5 UtopiaAccording to The American Heritage College Dictionary is defined as:An ideally perfect place, esp. in its social, political and moral aspectsA work of fiction describing a Utopia (1516 by Sir Thomas Moore)An impractical idealistic scheme for reformTranslated from the Greek words“ou” - meaning not or no“topos” – meaning place“Utopia is either a good place, or no place.” - Carolyn Steel, Food Urbanist, from her TedTalk “How Food Shapes Our Cities”
7 The Man. The Architect.Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris Oct. 6, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, SwitzerlandDied Aug. 27, 1965 in Cap Martin, FranceMoved to Paris, France in 1917 and assumed the pseudonym Le CorbusierFamous for his “Five Points of Architecture”Intended to become a painter until 1907, when he built his first house at the age of 20Founding Member of Congress International de Architecture Moderne (CIAM)Works can be found around the worldBelieved engineers were out designing architects at the time
8 The Five Points of Architecture Pilotis – Instead of load bearing walls, structure would be supported a grid of columns.Free Design of Ground Plan – With few walls needed for support floorplans could open up, allowing for one room to flow seamlessly into the next.Free Design of Façade – Freeing the interior from the exterior allows the façade to adopt its own aesthetic.Horizontal Windows – Allow in greater amounts of light and a more equal spread of natural lighting.Roof Garden – Used for domestic purposes as well as providing a barrier from the elements.
9 Weissenhof Built in Stuttgart, Germany, 1926-1927 Designed with the help of Pierre JeanneretEarly attempt to follow the 5 Points of ArchitectureDuplex built as part of a exhibition put on by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe which also included Walter Gropius, Peter Behrens and othersMainly concrete formLived up to the adored/critiqued idea of modern architectureQuestionable spaces for movement and maidsValuable learning opportunity for Le Corbusier
10 Villa Savoye “The House is a Machine for the Living!” Built in 1929 in Poissy, France, it has become an iconic precedent in architectural designFollowed the 5 Points of ArchitetureDesign encourages exploration through its interconnecting rooms and public/private spacesLack of unnecessary decoration, the simplistic forms were perceived to be of greater beauty and more easily understood
11 Quartiers Modernes Fruges Built in , Pessec, Bordeaux, FranceWorker housing in the Le Monteil district of Pessac for local sugar refineryPoorly received from the start, only 50 of the units were built and sat vacant for 6 years with no running waterLe Corbusier wished for there to be no color, but the client demanded decorationPoorer, working classes later lived in the houses, knocking down walls, nailing on shutters and placing planters in windows“Life is always right, the architect is always wrong.”Still inhabited today in new repaired, personalized states
12 - Le Corbusier, “Towards an Architecture” “If we eliminate from our hearts and minds all dead concepts in regards to the house, and look at the question from a critical and objective point of view, we shall arrive at the ‘House-Machine,’ the mass-production house, healthy (and morally so too) and beautiful in the same way that the working tools and instruments which accompany our existence are beautiful.”- Le Corbusier, “Towards an Architecture”
13 The Radiant City Never “officially” built Took a step away from his “Contemporary City” which focused more on class and less workMarked a move away from artistic and into totalitarian for Le CorbusierSought a balance of programmatic all- encompassing towers surrounded by green spaceNo carsIt is important to note that Le Corbusier saw this is a method that could work anywhere (e.g. London, NYC, Paris, Berlin, etc.). The perfection of urban planning. Utopia
17 The Precarious Problem’s of Howard Moskowitz “There are those who like their pasta sauce plain. There are those who like it chunky. There are those who like it spicy.”Howard Moskowitz is a food sales specialist who has solved problems for large food corporations:PepsiVlasicPregoCampbellRevolutionized food industryNo such thing as perfectPeople do not know what they want until they have itHas hold in other industries (e.g. video games)
18 How does this apply?What Le Corbusier sought with his Radiant City a perfect or utopian plan to fix the “chaos” of the modern cityHowever, cities are based on people and people varyWith varying people, you get varying ideas of needs and wantsTherefore, a one strategy fixes all is impossibleThere is no perfect plan, maybe not even perfect plans, but there are strategies that can be employed to find what may or may not work (e.g. William Whyte, Social Life of Small Urban Spaces)
20 Louis Kahn: Conversations with Students “What will architecture be like fifty years from now, and what can we anticipate?”“You cannot anticipate”These words began the story of Kahn’s trip to General Electric and their plans to design new space craftUpon seeing drawings that showed space craft 50 years in the future, Kahn informed the scientists that they were wrong“If you know what a thing will look like fifty years from now, you can do it now.”Tomorrow will be built on circumstances and technologies you cannot imagine today
21 How does this apply?Plans like the Radiant City and the Contemporary City were based around programmatic all- encompassing towersHowever, this idea required an anticipation of the future that cannot be doneMonolithic structures such as these (including Pruitt-Igoe) would quickly become antiquated and incapable of adapting with the timesTo a degree they may have even hindered progress and human lives
22 Differences of Opinion: Utopia Chaos v “living City”For all Mankind v misguided ideals
23 Less Arrogance + More Empathy Le Corbusier’s utopia v the needs of the people
31 Not everything is architecture; architecture seeks to be the best it can be for all parties. It meets the needs of the people it serves. It is not a box. It is not a container. It is an active participant in the lives of the people who interact with it. It meets the criteria of the architect's agenda, the constraints of the client and the needs of the users. Architecture is a result of the labors of many people coming together to serve the needs of all.
32 Works Cited Carolyn Steel, “How Food Shapes Our Cities” : Brief biography of Le Corbusier found at:On Howard Mosowitz’s work in food:Botton, Alain de. The Architecture of Happiness. Vintage Books, New YorkKahn, Louis. Conversations with Students Second Edition. Rice Publications. TexasLe Corbusier. Towards an Architecture Web. Feb. 9, 2015Wild, David. Fragments of Utopia: Collage Reflections of Heroic Modernism. Hyphen Press, London. 1998Berube, Margery S. The American Heritage College Dictionary Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 2007Le Corbusier. The City of To-Morrow and its Planning Web. Feb. 9, 2015.Whyte, William. Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Web. Feb. 9, 2015.