Marta Sequeira_Towards a Public Space Le Corbusier and the Greco-Latin Tradition in the Modern City

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Le Corbusier is well-known for his architectural accomplishments, which have been extensively discussed in literature. Towards a Public Space instead offers a unique analysis of Le Corbusier’s contributions to urban planning.

The public spaces in Le Corbusier’s plans are usually considered to break with the past and to have nothing whatsoever in common with the public spaces created before modernism. This view is fostered by both the innovative character of his proposals and by the proliferation in his manifestos of watchwords that mask any evocation of the past, like l’esprit nouveau (“new spirit”) and l’architecture de demain (“architecture of tomorrow”). However, if we manage to rid ourselves of certain preconceived ideas, which underpin a somewhat less-than-objective idea of modernity, we find that Le Corbusier’s public spaces not only didn’t break with the historical past in any abrupt way but actually testified to the continuity of human creation over time.

Aimed at academics and students in architecture, architectural history and urban planning, this book fills a gap in the systematic analysis of Le Corbusier’s city scale plans and, specifically, Corbusian public spaces following the Second World War.

Marta Sequeira
Towards a Public Space Le Corbusier and the Greco-Latin Tradition in the Modern City
London: Routledge, 2018
198 pages | 149 B/W Illus.
ISBN: 978-1-4724-7591-6

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LA RECHERCHE PATIENTE. LE CORBUSIER CINCUENTA AÑOS DESPUÉS / FIFTY YEARS LATER

