you discover that it was a symbol, you have made little progress! Like the Trois Voyages, it involves more than detachedly standing in front: Now, as late as the s, Le Corbusier maintained contact with relatives in La Chaux-deFonds for information about family events that he had missed due to his departure. La Chaux-de-Fonds, She was born on 24 October and died on 9 January In the hope that these few lines answer your request, I remain your devoted aunt, E.
After the premature death of 6.
To them were born three children: But this equalized situation was not replicated materially. This is why today without further delay, I want to write down everything that might help to explain my intentions and the costs I have incurred, but for that I must go back in time. From there I moved to the rue de la Serre with my daughter who had returned from Stuttgart, where she had just completed her music studies. We lived together until the time of her marriage; she gave piano lessons and I worked at the watchmaking bench.
The cost of the apartment was francs. And over the course of these 12 years, I had the opportunity to sublet a bedroom and kitchen for 15 francs a month. And now to complete and settle the accounts exactly, I am going to establish the inheritance that was left to the several Jacot children by their father.
I also have a room that I have occupied for 6 to 7 months with my furniture but my daughter thought that services rendered to the household for some years could slightly reduce my board. His father sent francs in three installments: In July , he moved to lodgings in Emmenthal, where he remains today. My son Charles Perret is indebted for these sums from my brother-in-law, and will be able to acknowledge them when times are better for him and pay these in full in gratitude for everything he did for his son, left in our charge.
Afterward, on returning to the house and being of an age to learn a trade, M. Bimer and M. Sully who were then associates took him on in the atelier, where he remained for 6 years.
Despite that, he was not content with his lot. Having arrived there, they both made unsuccessful attempts at farming. Villoz fell severely ill and had to return home, where he died shortly afterward.
Later he went to Buenos Aires to look for a position, and he stayed there for quite a long time; unfortunately he decided he wanted to get married, and his wife being in poor health, she had to return to France to Saint-Gaudent to her family, where she died leaving a three-year-old child, whom his father wanted to have brought up in his family. We know the rest of the story. My daughter Marie also wanted to provide some help following the accident that had happened to me.
I also received lovely presents from my Jeanneret family, such as wine and liqueurs, on several occasions. I pay tribute to the memory of my son-in-law, Sully Guinand, who always was kind and generous toward me. I also hope that the distribution and sharing that I have done here in the eyes of God will not cause any discussions or dissatisfaction among my family, and that the bonds that unite them will grow ever stronger.
All this written in my own hand, as your mother. But, even with reconditioning, this piano never worked properly and, to help them, Sully Guinand bought it for francs. Neuve 4. It is a great loss for his family and for all of us who loved him and appreciated his kindness. Christmas day sky brilliant; we had a small reunion at our apartment in the evening—grandparents, aunts, and cousins.
Without tree, a peaceful evening that ended with tea and cakes. The boys received many gifts: Since the death of my brother-in-law Sully Guinand, Christmas celebrations have lost their brio in the family; the children are growing, ideas changing, and the parents are growing quiet.
He remained a member until his death. On 1 March , he mentions in his journal a banquet at the Masonic lodge, of which the unusual feature was that on this occasion he did not attend: I will candidly relay here everything that my memories bring to mind. My family consisted of my father and my mother, a brother and two sisters when I came into the world in Les Brenets on 27 December These two aunts were extremely good for me, wanting only to make me happy, they helped me with my schoolwork; they arranged lessons for me with private tutors, gave me good advice, instructed me in religion and in duties toward my parents; it is there that I began to value family life.
Nothing untoward happened in the period I spent in Le Locle; that is, for two years, my life consisted of going to classes every day, from morning until evening, and attending catechisms on Sunday. I omitted to say earlier that my elder sister had married a man from Les Brenets a few years before I left, and about six months before my return my second sister formed an alliance with a gentleman from La Chaux-de-Fonds.
