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Towards a New Architecture

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,931 ratings  ·  63 reviews
This pioneering proclamation by the great architect expounds Le Corbusier's technical and aesthetic theories, views on industry, economics, the relation of form to function, "mass-production spirit," and much more. Profusely illustrated with over 200 line drawings and photographs of Le Corbusier's buildings and other important structures.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 1985 by Dover Publications (first published 1923)
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Jon Boorstin
When I was in architecture school in England, Corb, as we called him, was the master (and Alvar Aalto the disciple). He stated the case for modern architecture so convincingly that it seemed the only possible altenative. In his hands, it was beautiful and practical, and also economical. He had a zen spareness about his work, and a sculptural gift. His drawings and his furniture are exciting, without being gaudy. Quite the opposite. He exemplified Less is More. And he taught me, and a generation ...more
Uaba
I don't like the way Le Corbusier writes, but this book is epic. As a student of architecture I learned a lot from this book, mostly about the five principles of Modern Architecture. It isn't a boring book, but you have to be careful to interpretate some things he writes. It is definetly a must-read.
Tim Drummond
Feb 10, 2008 Tim Drummond rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tim by: Tate
a bit esoteric and socialist for my taste, but i spose i can still appreciate what Corbu is about. in a very broad sense, this manifesto is his urge to keep the pace of architecture at the pace of the rest of society's advancements. he points out the simple efficiency of things like grain silos, and how we strive to make our airplanes and automobiles as functional and streamlined as possible, but our houses haven't changed. where we differ begins with this statement:
"The house is a machine for l
...more
Sheldon Doney
Much of what Le Corbusier advocates for in this book is terrific, though I wonder if he actually believed his own words. In practice, he fits the mold of a conventional engineer, while the prose of this work is written with lofty, creative, artistic sentiments. Le Corbusier's philosophy was largely detrimental, not beneficial, for society. His super blocks created isolated ghettos, his planning utopias ultimately influenced urban renewal horrors. Ironically, his actions were at odds with his wor ...more
Luke
Aug 17, 2007 Luke rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody interested in 20th century society
I really loved this book. Lecorbusier, one of the founding fathers of the modernist movement, puts forward his arguments for society's embracing the 'mass production spirit'.

It's common knowledge that it hasn't really worked out as he expected it to but so much of what he has written has contributed to architecture. This book is full of innovative designs which unfortunately inspired poor implementations (high-rise poor areas all over the place). however, that says more against society's treatm
...more
Fred
OK, this is a loaded review: this book and its author are my betes noir (excuse my nonexistent/incorrect French...the least revenge I can have...) - facile and mystifyingly still persuasive to generation after generation of architecture students and True Believers, despite the empirical evidence of the damage it wrought and the dubious actual quality of the man's work (this review being by someone who worked, practically lived, in the Carpenter Center for four years...and that building, unlike a ...more
Matthew
Le Corbusier gets points for a bombastic and declamatory delivery of his manifesto of sorts, but minus points for too many outdated and wrongheaded conclusions. Towards a New Architecture strikes me as one of those works that will only become less relevant as time and architecture continues on. Could be dead wrong on that though- I'm neither an architect, nor someone that has read very much architectural theory. Occasionally, Le Corbusier does hit on some thoughtful observations (the slow advanc ...more
David McCormick
I'm not a student of architecture by any means, but Corbu is a visionary. Perhaps this is why his ideas about architecture and society may seem either funny/crazy or scarily authoritarian to us today. Writing during the 20's he couldn't have known about Hitler or Stalin and the danger of trying to create a literal utopia. He accurately reflects the more optimistic sensibilities of the time. A recommendation: Read this one and then Jane Jacobs "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" for a g ...more
Amer Moustafa
Le Corbusier is a Swiss-born French architect, artist, and writer who had a profound impact on architecture as a field of practice and a sphere of intellectual discourse. This is one of his first and perhaps most influential books. The book is akin to a photo essay where he articulates his his fascination with the modern world. His contributions to the field of architecture and city design have been far reaching. He was a cofounder of the CIAM group (French acronym for the International Congress ...more
Carey
Sep 15, 2013 Carey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: shelf
"You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work.
But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: "This is beautiful." That is Architecture. Art enters in."
Adam
I hate his eyesore buildings that I've been forced to look at in numerous areas of the planet, and I really, really hate his ideas.
Melissa Frost
Corb in his most exuberant mood of appropriation. Also at his most assholish if you really read it right. There is a LANGUAGE of avant-gardism but this is total capitalist reformism at it's most enthusiastic. Don't get caught up in the use of "revolution" followed by "!" because he is advocating for it's avoidance: House the workers to up their productivity & keep them pacified for they are the mechanical operators of the machines. Not so revolutionary or great a premise, really. It's a HIST ...more
Alina
I read this book for a class assignment, I was looking forward to it because Le Corbusier is the biggest influence of the modern era of architecture, his principles are still up to date and architects all around the world still learn and apply his theories today (though I am not sure they should).
I found interesting to learn his reasonings for sustaning his Principles of Architecture,and for a thorough understanding I recommend also reading: The Athens Charter where his influence is noticeable
...more
Wei Cho
Esoteric book filled with modern ideas and a frustration that architecture has not been able to keep up with the pace of technological advancement. This book highlights Le Corbusier ideas and aspirations he wants for architecture. He does so in a very mystifying, metaphoric, and illustrative way by a display of many photographs and hand sketches.