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En agosto de 1965 se produjo en las aguas del Mediterráneo el fallecimiento de Le Corbusier, reconocido como, probablemente, el arquitecto más importante del siglo XX.  Con motivo de esta efeméride, se han realizado un sinfín de actos en su memoria. También, el Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos de la Universitat Politècnica de València, con el apoyo de la Fondation Le Corbusier, promovió la realización del congreso internacional LC2015 Le Corbusier 50 años después en Valencia. Algunos de los ponentes invitados nos han cedido el material que se publica en este volumen, fruto también, de las indagaciones que sobre su persona y obra siguen realizándose.
Arquitecto sin título, publicista, escritor, pintor, escultor, grabador, industrial, ensayista, urbanista, artista gráfico, diseñador de muebles, editor…  como dijo en diversas ocasiones: “no hay escultores solos, pintores solos, arquitectos solos. El acontecimiento plástico se realiza en una forma una al servicio de la poesía”. Esto se hizo claramente patente en 1960, en una de sus postreras publicaciones –que algunos tildaron como de autopromoción; otros, en cambio como una introspección, una reflexión sobre su propia obra- que él mismo tituló como “L’atelier de la recherche patiente”, el taller de la búsqueda paciente, donde mostraba la magnitud de esta empresa que desde joven decidió acometer. No es otro el espíritu contenido en estas páginas, continuar con aquella investigación o investigaciones sobre el mismo acto creativo que, en Le Corbusier, se desarrolló desde muy diferentes vertientes.
Le Corbusier fue, sin lugar a dudas, uno de los arquitectos más fecundos en producir interrelaciones entre ideas e imágenes, entre disciplinas plásticas y arquitectura, entre historia y modernidad. El poder de sus ideas estaba continuamente siendo experimentado y corroborado por una obra inusitada y poliédrica, fruto de una actitud profundamente inquisitiva y crítica ante el mundo y las cosas. En sus proyectos, escritos, pinturas o esculturas fue desengranando diferentes visiones de lo que debía corresponderse con la modernidad, que, en su persona, se nutrió de referencias ideológicas también heterogéneas. Si hay algo que se destaca en su trayectoria es la transversalidad en su labor creativa, que permite muy diferentes acercamientos e interpretaciones de su personalidad, propuestas y realizaciones.
Si la obra de Le Corbusier es como una inmensa montaña de la que conocemos su gran dimensión y algunas sendas para alcanzar su cumbre, lo que nos ofrece este libro es un conjunto de nuevos itinerarios por los que transitar. Desde los lugares donde habitó a sus concepciones sobre la movilidad moderna; desde la síntesis entre forma natural y geométrica a los procesos creativos de Le Corbusier; desde los libros que leyó a sus relaciones con Cercle et Carré; desde sus posiciones políticas a sus miradas a la arquitectura cartujana; desde sus incursiones en el campo de la cinematografía a su creación plástica en los años cincuenta. Análisis sobre textos como Vers une architecture u otros no publicados como Polychromie Architecturale, sobre conceptos como la promenade architecturale y sus relaciones con las ideas de Goethe; disquisiciones sobre figuras como la esvástica o el círculo y el cuadrado; las sugerencias musicales del Modulor; el arte de habitar en los Immeubles Villas, la  Maison Jaoul o el Village du Gouverneur en Chandigarh. Todos estos argumentos y, soterradamente muchos otros, invitan a transitar hacía una cumbre que, de cerca y de lejos, siempre nos parece intensa y proteica. Aquí tienen ocasión de iniciar una nueva promenade.
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In August 1965, a swim in the waters of the Mediterranean led to the death of Le Corbusier, recognized as probably the most important architect of the 20th century. On the occasion of the anniversary of this event, there have been a plethora of acts in his memory. Among them, the Department of Architectural Projects of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, with the support of the Fondation Le Corbusier, promoted the international conference LC2015 Le Corbusier 50 years after in Valencia. Some of the invited speakers have given us the material published in this volume, a result also of the investigations that are still underway about his personality and work.
Architect without a degree, publicist, writer, painter, sculptor, engraver, industrialist, essayist, urbanist, graphic artist, furniture designer, editor … as he said on several occasions: “there are no sole sculptors, or sole painters, or sole architects. The plastic happening is realized through a one-form in the service of poetry.” This was clearly evident in 1960 in one of his last publications—which some branded as self-promotion; others, instead, as an introspection, a reflection on his own work—which he himself called “L’atelier de la recherche patiente”, the atelier of the patient search, where he showed the magnitude of this endeavour that he decided to undertake as a young man. The spirit contained in these pages is no different: to continue with that investigation or investigations on the same creative act that, in Le Corbusier, was developed from very different sides.
Le Corbusier was undoubtedly one of the most productive architects in creating interrelations between ideas and images, between plastic disciplines and architecture, between history and modernity. The power of his ideas was continually being experienced and corroborated by an unusual and polyhedral work, the result of a deeply inquisitive and critical attitude towards the world and things. In his projects, writings, paintings or sculptures, he disengaged different visions of what had to correspond to modernity, which, as an individual, was nourished by heterogeneous ideological references. If there is something that stands out in his career it is the transversality in his creative work, which permits very different approaches and interpretations of his personality, proposals and achievements.
If the work of Le Corbusier is like an immense mountain of which we know its great size and some paths to reach its summit, what this book offers us is a set of new itineraries through which to traverse it. From the places where he lived to his conceptions of modern mobility; from the synthesis between natural and geometric form to his creative processes; from the books he read to his relations with Cercle et Carré; from his political positions to his views on Carthusian architecture; from his forays into the field of cinematography to his artistic creation in the 1950s. Analysis on texts such as Vers une architecture or others not published like Polychromie Architecturale, on concepts such as the promenade architecturale and its relations with the ideas of Goethe; disquisitions on figures such as the swastika or the circle and the square; the musical suggestions of the Modulor; the art of living in the Immeuble Villas, the Maison Jaoul or the Village du Gouverneur in Chandigarh. All these topics, and so many others, invite us to climb towards a summit that, from near and far, always seems intense and protean to us. Here then you have the opportunity to start a new promenade.

INDEX

JEAN-LOUIS COHEN. “Mise Au Point”: The Political Affects of Le Corbusier/«Mise Au Point»: los afectos politicos de Le Corbusier.