It was only after I returned to Le Locle that I began to realize how very much my parents meant to me; so I made it my duty to please them in all things and to cause them as little sorrow as possible. However, I did not entirely achieve these plans; admittedly sometimes I had good intentions to do anything to make them happy; but also at other times I was so sullen and bad-tempered that I only caused them further heartache. After absconding, I no longer thought about my work; it is true that I did not really like this trade; but I did not dare say anything for fear of displeasing my parents and destroying the plans that my father had made on our behalf.
At Christmas in , the mother of my brother-in-law from La Chaux-de-Fonds died; since he could not do the work in his atelier alone, he suggested that I come to establish myself with him and learn his trade. I did not hesitate long and decided to leave my family, my friends and my village; I felt that another way of life would do me some good, and on 15 January , I bid farewell to Les Brenets and left for my residence.
Some time after I settled there, I began religious instruction with the pastor Mr. Sully Guinand, born 27 December , born in Les Brenets. The facts are as follows. It is impossible to know.
The psychological question needs to be repositioned in the cultural register. If Guinand did play a role in his knowledge and appreciation of Masonic iconography and philosophy, how could such a role be conceptualized culturally? When Marie-Louise from time to time asks her husband to help her by taking care of the taciturn and unpredictable Freddy, Georges often brings his youngest son to visit the printing works. Ernest Sauser is always pleased to see him: Well, well!
She also describes the experience of the printing works with its rolls of paper, the smell of the inks, the sound of the machinery. Success and happiness are not at all the same thing. Sauser, La Chaux-de-Fonds. Charles Robert-Tissot, ca. But show me the person who can claim to combine all the qualities and all the virtues!
Every individual, however, has the capacity to attain some greater or lesser portion of happiness; to attain this by his conduct, his enthusiasm for work and by giving careful consideration to every action. How should the father of a family, surrounded by a serene and devoted spouse and beloved rosy-cheeked children, behave if he wants to preserve this happiness in his house?
Once he has attained this situation, will it not prove to be a portion of happiness for him? To what, by contrast, can the man completely blinded by egotism in his ideas and his actions aspire;—the proud man imbued with self-conceit;—the worldly man who dreams only of good fortunes;—even the conqueror who builds his throne on the heaving ruins of his fellow men?!
As the reward for their crimes, they will elicit nothing but contempt and isolation, if they are not actually reviled by their fellows. Since supreme happiness can only be the prerogative of an absolutely perfect being, whereas success is very often the result obtained from passions, despicable acts, even hatreds, which are used by many men to achieve their ends, these two things cannot have the same source of identity.
Will a debauched and worldly man, at the end of all his frivolous successes, enjoy happiness? He will bring nothing back from his depraved life but caustic health and bitter disappointments! Will the writer who has sown injustice and discord through a venomous pen ever be able to contemplate happily the success that his writings might be able to achieve?
No, because toward the end of his career he witnessed his own disgrace at the hands of a sovereign who was perhaps as absolute but at the very least more liberal than his predecessors! Success could never be the same thing as happiness; it can only be its corollary. Quartier-la-Tente came to tell us that he telephoned. This need to disturb Quartier-la-Tente: An hour later came a telegram: La Tente has just come by bicycle to announce the telephone message that Jeanneret might come in the afternoon.
The mice thoroughly enjoyed my arsenic croutons. Will serve them the rest of the box this morning. Tribulations at the butchers.
We have no ham. Disquieting news: It seems this number is already being prevented from entering Switzerland. Monday, 15 March There was a collection and Janko had forgotten his change. We had to give a note. Quartier-la-Tente, senior, from the Department of Public Education, was there with his wife, Eva, from a domestic household of bygone days.
She is an august white-haired lady. The state councillor reassured us slightly, since he is certain that Italy will join the Allies. As he is an eminent Freemason, his opinion may be better founded than my forebodings. A delegation from Germany recently came to see him: They made a fateful choice! That avoids the expensive meals, since Janko has decided to take on the cooking chores.
Sometimes, in the atmosphere of paranoia created by the war, the local farmers were suspicious when they saw Ritter in the process of drawing: Saturday, 5 February The winegrowers have informed the police in Neuville. Within a moment, a detective came to inspect us, to observe our work closely, then left without a word. Once an hour had gone by without any arrest having occurred, the good winegrowers then entered into conversation. Monday, 27 December We went to bed straight after supper.
