#Lecture 6

Pavilion De L’Esprit Nouveau, Le Corbusier – Paris, 1925

“…Described as a “machine for living in” and compared to similar descriptions of automobiles as “machines for transportation” and airplanes as “machines for flying,”  Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de l’esprit nouveau suggested that the basis of a design for modern living was to be found in the efficiency and economy of the office rather than in the luxury and individuality of the traditional home or apartment, and relied more upon the skills of the engineer than those of the artist.”

Pavilion of the New Spirit 

And indeed there is a new influence here, purism starts to take over with this cubic geometric structure.  As World War I ended three artistss formed an art movement that incoorporated the new and the classical.  It combined traditional detailing yet also included clean geometrical features, whilst  accomodating new technologies, new materials, and the machine aesthetic. 

What I particularly found humorous was the story or background infomation leading up to the design of Pavilion de L’Esprit Nouveau.  It is rarely discussed therefore very interesting to understand his thought process?!  Le Corbusier’s design demonstrates his frusration which is why I believe this design is very bold.  It whispers a sense of confrontation and I feel acts as a statement.

Geometry runs right throughout the pavilion.   In the photograph above we see concrete stone which acts as a veranda looking onto the living room.  the living room is some what atrium like.  The double height space really exagerates the spatial potential. Everything is geometrical and angular, down to the furniture.  With is arm chairs strongly resembling cubic forms, the furniture is placed so formally.   “..uncomprimising vission of modernism: less playful, more severe, more demanding in its adherence to the dominating presence of pure form”.

It has a aura to it which seems quite still but a cold atmosphere fills it.  Maybe it is this large void, this empty box-like space?!  There seems to be an industrial quality to the house, with its horizontal and vertical grid-like space, not forgetting being predominantly made out of steel and concrete, yet simultaneously something which strikes me as elegant and tranquil.  It is quite an open and cold place but at the same time, concealed within itself, maybe this was the juxtaposition he also was trying to illustrate.. it does brings out the curiosity in me…!!



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