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Philosophy of Le Corbusier
I am working on ideas around the philosophy of Le Corbusier and how his theories are integrated in our modern scenario of architecture in Karachi. Le Corbusier's five points of architecture are guidelines for other architects too. How were his philosophies integrated at the time of modernism and even today? I would like to debate whether these theories are appropriate in Karachi's context or not?
Sana Owais
Responses
 
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Hi Sana, Le Corbusier being the master architect and one of the pioneers of modern architecture, has a very prominent influence on the architectural language of Karachi, which one cannot ignore. Now the point arises: what impact has it had, whether good or bad, in our context. Other than this, it is very important to go through the post modern theories which would help you understand that why modernism came to an end and gave birth to post modernism, and besides, has it really ended? if yes than,why? If no, then, why not? What are the factors that it is still surving- in fact, being practiced very commonly.
Aribah Abbas
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Thank you so much Aribah for your ideas. I want to explore how that type of architecture (the modern movement) is emerging in our context and how even architects of today are influncing and implementing it!
And yes, I will also look for the post on the modern aspect too! Anyway, thanks.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Does anybody know about le Corbusier's work on any institutional building apart from Chandigarh's college of architecture.....
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Hi,
May i ask, out of all modernist architects, why did you choose Le Corbusier and his philosphies? Was there any particular reason or context?
Sumedha Jain
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
I think you should go and look at Karachi University, designed by the French architect Michel Ecochard. There isn't any info about him on the internet, but people say he was a student of Le Corbusier and this is very evident in his work. Climatically, his architecutre works; but like Le Corbusier himself, Ecochard's work lacks a sense of scale. If you look at Le Corbusier's work in India, especially Chandigarh, the main reason for its failure was the application of his architectural ideals to an inappropriate scale.
Le Corbusier was a strong believer in standardization; its not just about Karachi, but the application of the same principles anywhere in the world. Do you think we need standardization? Standardization leads to monotony, and monotony is the greatest enemy of human nature.
Mustafa Mehdi
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Modernism is a vast term and there are many architects who identify with this term. Their style and philosophies vary from person to person, climatically, socially, and contextually.

But in the case of Le Corbusier, his architectural philosophy is divided into many aspects. His writings are translated to building form in cases like the Villa Savoye generated from five points of architecture, and so on. He even introduced many architectural features and systems after World Wars I and II.

The Domono housing, the Citroen housing, and the apartment with community facilities are all examples. So as a student of architecture, we must know all his philosophies.

His work is divided into three catogries: city planning, urban planning, and architecture.

There is great variation in his work and all his vocabulary is then translated into architectural language. His work still exerts a major influences on much city planning!

So there are many more examples to choose from among the works Le Corbusier!
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
I am looking at Karachi University's architecture and relating it to Le Corbusier's philosophy. It is true that Karachi University is designed by Michel Ecochard, who is a disciple of Le Corbusier. His architectural language at Karachi University displays many of the principles of Le Corbusier, such as the circulation pattern with ramps, the use of pilotis, horizontal windows, parasols and a sculptured roof.

As in the case of Chandigarh, the overalll planning is not a failue, but some aspects do not conform well, as some elements clash with the culture, climate, and context; for example, brise soleil does not work well there, the monumentality of scale does not match the peoples' psyche, etc.

Le Corbusier's Ronchamps Chapel was totally different. The complex at Chandigarh is monumental and sculptural and cant be repeated. So there is no concept of standarization. Le Corbuier's architectural philosophy changed from purism to brutalism, and my main direction nowadays is to relate Le Corbusier's architectural philosophy in our context in terms of city planning, urban planning, and architectural scale.