Marcel left at 29 minutes past 5. Before going to the station, he delivered a card to M. Quartier-la-Tente and we went to the cemetery chapel. Met Arthur at the station. A telegram arrives from Ch. The postman gave me the message at the station where we were waiting for Quartier-la-Tente, not to be found at home. When we got back, we found pinned to our door this note from Quartier-la-Tente: Best wishes.
Thursday, 25 February I would happily have stayed in bed all day despite the inviting sun if M. Quartier-la-Tente had not arrived unannounced!! He wants to see my drawings.
Tuesday, 28 September Besides, while I approve of original new opinions on all subjects that I know something about, others I do not address. Saturday, 28 August I think I measured up to the questions that were put to me. There were places where people tended to meet. One was by the lake, another along the walks in the surrounding countryside: Returned slowly with Q. Quartier accompanied us on the way to Cressier, the path among the vineyards below Combes.
Jeanneret left at 5. As always, or nearly always, Quartier-la-Tente was at the station. From Jeanneret: Then walk beneath Mount Jolimont, and then try the new wine at the Ruedins.
Quartier-la-Tente was bathing and his bathing trunks, violet and dripping in the sun, shone like topaz. He pretended not to see us. But we got a friendly wave from Brest, who was undressing further away in a bush. Thursday, 12 August Out on the water. Took the boat into the reed marshes of the isthmus. The water is nearly as green as Lake Starnberg. Then to the beach at Le Landeron. So everything is going well with his wife.
Extensive correspondence was a feature of everyday life: Saturday, 25 December This morning Boissonas: Saturday, 9 October Quartier-la-Tente leaves, appeased, but with a terrible sense of emptiness, followed from now on by his dog who has understood everything.
The ceremony was beautiful and simple. The new cemetery is being inaugurated with a funeral that occurred today. Schneider played some Bach and Franck. Friday, 5 November And here is the pastor Quartier-la-Tente who brings us this note in person: A much-awaited event several times daily was the arrival of the postman, either with mail or telegrams: Quarter past two.
No postman. I go and look for him. Then Janko. The postman went by long ago. Cowbells under the windows. But how strange this Freemasonic pastor who mentions neither God nor heaven. Wednesday, 8 December With his usual tactlessness, he has asked for my watercolor. He will have it eventually. But if he imagines that I am going to part with one of the three or four best ones, he can take a running jump.
We have just had a visit from Mr. Mine impressed him too. He is amazed by the boldness with which I work with pastels in a way that he would never dare. William Ritter, Le Landeron, jeudi 6 mai watercolor.
Postcard of Le Landeron, ca. And this brings us back to the question at hand: Many years later, in his unpublished typescript, Ritter was to remember this period: First of all, we were enchanted with the area and all the wonderful possibilities for walking.
Well, the people there in general showed us great kindness. And at his house we found the opportunity for good, intelligent and cheerful conversation—he was very good-tempered and not at all prudish—and even sometimes musical when either M.
Schneider, the organist at La Chaux-de-Fonds, or M. There were even some interesting art books to read at his house. In this small community, people knew each other: Nearly midday. Jeanneret spent yesterday evening with us. Ritter noted: Preparing about twenty watercolors that I am having to take to the Quartier-la-Tentes, since the pastor has repeated his request that I show them to his wife.
In early , Ritter notes seeing Quartier-la-Tente on 26 January; 2, 3, 4, 7, 18 and 23 February; 2, 12, 16, 20, and 21 April; 1, 2, 5, 23, 24, 26, and 29 May; and so on throughout There is no way to know. In addition to which, they all shared a common history and each came with a personal history that provided them with local celebrity, national notoriety, or international fame.
Ritter was born into an artistic and educated family, interested in literature, music, and the visual arts. You will come back tomorrow, will you not? William introduced him to his father, while their friend, who was already leaving, retraced his steps to observe, as he was curious.