JUAN CALATRAVA ESCOBAR. Architecture that is traversed: Variations on the Promenade Architecturale/ La arquitectura que se recorre: variaciones sobre la promenade architecturale.

TIMOTHY BENTON. Le Corbusier and N(n)ature: Le Corbusier’s synthesis of geometry and natural form / Le Corbusier y la N(n)aturaleza: síntesis de geometría y forma natural en Le Corbusier.

VERONIQUE BOONE. Une (Mise en) œuvre. Le Corbusier, cinéma, télévision, multimédia/ Une (Mise en) œuvre. Le Corbusier, cine, televisión, multimedia.

LUIS BURRIEL BIELZA. The power of images: Permanence and transition within Le Corbusier’s creative process/ El poder de la imagen: permanencia y transición en el proceso creativo de Le Corbusier.

JUAN CALDUCH CERVERA. From Goethe to Le Corbusier. Variations on the Architectural Journey/ De Goethe a Le Corbusier. Variaciones sobre el recorrido arquitectónico.

JOSÉ RAMÓN ALONSO PEREIRA. The places of Le Corbusier/ Los lugares de Le Corbusier.

RICARDO DAZA. The Journey to The East through its Books/ El Viaje de Oriente a través de sus libros.

RÉMI BAUDOUÏ – ARNAUD DERCELLES. The margin as plastic creation in Le Corbusier around the fifties/ El margen como creación plástica en Le Corbusier alrededor de los años cincuenta.

CAROLINE MANIAQUE BENTON. Le Corbusier and the art of living/ Le Corbusier y el arte de habitar.

CARLOS EDUARDO COMAS. Monumentalizing Modern Mobility/ Monumentalizar la movilidad moderna.

MARTA LLORENTE DÍAZ. Rhythm, matter, harmony. Musical suggestions from the Modulor/ Ritmo, armonía, materia: sugerencias musicales de El Modulor.

CLARA E. MEJÍA-JUAN DELTELL PASTOR. Le Village du Gouverneur — A project of synthesis/ Le Village du Gouverneur. Un proyecto de síntesis.

MARÍA CECILIA O’BYRNE. Le Corbusier and the Swastika Architecture, Daughter of the Sun/ Le Corbusier y la esvástica: arquitectura hija del Sol.

JOSEP QUETGLAS RIUSECH. Vers une architecture, from near and from far/ Vers une architecture, de cerca y de lejos.

MARTA SEQUEIRA. The 1922 Immeuble-villas and Carthusian variants/ Immeuble-villas de 1922 y las variantes cartujas.

MARIA CANDELA SUAREZ. Polychromie Architecturale: observations on the 1931 essay, its drafts and variants/ Polychromie Architecturale: algunas observaciones sobre el ensayo de 1931, sus borradores y variantes.

ARTHUR RUËG. Towards abstraction: Furniture design as a laboratory for architectural expression/ Hacia la abstracción: el diseño de muebles como laboratorio para la expresión arquitectónica.

JORGE TORRES CUECO. Cercle et Carré. Concerning a Sketch of the Centrosoyuz/ Cercle et carré. A propósito de un croquis del Centrosoyuz.
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LA RECHERCHE PATIENTE. LE CORBUSIER CINCUENTA AÑOS DESPUÉS / FIFTY YEARS LATER
Jorge Torres Cueco – Clara E. Mejía Vallejo (Coordinadores) .
General de Ediciones de Arquitectura
Valencia, 2017.
ISBN 978-84-947421-0-1
327 pág, ill.
Español/inglés.
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Conference ‘Dibujos en un cuaderno’ by Xavier Monteys | Aulas de Autor . Le Corbusier e o Desenho

