What lured Le Corbusier to minimalism?

What lured Le Corbusier to minimalism?

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Le Corbusier for Chandigarh master plan-min

Le Corbusier for Chandigarh master plan-min
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Le Corbusier, often said a home is most beautiful when it is most functional. He emphasised an aesthetic of refinement that rejected excess and sought visual and physical clarification and purification. He sought to demonstrate the comfortable, elegant and practical virtues of standardisation, pre-fabrication and industrial materials in housing

Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades and he designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India, and North and South America. In India, the city of Chandigarh was designed by him. Well-known architect, Balkrishna Doshi was mentored by none other than Le Corbusier himself.

However, Le Corbusier’s designs put him at the opposite end of the spectrum from much of the architecture in his adopted country. Why did Le Corbusier choose a different path from the traditionalists? What lured him into minimalism? Do you know?

During his days, traditional houses were known to have gas-lit interiors and showcased things of old based on status, history and tradition. Dark and heavy wood or upholstered furniture; highly patterned carpet, fabric and long drapes; and a clutter of objects and above all, small windows were common in traditional houses then.

It was a time when rebuilding the world destroyed by World War I had started and architects and engineers had actively participated in the reconstruction with a basic mantra of function before form. Then attempt was made to change the urban environment aesthetically, morally and socially by designing high-quality goods and spaces to foster new and better ways of living. 

Le Corbusier then decided to dedicate his career to creating better living conditions, particularly for those who lived in crowded cities. It was also stated that he was influenced by the principles of communism which reflected in his designs.  He encouraged architects to design for a new way of life and to embrace the engineer aesthetic, by which he meant new technologies and simple, effective structures that serve their purpose and are honest in construction. Le Corbusier, often said a home is most beautiful when it is most functional.

Le Corbusier emphasised an aesthetic of refinement that rejected excess and sought visual and physical clarification and purification. He sought to demonstrate the comfortable, elegant and practical virtues of standardisation, pre-fabrication and industrial materials in housing.

Famous for his statement, the house is a machine for living, Le Corbusier advocated a vision of the modern house which at that time was considered revolutionary. His vision of modern house favoured prefabrication, mass production, technological advancements, new materials and abstract design. He always aimed at efficiency in manufacture, construction and ways of living.