Le Corbusier 1887–1965

Le Corbusier was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in 1887. As a child, Le Corbusier worked in his family’s trade of clock making. In 1917, he moved to Paris where he founded the artistic movement of Purism, and began publishing a manifesto under the pseudonym “Le Corbusier.” Later abandoning Purism to focus on architecture, Le Corbusier opened a design atelier with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret in 1922.

To Le Corbusier, houses were “machines for living in,” and he strove to make streamlined structures with function as their primary aim. Le Corbusier was among the first architects to champion textured concrete, as exemplified in his creation of the Unité d’habitation, a brutalist yet colorful residential housing structure in Nantes-Rezé. Le Corbusier believed that through design, he could create a utopia for the new age. In 1947 he received the opportunity to realize his vision of a modernist cosmopolitan center with the commission to design the entire city complex of Chandigarh, India. Le Corbusier worked with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret on the creation and design of Chandigarh from 1947 until his death in 1965, and the city remains exemplary of Le Corbusier’s utopian goals for architecture.

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