Ritter from the grateful housewives, souvenir of the inauguration of water at La Chaux-de-Fonds, 27 November He also lists the most important events in his life, year by year: Ames blanches. These East European travels continued periodically until He also published numerous reviews for periodicals including the Gazette des Beaux-Arts and the Mercure de France. He had staunch friends and resolute adversaries. He put forward his views with impassioned fervor, and his actions and his words, always clever and often pleasant, inspired great enthusiasm in some, and strong antipathy in others.
His generous nature and his altruism led him to look beyond our limits to a future of universal brotherhood. Over the years, he built up a series of survey lectures with slide projections about the history of archaeology, art, architecture, and religion. These lectures, whose topics included Prague, ancient Egypt, and the Middle Ages, were sometimes delivered in person, sometimes rented out in the form of printed texts with synchronized slide projections.
Quartier-la-Tente had a particular interest in contemporary architecture. The history of modern architecture begins in Alongside the remnants of classicism, new construction procedures, in particular reinforced concrete, have inspired new forms, churches that are more interesting for their novelty than for their beauty.
It will require a major intellectual and religious movement to recreate an era similar to that of the Gothic cathedrals or the Renaissance. But it is because art is alive and always on a quest that one can hope for it to evolve a new style that will express the religious mysticism of our era, whether Catholic or Protestant. Ritter was a fervent Catholic; his father had been a militant Catholic. He does this not from fear of either being thought stupid or of wanting to escape tradition, but from deep conviction.
This is why a Mason, while he may take a tolerant attitude to certain ideas, may no longer accept them on their own account. There are some facts that are absolutely demonstrated today and that an intelligent being can no longer fail to accept. The claims of the Papacy are no longer compatible with our era.
There is a necessary divorce between Roman Catholic theories and science. There is no longer any possibility of reconciliation: No need to insist any further.
The Mason is a free man, while the Roman Catholic is a slave, subjected to compulsory mental discipline; nothing is less compatible with the spirit of Masonry. A true Mason moved by the Masonic spirit is therefore inspired by a serious love of truth and sincerely resolved to harbor no prejudices, and to allow himself to be overcome neither by fanaticism nor by intolerance.
But yet another important characteristic overlaid their shared interests and past histories. As he did not seem to suspect that such a thing as a literary profession existed, I wanted just once to demonstrate to him what a true writer might understand by the problem of style—none of M.
The principal objection was: I have always been understood and I have always been assured that it was good. Clearly what mattered to me was of no importance to a future Corbusier. I have never since seen him so pig-headed and so ready to tell me: Things have moved on! He was unmoved by any objection, even factual. Many times, with evidence in hand, I showed him that such and such a historical assertion was unfounded. He would then smile royally in the manner of someone for whom a factual objection does not prevent the truth of the principle.
In the s, Ritter—by then an embittered archconservative and antimodernist has-been—dictated his memoirs to his last partner, Josef Tcherv. And Madame Ruedin, an extremely civil person, showed herself to be perfectly obliging. Visits that were almost as frequent. This man in fact behaved rather badly toward him; nevertheless, it is impossible not to give him some thanks, since his bad actions made the young architect decide to leave La Chaux-de-Fonds for Paris.
And so Le Corbusier was born. In Vienna, he had studied under the famous Wagner, the architect of those highly decorative railway stations and viaducts; in Paris, under the Perret brothers, and in this Munich period, he skimmed everything that Peter Behrens, the Berlepschs and the progressive architects could provide for his thoughts and observations.
This led to his being asked for it everywhere.
Le Corbusier, An Analysis of Form
Relentless, but without appearing so, he never admitted encountering any problem that he had not immediately solved. He wanted no one to explain anything and insisted on being allowed to understand it by himself. He immediately made several sketches of it and went away content.
But the supper was half an hour late. Having left Prague, from where he has left us three drawings of Hradchin Castle, he traveled along the Danube; and went directly to Thessaloniki and Mount Athos, then stayed a long time in Constantinople.
For that watercolor, Ritter was responsible; he then did another of Le Landeron, one of the best, portraying the staircase and the great door of Saint Ours in Soleure. Furthermore, in Le Landeron they often drew together at the lakeside, between two bathing sessions, and William still likes to remember the exclamation of surprise once from a child there, who had probably never yet seen life drawing.