This is a must for architecture students because it's a showcase of revolutionary ideas that started forming during his time, which was very advance for
...more
Misty Hay
I was kinda surprised when I started reading this book. I always thought that LeCorb was some kind of communist. Design for Brasilia for example was based on the idea that the architecture of the city could create a truly equal society. In this text LeCorb talks about the modern age of capitalist consummerism and the new kind of life that this revolution in industry has created. LeCorb suggests that we should not merely rehash 'styles' of other era when they do not relate to the way we live now. ...more
Lydia
Whew, in hindsight, thank heavens Paris didn't listen to Le Corbusier and tear down huge sections of the city and put up "Towers" of reinforced concrete to create mass produced houses for the people as he had planned. And other ideas like, flat roofs, with kitchens and gardens on top of the house just didn't work. However, his sage advice in 1920s like "demand a vacuum cleaner" and "demand walls of light and really large living rooms" do still work (at least in some climates). He liked the clean ...more
Giada Magarotto
da sberle, sarcastico, ma tutto sommato simpatico. non sono in accordo su tutto ma poteva andare peggio
Lucas
Corbu was one of my fav to study in school, a book I went through many many times in college
Adahm Torng
i thinking is good for architecture in the world
Braden Scott
How Can one not love this?
Firdous Nizar
a must-read for all aspiring architects
Patrick\
It gets 3 stars but not for the validity of its content. Corbusier helped shape urban planning in a most disasterous way - abandoned in the West by the mid-70s (except France) and in the East only with the fall of Communism. An important read to understand a post-WW2 approach to the massive relocation and emplacement of people in an urban setting. In counterbalance, read Huxtable and Mumford - even Ebeneezer Howard.
Amanda
One of the most well-known beautifully problematic planning texts/musings, ever. I am absolutely fascinated by modern architecture, so I naturally I see this as an important text. I think it goes without saying that every young planning student needs to read this, but more importantly, needs to really understand why it's so important and obviously the context.
Towers in the park? Just because.
ziba
Le Corbusier'in bir kaç yazısının toplandığı bir kitap, Yapı Kredi Yayınları'ndan yine. Özellikle de "Mimar Beyefendilere Üç Hatırlatma" kısmı (Beyefendiler, evet. Sanırım bayan mimarlar o zamanlar saf dışıymış.) günümüz mimarlığına yıllar önce edilmiş manalı bir eleştiri niteliğinde. Geometri vurgusu ise şu anki dünya standartlarında bir mimarlık eğitiminin yol göstericisi resmen.
Shraddha
Classic book for any architecture enthusiast and essential or any architect. A discourse of Corbusian theories of modern architecture with modern society (1920s) yet it still applies in today's society. It is a discussion of the implications of industrialization, mass production, and the changing economy. Very simple and straightforward read.
Jarrodtrainque
This pioneering proclamation by the great architect expounds Le Corbusier's technical and aesthetic theories, views on industry, economics, the relation of form to function, "mass-production spirit," and much more. Profusely illustrated with over 200 line drawings and photographs of Le Corbusier's buildings and other important structures./
Kagan Taylor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Virginia
Enunciati base dell'architettura moderna. E solo per questo, un architetto non può non averlo.

Il libro potrebbe essere compresso facilmente in 10 pagine: ripete fino alla nausea sempre le stesse cose, con ampie pagine vuote e molte immagini.

Ma è Le Corbusier. E dice quel che dice.
- che carò però, mannaggia.
surfurbian
Oh my god! How incredibly naive can you get? Architecture just does not have that much power. No wonder folks dumped Modernism as a school of thought.

And who gives themselves their own cool nickname "Le Corbusier"? In my neighborhood you are asking for a good *sskicking for something like that.
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Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier; was an 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, with his buildings constructed throughout Europe, India, and America. He was a pioneer in studies of modern high d ...more
More about Le Corbusier...
The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning Le Corbusier Talks with Students Le Corbusier: Le Modulor and Modulor 2 Journey to the East Radiant City

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“Our world, like a charnel-house, is strewn with the detritus of dead epochs.” 7 likes
“A ceux qui, absorbés maintenant dans le problème de "la machine à habiter", déclaraient que "l'architecture c'est servir", nous avons répondu: "L'architecture c'est émouvoir". Et nous avons été taxé de "poète", avec dédain” 2 likes
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