Le Corbusier
Dover Publications, New York, 1986, 1927, English; originally published 1923 in French
Nonfiction, Architecture
ISBN: 9780486250236

From the Publisher (Frances Lincoln edition, 2008). Le Corbusier's pioneering manifesto in which 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.

On 11 book lists
Winka Dubbeldam

These ideas are still revolutionary.

Emanuela Frattini Magnusson

In spite of being almost 100 years old, this book retains the power of its clarity of vision and purity of ideals and intent. How can you disagree with: “beauty being the overplus necessary to the human spirit.” Or with a reference to poetry—which “not only lies in the written word. Objects which signify something and which are arranged with talent and with tact create a poetic fact.” And how could these enlightened ideals have generated such failures in modern urban planning?

Victoria Meyers

What can I say? Le Corbusier is “the man.” I regard this book as a primer for the future architect. There is one part of the book that has always stood out for me. Le Corbusier advises young architects to travel to Rome, and to get a “‘letter of permission” to pass through the Vatican Gates, in order to see the back of St. Peters (“the only place where you can see Michelangelo’s handiwork”). I did so, and it blew me away. The book gives a lot of great advice that you can’t get anywhere else.

R. Craig Miller

In the 1920s, Corbu broke with the Beaux-Arts tradition and helped to shape a new modernist style. He also reinvigorated the architectural treatise, once again, as a powerful manifesto that could change every aspect of the design arts.

Cesar Pelli

A most exciting vision for architecture.

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