I am comparing Islamabad planning with Le Corbusier's Chandigarh, Karachi University with his urban planning, and his architectural project taking civic centre projects, and than analyzing whether his theories, which we are adopting, are working or not in the contexts of our time.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
I do not know the specifics about your "modern scenario of architecture in Karachi," but I can presume that it is not too far from the scenario and problems of any "modern city". All our modern cities have unfortunately received the dehumanized imprint of that Corbusier philosophy until recently, and this brought the destruction of many aspects of authentic characteristics all cities had in their beginnings.
Remember: didn't Corbusier want to obliterate a good part of the heart of Paris, to replace it with his dehumanized "radiant" high rises, highways and parks, suppressing the street and the richness of the neighborhood? That street which has given the character, spirit and soul to the "City"...Wherever built by man, that street has taken the specific character which has been in total harmony with the local culture. I know that modern life has brought new ways and pressures to change "the old ways," but one should never plan the new without looking in the rear view mirror to make sure not to lose one's own roots of history.
As an architect and a deep believer in advocacy planning, I do believe that there is no other way to plan today anywhere, including in Karachi, but in a democratic and participatory way for due respect to the richness of the cultural context.
Roger Katan
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier = monolithic
Monolithic = boring, predictable and massive.

Architecture does not have boundaries and limits; architecture evolves under the skin of society with its own indigenous characteristics and space to transform for future social trends. Something that never has happened in Pakistan.
Look into Renzo Piano and his work; it is extremely delicate, sensitive to its surrounding area, and well integrated into the environment. He uses Universal
laws and theories rather than his own.
Look into the Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center. I have attached a picture of this project.
Raheel Ahmad
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Sana,

Le Corbusier simply took the traditional courtyard house and turned it inside out, so that people in the colder European climates could enjoy the wide open space of the courtyard inside the house.

The idea was interesting, but the reality was not, because the low solid walls around upper floor walkways, etc. are a deathtrap for children.

As regards his Modular philosophy, he understood that the Metric system fixated on the base ten was a fascist measuring system without any humanity. So he devised his modular system, but, ironically, he ignored the fact that human-orientated variation was already available in the Imperial British system of Yards, Feet and Inches. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Dear All,

I would strongly suggest all interested to go through the complete oeuvre of Le Corbusier.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and therefore here is mine. I have recently visited Corbusier's work in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad in India. And I do not find it either brutal or boring.

Certainly there are points of debate on his architecture, but I believe that all contemporary architects such as Koolhaas and Piano have taken Corbusian principles forward and did not start on any other thread. So I suggest to Sana that your studies should be based on experiencing Corbusier's work and not on secondhand opinions, including mine.

Best of luck.

PS: The image shown is of Millowner's Building at Ahmedabad taken a month back.
Abhishek Mathur
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
The architectural promenade in Le Corbusier's work? I think that for every project, whether it's city planning, urban planning, or an architectural project, the main focus is that of architectural promenade! For selecting the best buildings/projects of Le Corbusier, look to those in which the architecural promenade is the main focus, like that of Villa Savoye and Ronchamp! Any ideas? I need help.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier's philosophy with respect to architectural vocabulary, particularly in city planning, influenced many present city designs with a monumental civic centre in the heart of city with open green spaces, pedestrian and vehicular movement segregated from each other.
As far as his philosophies are concerned, I am also not totally in favor of his philosophies, but many are concerned that even today we are adopting his principles not just in terms of architecture, but also in terms of city planning. In other parts of the world, or even in Karachi, apartment block planning proceeds according to Le Corbusier's concept of Marseilles' living block integrated with community activities. Karachi's most prominent architectural work reflecting Corbusier's influence is that of the University of Karachi, built in 1980 by Michel Ecochard, a student of Le Corbusier. Here Ecochard used the basic theory of Corbusier but integrated it with the climatic and cultural context of Karachi. He integrated the decorative mughal architectural concept of the water body with local building material.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier's theories and architecture have been influential worldwide. Everyone has a concept of his theories, and all people have different views either favorable or critical of his work. As far as my thesis topic is concerned, obviously I can't cover all 95 projects or all philosophies of Le Corbusier. Instead, I picked one or two main ideas that emphasise all his work. I am looking at the five points of architecture (horizontal windows, roof garden, free facade, free plan, pilotis) in the architectural promenade and how these concepts work in Corbusier's own projects and those of different architects implementing the same concepts worldwide. I am focusing particularly on Karachi, where I am looking at the case of the University of Karachi. The image shown is of the library at Karachi University. It's beautifully proportioned, modular with a ramp for circulation, supported on columns.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier's architectural premonade is more linked with spaces rather than natural factors. A promenade is just about experiencing nature, but an architectural promenade is linked with construction and the play of spaces, in and out relationships. I need more guidance related to architectural promenades.
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier was concerned with selling his plans all around the world, regardless of what city implemented them or not. He did not have a malicious intent of destroying the culture and community of the cities that ended up using his plans. But naiveté is not an excuse. A perfect example of this is Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. This city was designed based on the principles of Le Corbusier and is also considered to be a monumental failure in city planning. One aspect of this plan that I find hard to digest is the obliteration of street corners and turning them into roundabouts. Most social transactions take place on street corners and are a vital attribute in retaining the authenticity of a community.

