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The City of Towers The Corbusian Radiant City: Paris, Chandigarh, Brasilia, London, St Louis, 1920-1970 Huang, Nuan-Ching (P28991032)

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Presentation on theme: "The City of Towers The Corbusian Radiant City: Paris, Chandigarh, Brasilia, London, St Louis, 1920-1970 Huang, Nuan-Ching (P28991032)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The City of Towers The Corbusian Radiant City: Paris, Chandigarh, Brasilia, London, St Louis, Huang, Nuan-Ching (P )

2 Le Corbusier Le Corbusier, was a pseudonym He insists that
He was born in Switzerland, 1885 Lived regularly in Paris only from the age of 31. His statement “House is a machine to live in”. He insists that architecture must be totally machine-like and functional, indeed produced by industrial mass-produced methods (book: Vers une architecture) triumphs of engineering are hailed as great architecture (book: Urbanisme) Switzerland gave him his view of the world, Paris provided both his raw material and his vision of an ideal order. Corbusier's ideas need to be seen as a reaction to the city in which he lived and worked from 1916 until shortly before his death in 1965.

3 young Corbusier concluded:
Paris could be saved only by the intervention of grands seigneurs, men "without remorse": like Louis XIV, Napoleon, Haussmann. Unfortunately, he never found his Roi Solei!..

4 The Corbusian Ideal City
"The design of cities was too important to be left to the citizens.” The key was the famous paradox: we must decongest the centers of our cities by increasing their density. we must improve circulation and increase the amount of open space. "WE MUST BUILD ON A CLEAR SITE! The city of today is dying because it is not constructed geometrically.“ Therefore the existing centres must come down. Every great city must rebuild its centre. La Villecontemporaine (1922) and La Ville radieuse (1933).

5 But, as Harry A. Anthony has pointed out, there is no recognition anywhere in it of the problem of garaging all these cars, or of the environmental problems that would result from their noise and emissions; they are simply ignored.

6 Marseille Unite ( ) (1) the pilotis elevating the mass off the ground, ( 2) the free plan, achieved through the separation of the load-bearing columns from the walls subdividing the space, (3) the free facade, the corollary of the free plan in the vertical plane, (4) the long horizontal sliding window and finally (5) the roof garden, restoring, supposedly, the area of ground covered by the house.

7 Plan Voisin, 1925 His Plan Voisin of 1925 had nothing to do with neighborhood units. Its 18 uniform 700-foot-high towers would have entailed the demolition of most of historic Paris north of the Seine save for a few monuments, some of which would be moved; the Place Vendôme, which he liked as a symbol of order, would be kept.

8 La Ville Redieuse Satellite cities. e.g.: government buildings or center for social studies, etc. The business center Railroad station and air terminal Hotels Embassies Warehouse Housing Factories Heavy industry

9 The Corbusian Ideal City
the new structure, however, not uniform across the entire city: the Contemporary City was to have a clearly differentiated spatial structure. And this was to correspond to a specific, segregated social structure: one's dwelling depended on one's job. center were the skyscrapers of the Plan Voisin as offices for the elite cadres: industrialists, scientists, and artists two types residential areas : six-story luxury apartments for these same cadres, designed on the so-called step-back principle (in rows) with 85 % of ground space left open. more modest accommodation for the workers, built around courtyards, on a uniform gridiron of streets), with 48 % left open. p.224(E), p.233©

10 The Corbusian Ideal City
The core of the Contemporary City, clearly, was a middle-class sort of place. Corbusier provided for blue-collar workers and the clerks in garden apartments within satellite units. Here, too, there would be plenty of green space, sports facilities, and entertainments -but of a different sort, appropriate for those who worked hard for 8 hours a day. Unlike the Paris of the 1920s, where rich and poor tended to live in close juxtaposition, La Ville contemporaine(The Contemporary City) would have been a completely class-segregated city.

11 In the 1920s, an important group of Soviet architects - the urbanists – had developed ideas very close to Corbusier. But, after 1931, the Soviet regime - like the fascist regime in Italy a few years later - rejected Corbusier‘s advice.