There is there a vast old house, which was owned by the monastery in Frienisberg, on the southern slopes of Lake Biel, in the middle of its vines, with a cellar and wine pressing shed. He has put the whole of Frienisberg on a single sheet of paper!
The days in Le Landeron generally passed in much the same way. William spent time on drawings, watercolors, and pastels. He also had a love, perhaps inherited of old, for this region, which, unusually in a Protestant country, was Catholic, and where his grandfather had worked for so long and his father and his uncles so often rode on horseback to join him; that was long before his father, Guillaume Ritter the engineer, had worked there, as in so many other places in the canton, with water engineering.
Everyone in Le Landeron knew his family. At the hotel in Nemours, where he returned M. In the morning, while he was working in the open air, Janko busied himself in the house. In the afternoon, they both came to undress by the edge of Lake Biel, fortunately not yet covered with stones; they sunned themselves in the grass or on the sand, Janko with a book in his hand and William always painting. Also opportunities for wild laughter when catching the Capuchin monks spying on the shoreline that was reserved for the girls, which they believed they had to do under the pretext of morality albeit rather exclusively.
In the evening, either we lingered to make a visit, or there was a third drawing session, following which the reading and writing sessions did not continue for too long after days spent in the open air. Beyond the railway, grouped around the Protestant chapel, a new district was just beginning to ascend the slopes, and there a very III To Paris pretty little presbytery that provided a home for a well-read pastor, the son of the state councillor, Mr. On a literary pretext, William instigated relations with the young pastor, who immediately showed his enthusiasm for his drawings.
In fact, some very frank conversations had quickly cleared everything up. And Mr. As for the federal security of a thousand francs for Janko, that had been immediately deposited.
The young pastor had a very kind and also extremely delicate wife who was dying. Nevertheless, her husband continued to have some foreign lodgers in the house; at this time because of the war just one, but one whom he considered important, Mr.
Brest, the son of the highest Masonic authority in Holland. It should be acknowledged that these circles were the only ones in Le Landeron where conversations took place that were not too ordinary. Quite a mix! Masonry has set itself a task, a mission. Where did the beginnings of modern concepts emerge? Would you please inform me?
Vaudremer is much talked about. Who are the models, where is the line of force?
And he did not just advocate them in theory; he actively championed them in practice. His outspoken views made him both admired and reviled. The author of these lines gave all he could of his heart and life to Masonry. He became a member of a Lodge at the age of 28, and that was no easy matter. No one asked him to join the Alliance, and when he knocked at the door of an atelier, everything possible was done to dissuade him from pursuing this plan.
The Romans said: All the circumstances of his youth seemed to set him apart from Masonry, and nevertheless, despite all the obstacles, he was to belong to the Masonic Order. Born in New York to a watchmaker father who had left Switzerland during the revolution, he was orphaned at the age of two when his father died of yellow fever in Havana.
The writer of these lines, having expressed the wish to study theology at around the age of 17, was sent to Geneva to study classics. The only family memento that the student owned was a daguerreotype, a gift from his mother, a remarkable daguerreotype that represented his father bearing various decorations of which he did not know the meaning.
To add some decoration to his small room, the student had a photographic reproduction made of the daguerreotype. This photograph provoked endless questions among his friends: Who is this character?
One day, however, the student was visited by a much older colleague who, studying the photograph, said to him: Then, taking both his hands, the friend said to him warmly: It is enough for me to say that the Masonic Association is to be recommended from every respect and that you can be pleased that your father should have been a member.
One day a parishioner who was visiting the pastor and noticed the photograph, asked the same question as the friend from Geneva: One day, two friends came in and noticed the photograph in the course of conversation.
It was easy to observe some signs of understanding between the two friends and so, moving the conversation forward, the pastor said: If it were discovered that you had become a Freemason, we, as your friends who are known to be Freemasons, would be reproached and accused of having dragged you into the Lodge.