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The 6th conference of the Cycle Aulas de Autor . Le Corbusier e o Desenho is entitled ‘Dibujos en un cuaderno’ and will be presented by Xavier Monteys, Full Professor at Universidade Politécnica de Catalunha, Barcelona.
The session will take place on the 10th June (Saturday), 4h00 pm, at the Cloister of the Serra do Pilar Monastery, located at Largo de Aviz (Santa Marinha) in Vila Nova de Gaia.
The conference will be conducted in Spanish, without translation. Free entrance.
The programme is subject to change.
Synopsis
A good testimony to the importance of drawing in Le Corbusier’s work is the little notebooks (carnets) that for years followed him, where he drew and recorded his own experiences, observations and ideas. Among the many surviving carnets, the one recounting Le Corbusier’s trip to Majorca in 1932 (carnet C 10) from Barcelona clearly illustrates – during a brief period of time – the various interests that caught his attention and the different acceptions of the work drawing to the one who was considered the most important architect of the twentieth century.
Xavier Monteys is Chair Professor of Architectural Projects at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Director of ETSAV between 1990 and 1996. He currently lectures at Escuela de Arquitectura de Barcelona, where he coordinated the Department of Proyectos Arquitectónicos between 2009 and 2016. He is the author of different books and articles, the last of which is «La habitación. Más allá de la sala de estar». He lectured several courses and conferences in different universities. He coordinated the Research Group Habitar (UPC) with which he realized project Rehabitar. He is currently working in Atlas of Re-use in Barcelona, a project financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICIN).
Instalação Carnet C10
For this ‘Aula de Autor’, a special installation has been prepared at the Cloister of Serra do Pilar Monastery with large format reproductions of the drawings of carnet C10. The structure will remain on display until the end of September. It was designed by Pedro Matos Gameiro and Marta Sequeira with Carlos Machado e Moura and consulting of Fernando Rodrigues.
The realization of the structure was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Portuguese Army, Direcção Regional de Cultura do Norte (DRCN), the special sponsorship of Câmara Municipal de Vila Nova de Gaia and the companies Sign – Wide Format Printing, Curvar – Tecnologia e sistemas de curvatura and Lankhorst Euronete Portugal. It also had the support of companies VMZinc and Outside Works – Trabalhos em altura.
Aulas de Autor . Le Corbusier and the Drawing
The second cycle of classes entitled “Le Corbusier and the Drawing”, taking place during this academic year 2016-2017, aims to develop a new relationship between universities, RDT (research and Technological Development) Institutions and Foundations.
In this first year, a partnership with Fondation Le Corbusier was settled in order to bring to the Portuguese and Porto scenario the international debate on Corbusian studies and on drawing in Le Corbusier, in particular.
A series of seven open classes will take place between January and July of 2017, dedicated to the theoretical and practical study of the Drawing in the work of Le Corbusier.
The conferences feature as guest speakers: Danièle Pauly, Timothy Benton, Marta Sequeira, Candela Suárez, Jorge Torres, Xavier Monteys and Ricardo Daza. This cycle of open classes “Aulas de Autor” “Le Corbusier and the Drawing” is coordinated by Marta Sequeira, Carlos Machado e Moura, Rui Neto and Noémia Herdade Gomes.
This cycle is developed by the research group Architecture: Theory, Project and History (ATPH)of the Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (CEAU-FAUP)- within the project ‘Coleção de Desenhos . Escola de Arquitectura do Porto’, – in collaboration with UPdigital (UPdigital), Faculties of Arts (FLUP) and Engineering U.Porto (FEUP), José Marques da Silva Foundation Institute (FIMS), Northern Chapter of the Portuguese Order of Architects (OASRN) and Sistema do Futuro – Multimédia, Gestão e Arte.
The cycle of conferences is supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) | Compete 2020 | Portugal 2020 | European Union (UE) – European Regional Development Fund.
The cycle of conferences counts with the support of Livraria A+A and Livraria AEFAUP.
Graphic design by Francisco Providência.
Multimedia developed by Cátia Cunha Pimentel.
+ info
www.aulasdeautor.com
Ciclo Aulas de Autor . Le Corbusier e o Desenho

 

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