12 The Corbusian Ideal City, in 1938
the new syndicalist city is different in one vital respect: now, everyone will be equally collectivized. everyone will live in giant collective apartments called “Units”; every family will get an apartment not according to the breadwinner's job, but according to rigid space norms; no one will get anything more or less than the minimum necessary for efficient existence everyone - not just the lucky elite - will enjoy collective services. Cooking, cleaning, childcare are all taken away from the family.

13 The Corbusian Ideal City, in1940s
Corbusier had modified his views again – only in the details. His ASCORAL (Assemble de Constructeurs pour une Renovation Architecturale), founded during the war, argued that Les Cités radio-concentriques des ‘echanges (Cities radio-concentric exchanges), the centers of education and entertainment, still designed in the old Corbusian way, should be joined together by Les Cités linéaires industrielles(Cities linear industrial), which would be continuous lines of industrialization along transportation corridors.

14 The Corbusian Ideal City, in1940s
He had ceased to be optimistic about the big city, believing that the population of Paris should shrink from three to one million. There was a crucial difference: his were to be concentrated “green factories” with workers living segregated, immobile lives in vertical garden cities, each having between 1,500 and 2,500 workers, of course with the inevitable collective catering. He remained implacably opposed to the idea of garden city, which he consistently confused, like most of his fellow French planners, with garden suburbs .。

15 The Planning of Chandigarh

16 Chandigarh, India ( ) The government of India had decided for political reasons to build a new capital for the Punjab at Chandigarh. The only realized Corbusian city design Albert Mayer, Corbusier’s son Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry, and lane Drew. They wanted to work within the spirit of ClAM, that is collaboratively. The outcome was significant: a division of labor. Corbusier got the brief for the central administrative complex. “a shift towards a preoccupation with visual form, symbolism, imagery and aesthetics rather than the basic problems of the Indian population. By concentrating on providing Indian architecture with forms suited to the Second Machine Age, the existing Indian situation could be more or less totally ignored. p.227(E), p.236©

17 The result was a set of rich multiple ironies
There was a grid of fast traffic roads, already used in plans for Marseille and Bogota, to cater for a level of car ownership even lower than the Paris of 1925, which was low enough. The relationship between streets and buildings is totally European, and is laid down without regard for the fierce north Indian climate or for Indian ways of life. There is a total failure to produce built forms that could aid social organization or social integration; the sections fail to function as neighborhoods. There are different densities for different social groups, resulting in a planned class segregation.




21 Brasilia: The Quasi-Corbusian City

22 Brasilia There was one other completely new Corbusian city, though he did not design it. Brazil, like many another developing country, had grown around its port city which had willy-nilly become its capital. Lucio Costa: another pioneer of the modern architectural movement in Brazil His entry consisted of freehand drawings on five medium-sized cards: not a single population projection, economic analysis, land-use schedule, model or mechanical drawing The jury liked its "grandeur"; "It was apparent from the beginning that Brasilia was to be an architect's, rather than a planner's, city.

23 Brasilia The plan was variously described as an airplane, bird, or dragonfly: the body, or fuselage, was a monumental axis for the principal public buildings and offices, the wings were the residential and other areas. uniform office blocks were to line a wide central mall leading to the complex of governmental buildings. uniform apartments were to be built in Corbusian superblocks fronting a huge central traffic spine; precisely following the prescription of La Ville radieuse, everyone, from Permanent Secretary to janitor, was to live in the same blocks in the same kind of apartment.


25 Brasilia (aerial photographs)

26 "Brasilia," James Holston writes, "was built to be more than the symbol of this new age. Rather, its design and construction were intended as means to create it by transforming Brazilian society. It embodies perfectly a key premise of the modern movement, "total decontextualization," in which a utopian future becomes the means to measure the present, without any sense of historical context: a city created on a clean slate, without reference to the past.