Anyway, that would also be detrimental to your work and to you personally. The letter was returned to its author with the accompanying note: The admission procedure took more than six months, and all hope seemed to be lost. Finally, the reception took place, and the son felt a deep joy when he ascertained that his father had belonged to an association that was entirely worthy of respect and trust and whose aims and principles deserve the approval of all decent people.
So he gave Masonry a testimony of deep gratitude. Also, the rite was conceived as a rescue operation of ancient Masonic rituals at risk of being lost in an attempt to reform Freemasonry, emphasizing morality and charity. Love thy neighbor as thyself. These dates relate closely to the elaboration of the rituals of its various degrees. The three symbolic colors are therefore blue, green, and red.
These characteristics were directly inspired by the principles and symbolism of knighthood and chivalry. The system and chivalric traditions of the Stricte Observance were examined at the Convent de Lyon or the Convent des Gaules in From this Convention emerged: This is the title that the Knights of the Chapter declared they wanted to adopt in future, in preference to that of Templar. It eclectically extends its symbolic references beyond Freemasonry. Savoire subsequently reintroduced the ritual into France.
Devotion to the Homeland. Personal improvement by the work that every individual must perform on himself to overcome his passions, correct his faults and develop his intellectual faculties.
We have proved by what precedes that the Lodge has never failed in this primordial duty. The Masonic spirit is thus not transmitted by joining Masonry; this spirit is slowly acquired. There is something stranger still. We encounter individuals who have never been Masons but who nevertheless, by their deeds and their language, prove that they possess the Masonic spirit. They have learned from their experience and have allowed their intelligence and their hearts to be guided in contact with a history of which they have turned the teachings to good account.
Architects must be more: Thus, architecture becomes the primary art, not for a vain halo but for a noble and arduous task. In La Chaux-de-Fonds, I performed my duty piously. Actually, in saintly terms, a not much revered saint; in fact, less canonized than cannoned. This architect seeks a banner. But this raises another fundamental issue. The right angle is the foundation of his architectural thinking.
All his completed constructions and all his plans bear witness to it.
But what characterizes him is that he considers no form to be devoid of meaning. As soon as he draws an architectural form in space, he imparts to it an element of meaning.
The right angle is not only geometry but a symbol. It is charged with mystical value. It is the image of the man standing up to act, and lying down to sleep and to die. And the transition, the swaying between vertical and horizontal, is the image of life. It is the answer and the guide the fact my answer my choice. The curse of architecture are the compasses. A dangerous tool, depending on the nature of the spirit that guides the hand. I would classify the results in this way: The spirit of geometry produces tangible shapes, expressions of architectural realities: I call it spirit under the sign of the set-square.
But, in addition to such iconographic parallels, the very form of The Poem of the Right Angle suggests an observation. A misunderstanding of this kind is not displeasing: Le Corbusier, Modulor 2: It is for instruction, rather than diversion. Its practical purpose is to reveal the future. This is not its only characteristic. Considered from a higher viewpoint, it summarizes the system of the Universe and reveals to us the world of Ideas and Principles.
It enables us to grasp some of the developmental lines of phenomena. The bizarre quality of its symbols, the naivety of its outlines and the concision of its images are deeply impressive. Suddenly he was struck afresh by a familiar truth: Now, tarot cards are divided into major and minor cards, the major and minor arcana.
All tarot cards are numbered, and each major arcanum corresponds to a symbolic letter. There are also two kinds of lithographs in The Poem of the Right Angle: In addition, the design of tarot cards is subject to personal interpretation. In addition, these associations and symbols are designed to be multivalent, like those used in Masonic ritual as described in a planche from the Grande Loge de France of It is symbols that ensure that Freemasonry will never be a religious dogma, a church, although fundamentally the Masonic concept is deeply religious.
Of his childhood, Le Corbusier remembered: Such words were no more than traces, and had disappeared for good in the following generation. They were lost and forgotten, together with the deep reasons which had brought these peasant-craftsmen into contact with the masterpieces of earlier centuries.
Le Corbusier himself read Rabelais at an important moment in his life.
