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Towards a New Architecture (1923)

by Le Corbusier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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862317,928 (3.58)5
Few books in the twentieth century drew as much attention as Le Corbusier's Vers une architecture (1923), published in English as Towards a New Architecture (1927). He urged architects to cease thinking of architecture as a matter of historical styles and instead open their eyes to the modern world. Le Corbusier wrote simultaneously as an architect, city planner, historian, critic, discoverer and prophet, and he illustrated Towards a New Architecture with striking images of airplanes, cars and ocean liners, provocatively placed next to views of Classical Greece and Renaissance Rome. His slogans – such as 'The house is a machine for living in' – and his 'Reminders to Architects' changed how his contemporaries saw the relationship between architecture, technology and history. This edition includes a new translation of the original text that preserves the design and compelling voice of the original, background notes on Corbu's concepts and iconography and a scholarly introduction that reconstructs the production of the book, the origin of its ideas and its reception throughout the world.… (more)

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» See also 5 mentions

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This translation of Towards a New Architecture, originally written in 1923, is prophetic in many ways. Le Corbusier writes of the “machine age” much like someone now might write of the “information age”. But he is somewhat poetic, repetitive and I would not be surprised if Tom Peters (ex-Harvard innovation guru) adopted something of Le Corbusier's style. While many of the architect's ideas were controversial, and may not have functioned as desired, he foresaw many of the things that are happening today in terms of construction materials. Although I do not doubt that the way these materials have been used meet the "cheapness" but not necessarily the "good work" he envisaged (p. 284). My favourite quote: "There is no such thing as primitive man. There are primitive resources. The idea is constant, strong from the start" (p. 70). ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Passionate writing. The rhetoric of the last chapter made me think of Mon Oncle as a reaction. Corbusier does lay it on thickly. As a rural Midwesterner, his appreciation of grain elevators gladdened me. There are lots of ideas for contemplation buried inside. ( )
1 vote encephalical | Jan 29, 2014 |
This is a must read for any architect. It explains all of modernism and also gives you a window into its problems. It is also concise which is strange for most architects’ writings. ( )
1 vote janemarieprice | Jul 17, 2008 |
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Le Corbusierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Etchells, FrederickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Engineer’s Aesthetic, and Architecture, are two things that march together and follow one from the other: the one being now at its full height, the other in an unhappy state of retrogression.
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Few books in the twentieth century drew as much attention as Le Corbusier's Vers une architecture (1923), published in English as Towards a New Architecture (1927). He urged architects to cease thinking of architecture as a matter of historical styles and instead open their eyes to the modern world. Le Corbusier wrote simultaneously as an architect, city planner, historian, critic, discoverer and prophet, and he illustrated Towards a New Architecture with striking images of airplanes, cars and ocean liners, provocatively placed next to views of Classical Greece and Renaissance Rome. His slogans – such as 'The house is a machine for living in' – and his 'Reminders to Architects' changed how his contemporaries saw the relationship between architecture, technology and history. This edition includes a new translation of the original text that preserves the design and compelling voice of the original, background notes on Corbu's concepts and iconography and a scholarly introduction that reconstructs the production of the book, the origin of its ideas and its reception throughout the world.

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