27 The difference, if anything, was that in Brasilia they were more ruthlessly separated than in any of the older cities: a cordon sanitaire was placed between them and the monumental, symbolic city, so that they might never spoil the view or disturb the image. It is hard to build a City Beautiful amidst the confusion of democracy and the market. Brasilia is listed as a World Heritage Site in (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

28 The Corbusians Come to Britain

29 CIAM (Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne) (The International Congresses of Modern Architecture ) CIAM was founded in June 1928 organized by Le Corbusier, Hélène de Mandrot (owner of the castle), and Sigfried Giedion etc.(the first secretary-general). CIAM was one of many 20th century manifestos meant to advance the cause of "architecture as a social art". Associated with this was an extraordinary sense that Britain must be rebuilt, that the slums must be swept away. In London the biggest problem was the East End. On top of the huge slum problem here, bombing of the Docks meant that the East End was very badly damaged.

30 Abercrombie and Forshaw
"There is abundant evidence ... that for families with children, houses are preferred to flats. So they settled on their famous inner Lundon density of 136 per acre, which on the basis of the research they did-put one-third of the people in houses, and some 60 percent in eight-and ten-story flats; about a half of the families with two children would have to go into flats, but even this density meant an overspill of close to four in ten of all the people living in this zone in 1939. To obtain it, the old rigid 80-foot height limit on residential blocks should be replaced by a more flexible system. All this, in due course, was embodied into the statutory development plan of 1951 system.

31 Frederic Osborn wrote to Lewis Mumford in 1952 about the cult of Corbusier at the AA (Architectural Association) school: "the young men under his influence are completely impervious to economic or human considerations… The conclusion followed inexorably: "The more complicated our industrial system, and the greater our population, the bigger and greener should be our countryside, the more compact and neater should be our towns.”

32 A key role, here and subsequently, was played by the LCC officers and members.
They were terrified of decentralization, because of its impact on voting and finances: it was more likely to occur from boroughs with big Labour majorities, and to affect rateable values through the loss of industry. Osborn wrote that "The LCC is led by middle-class councillors, right out of touch with popular opinion but ... terrified of a drop in rateable value or the loss of their slum electorate As Osborn inimitably put it, the choice would still be between being "a squirrel in a cage or a rat in a train.“

33 The Great Rebuild

34 Land acquisition costs rose, especially after changes in the law in 1959.
The big cities, many of which were not averse to keeping their own people rather than exporting them to new and expanded towns, read all this as a signal to build dense and build high.

35 Glasgow Glasgow was a very special case. It always had a high proportion of households in rented tenements Glasgow hired Basil Spence for the Gorbals and then built huge towers up to the city‘s edge; here, where the tenants all had a totally un-English tradition of high density tenement living, there were few consistent problems with the design except for those with children. there were many other places where the architect was uninspired or non-existent, and where tenants found themselves uprooted into hurriedly built system-built flats lacking amenities, environment, community; lacking, in fact, almost anything except a roof and four walls. starting with nice people in nice flats and ending in Clockwork Orange horror.

36 Ronan Point An East London system-built tower block, in a gas explosion of 1968 Kenneth Campbell, in charge of housing design at the LCC and GLC from 1959 to 1974, listed three failures, the lifts (too few, too small, too slow), the children (too many), the management (too little). The resultant 1969 Housing Act effectively moved away from rebuilding to improvement - so much so, that a decade later, when the economics did not add up, it proved impossible ever to return to the bulldozer age

37 Great Corbusian rebuild was over
Crossman commented that its "enormous building programme" was of "an appalling dimness and dullness, The main result of this failure was that the middle-class designers had no real feeling for the way a working-class family lived. The rich, then, could always live well at high densities, because they had services; that is why those quotations of Corbusier were so telling. But for ordinary people, as Ward says, the suburbs have great advantages: privacy, freedom from noise, greater freedom to make a noise yourself. Corbusier, of course, was blissfully unconscious of all this, because he was both middle-class and childless.

38 Urban Renewal in America

39 urban renewal program began with the Housing Act of 1949 and the amending Act of 1954, the Housing Act of 1949: federal money could be applied to renewing outworn parts of cities, but principally residential parts; yet adequate housing tools were not provided. NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Boards) and ULI (Urban Land Institute) were all against public housing. The resulting compromise established public housing as a temporary expedient for the deserving poor: the newly unemployed, who could be expected to buy their own houses as soon as the economy lifted off again. Really poor families would thus never be able to get in.