Charles Humbert, illustration for Rabelais, Gargantua, chapter 52 — Architecture and heraldry are necessary in order to understand Rabelais. Organe des Compagnons du Devoir. The December issue contains an obituary of Le Corbusier, emphasizing all these values. But in Marseille itself, how strong were the compagnonnages?
And today I have come to Marseille, to sing you the praises of stone! After World War II, the compagnonnages were reevaluated because of their reputation for good work at a time when standardized, mediocre production and poor-quality construction were appearing; because they were seen as representing the eternal human values of fraternity, duty, and family, at a time of trade union wildcat strikes and industrial unrest; and because they were viewed as a preserve of esoteric traditions in the style of the cathedral builders.
During this period, French Freemasons were seeking historical origins and formulating a historical link between the compagnonnages and the operative origins of Freemasonry. I said to Claudius-Petit, who was traveling with me: While apprenticed to a worker called Tournebise, he continued to read widely with the encouragement of his ex-schoolteacher. You form not only good workers, you form authentic human beings, and ones who are capable. Such associations had already been in place in the s for the International Style purist buildings, where Le Corbusier worked with Georges Summer and his concrete construction company.
Organe des Compagnons du Tour de France, no. From the earliest times that he spends in work, he is still accessible to the feelings that enlighten him.
He goes there joyfully. Alas, he is about to encounter some terrible disillusionments. It is explained to him that on the contrary he must repress as harmful all the forces that he felt inside him. But how are joy and love to be relearned?
But how can practical action be started on such a terrain? Hyacinthe Dubreuil, in an obituary, described Raoul Dautry — as a sincere friend of the compagnonnages with his combined sense of poetry, symbolism, and technical knowledge. What do they need to succeed? To remain free, so that compagnonnage is able to expand its domain of activity to new occupations; it needs to possess a portion of this genius that very often, and perhaps uninterruptedly, has saved our humanity, which is able to be reborn in the most diverse and adapted forms: Finally it will require that the compagnons remain the guardians of that inviolable and forgotten part of our humanity: Thus, not only will they survive but they will accomplish a work as great as that of the cathedral builders, their ancestors, a cathedral that will no longer be made of stone but of humanity.
He extensively underlined the sentences on two pages that describe the history and traditions of Freemasonry: It could be said that the history of English cathedral builders ended with the formation of the Grand Lodge in London in One is penetrated by an agreeable sensation of harmony, rare in all conscience.
From father to son, or otherwise; but in any event from hand to hand, a continuous chain stretched over the upheavals of styles and fashions, the fundamental reason of what charms us here: The mason, the carpenter, contemplating some change in his own house, discovers next door a like-minded mason or carpenter accustomed to working with the same stones or woods.
And, vice versa, he to them? What, in other We Felt Like New Beings from Deep Inside the Woods words, were the parallels between the compagnonnages and Freemasonry in terms of rituals and symbols? On the one hand, the compagnonnages believed that the Freemasons were stealing their history as the real inheritors of the medieval cathedral builders with their symbols and rituals, while draining these of their elementary basis in physical labor and construction skills.
Whereas the compagnonnages borrowed from the rituals and symbols of Freemasonry, though often grudgingly or surreptitiously, Freemasons tended to romanticize the compagnonnages. Unlike the Freemasons, the compagnonnages presented no planches. Compagnonnage is a form of professionalism that brings a spiritual vision to its skills and organization, and a spiritual dimension to its sociability: The compagnon, as a manual laborer, read technical books.
Compagnonnage thus brings a historical and spiritual vision to everyday activities, imbuing them with transcendental meanings, which spread outward from personal and private life to family life to professional working life to the wider civic society, thereby encompassing all aspects of social and personal life.
Compagnonnage is thus also a personal quest and, in this respect, a never-ending process. Symbolic of the private aspects of this personal quest are initiation ceremonies. The initiation 9. The color of these scarves indicated the profession to which they belonged: Of these symbolic sites, La Sainte-Baume is one of the most sacred sites because Mary Magdalene is a symbol of the voyage, exterior and interior.
The Compagnon du Devoir who makes his pilgrimage to the Sainte-Baume adds a further dimension to the traditional journey that he has already carried out.