An important lesson we can learn from him is the importance of planning for a community within its context. This isn't to say that outsiders cannot contribute to the welfare of a community. These outsiders should realize their responsibility and empathize with the citizens of the community so the culture, livelihood and everything sacred to the community does not turn into a blank slate, repudiating the past.

I can't help but think that in the case of Chandigarh, colonialism has infinitely hurt the built environment and created an inferiority complex in the minds of decision makers in these communities. Instead of searching for their own culture and authenticity, they have adapted their planning skills to those they think are superior. (i.e. the West) People have been planning/designing their communities since the beginning of time and just because it has not been written, and exhausted like it has in the West does not mean that people in these communities have not been planning with their own grass roots models. Albeit idealistic, these models should be embraced, maybe not in the case of the existing built environment but for vacant land.
Sarah Jawaid
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
If you want more information about the life and work of Le Corbusier you are invited to go through my online exhibition: http://www.tu-harburg.de/b/kuehn/lecorb.html Rather than using the traditional format of an exhibition which illustrates and discusses the works in the show, this site compiles texts, images and pictures of those works of Le Corbusier available on the Internet. The site follows a thematic arrangement according to the 'show-cases' mentioned below. A brief explanatory paragraph, which contains or refers to the links to the several internet resources, is given for almost every building or project. Although it's mostly German text to can go through it by the links of the contributions in English, Spanish, Portuguese ...
Hermann Kuehn
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
thank you so much!inshallah will look on the site
Sana Owais
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Very Simple.
CIAM-paris. ATIC Workshop 1950's

Architect Jean-Louis V�ret who work with Le corbusier In 1953, And after that he join M-Ecochard on the project of Krachi university.
Jean Renaudie work on Ahmadabad project with Le corbusier and on Krachi university with M Ecocahrd.
We can study that at that time how they inspire each other.
Furqan Khatri
Philosophy of Le Corbusier
Sana, I think the title of this topic should have been "The legacy of the philosophy of Le Corbusier" because the notion of a universally uniform architecture might have broken the mould in changing the viewpoint of many people around the world, so that they looked at architecture afresh, but the fact remains that from a functional viewpoint his design theory of a universally uniform architecture (all over the world) was and is a complete disaster, because his design combination of flat roofs, double-height spaces, and plate glass are both unsustainable and unuseable in most of the climates, environments and cultures around the world.

What has come out of his experiments in "social-engineering of the masses" (if one can ignore the fact that most of his house designs were built for rich people with servants), is that there are some good features which can be used, but a lot of his ideas, such as skyscraper urban housing blocks sitting in so-called parkland, etc are a very bad idea and almost certainly have been the breeding grounds for today`s anti-social behaviour.
Frank John Snelling
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