40 Charles Abrams: Using the powers to tear down slums and offer prime land to private developers with government subsidy, cities sought "the blight that's right”. Cities-Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Boston, San Francisco - the areas that were cleared were the low-income, black sections next to the central business district; and the promised alternative housing did not materialize because "Public housing, like the Moor in Othello, had done its reverence in justifying urban renewal and could now go.”

41 By the mid-1960s, the criticism of urban renewal had become deafening.
Charles Abrams pointed out "no slum at all in the real estate sense": they were so because officials said so. to the end of 1965 renewal would evict one million people, most of whom paid very low rents; three-quarters of these had relocated themselves, nine in ten of them to substandard dwellings at higher rents. To 1961, the program had destroyed four times as many units as had been built; typically, land was left vacant, since the average scheme took 12 years to complete. Nearly 40 percent of the new construction was not for housing;

42 Chester Hartman concluded that, perversely, the effect of the program had been to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Some of the worst excesses of urban renewal were later avoided, true: more areas got rebuilt for housing, there was more low-rent housing, more blacks got rehoused. What emerges from the American critiques is that it might actually have been better to leave the poor alone.

43 Counter-Attack: Jacobs and Newman

44 Death and Life of Great American Cities
Author: Jane Jacobs, published in 1961. Explain the failure of American urban renewal, and the increasing doubts about its British equivalent. Four conditions create effective economic pools of use: Mixed uses. Short blocks. Buildings of various ages & states of repair. Density.

45 Jacobs prescription there was nothing wrong with high urban densities of people so long as they did not entail overcrowding in buildings: traditional inner-city neighborhoods like New York‘s and San Francisco's North Beach were all good areas, though densely populated. A good urban neighborhood, she argued, actually needed 100 dwellings, equivalent perhaps to people, per acre. But it could be achieved by cutting out open space It must mix blocks of different age and condition, including a significant share of old ones. And it must have a dense concentration of people, for whatever purpose they are there, including a dense concentration of residents.

46 Leonard Fishman argues, is odd: Jacobs and Mumford both shared a vision of freedom, both hated suburban sprawl, but for Jacobs the huge city was the seat of liberation, for Lewis Mumford the opposite.

47 The Dynamiting of Pruitt-Igoe

48 Pruitt-Igoe an award-winning 1955 project in St Louis, which achieved notoriety by being blown up 17 years after it was built. In 1972, the demolition preserved for posterity on film, it became an instant symbol of all that was perceived as wrong with urban renewal, not merely in the United States but in the world at large. In 1969, there was a nine-month rent strike, the longest in the history of American public housing. At one point, 28 of the 34 elevators were inoperative. By 1970, the project was 65 percent unoccupied. In 1972, accepting the inevitable, the authority blew it up Official Trailer - the Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History

49 how it happened in just a decade, a design showpiece had become one of the worst urban slums in the United States. Oscar Newman: the first culprit, clearly, was the design. As Jacobs said, it represented an architect's ego-trip. The root of the problem, Newman found on deeper analysis, was the failure in architectural education to stress the need to learn how well or badly existing buildings worked, and then to improve the designs; two camps in modern architecture, the "social methodologists" and the "style metaphysicians," but the United States had imported only the second, Corbusian, tradition. while a middleclass family will not perform too differently in one building type versus another, the performance of a welfare family proves to be greatly influenced by the physical environment

50 The Corbusian Legacy the Corbusian city of towers was perfectly satisfactory for the middle-class inhabitant. The Corbusians thus lay not in their designs, but in the mindless arrogance whereby they were imposed on people. Jon Lang has pointed out, it does belong to a genre of urban design: as opposed to an empiricist paradigm, which seeks to work from experience of precedents that have worked well, this is a rationalist paradigm, built on abstract ideas..

51 Aftherthought The Corbusian conceptd of urban planning have used in Taiwan citis? Or suitable for cities in Taiwan? Where? And Why? What kind of urban planning we need on the situation like high house price, high vacancy rate and declining fertility rate in Taiwan.

52 Thanks for your attention

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