The physical movement from one place to another, the encounter with others and opening to them that characterizes the journey of the compagnon, is then replaced by a personal movement. The pilgrimage, accomplished as such, is a privileged time for taking 9. Everything then consists in the way in which you make your path rather than in what is going to be found at the end of it. They crystallized general themes and employed typical elements which the architect extended and transformed on each new occasion.
His buildings need to be understood as imaginative metamorphoses of the world. They must also be seen, of course, as solutions to a host of social, practical, technical, expressive and symbolic problems. To grasp them properly we need to reconstruct the conditions and limitations under which Le Corbusier worked. Drawings, sketches and letters enable one to reconstruct the process of design, the creative transactions between client and architect, architect and co-workers.
They bring one closer to the mind of the artist, to intentions behind the individual work, and to the tensions between the ideal vision and the constraining reality.
They allow one to avoid the limitations of either a simplistic social determinism or a simplistic formal determinism. Although he never constructed his ideal city in toto, he did treat individual buildings as demonstrations of urbanistic ideas. If he had not succeeded in translating his social theories into buildings of haunting power we probably would not bother to deal with his utterances on society. However, it is unlikely that his architecture could have achieved its strength without the transcending social content.
Le Corbusier was neither just an ideologist nor just an aesthete: ideas prompted forms, forms, ideas. To understand this internal chemistry we have to steer towards the difficult area between the two.
He looked for common themes underlying past buildings of different styles, and blended these together, transforming them to his own purposes. He tried to abstract principles from tradition, and to distil these into a formal system with its own rules of appropriateness. Before entering a world of such imaginative richness, we do well to leave aside simplistic theories concerning the genesis of forms. Polarities of theme were sometimes reflected in contrasts of a form, which brought a rich ambiguity to even the most apparently simple designs.
He was the supreme formal dialectician, placing rectangular against curved, open against closed, centric against linear, plane against volume, mass against transparency, grid against object, object against setting. His forms were a blend of sensual and abstract, material and spiritual, enthusiastic and ironical. In all this he learned from Cubism, not only for its plastic language, but also for the topsy-turvy order it gave to the world.
Le Corbusier rejected facile revivalism and materialist functionalism. He saw architecture in lofty, even spiritual terms. He realized that the best in the new must touch the best in the old. He was a traditionalist as well as a modernist, who felt that a purification of architecture in terms of his own time might also take it back to its roots.
It excluded vast areas of his historical imagination, his regionalist and classicizing formative works, the primitivism of his middle years, and the ideological contradictions of his urbanism. The demonologies of current post-modernist folklore also revert to stereotypes: modern architecture sinned we learn by rejecting the past, meaning, culture, for an arid world of rootless functionalism.
The works of the modern masters are lumped together with any old glass box without discrimination. Happily scholarship does not have to follow architectural fashion. The cramped categories of modernist and post-modernist rhetoric fail to touch what is really interesting about architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn and, of course, Le Corbusier. Not that one is recommending a Corbusian academy. Enough of these have existed already, with their trite tricks and cultish practices.
If Le Corbusier has lessons for the future they are probably not in the imitation of externals of his style, but rather in emulation of his principles and processes of transformation. Architecture of any profundity outlives the culture, conflicts and conventions that brought it into being.
Surely there is a quality in any artist of stature which transcends merely period concerns to link up with fundamentals of the medium.
The historian who sets out to touch on these timeless levels in Le Corbusier draws on the collected insights of the past decades, and especially I think on the interpretations of Stanislaus Von Moos, Peter Serenyi, Reyner Banham, Colin Rowe and Alan Colquhoun.Will we be born again? If it were discovered that you had become a Freemason, we, as your friends who are known to be Freemasons, would be reproached and accused of having dragged you into the Lodge.
Far away, Mont Valerian was vibrating in the summer heat. And, as a result, everything that still lay dormant in us, everything that had not been destroyed either by colleges or other bores, awoke. The prayers at the opening, and indeed all the prayers, are in beautiful verse. This is a figure of unusual historical dimensions who needs to be seen in a long perspective: one of those rare individuals who have altered the assumptions of their art in basic ways.
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