no time like the present for a refresher on Le Corbusier…


A seminal figure in the International Style of architecture and the Modernist movement, Le Corbusier was known for his cubist-minimalist designs and grandiose, if impractical, urban planning proposals. However, elements of his heterodox megastructuralist planning philosophy have informed normative concepts that prevail unquestioned (e.g. the “skyscraper in the park” and housing block architecture), while his institutionalist structural rigidity has been a lightning rod for criticism from Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs and Peter Hall, scorned for its anti-human detachment.

In this work, Le Corbusier sets out an ambitious goal whose outlandish claim is exceeded only by the author’s own megalomania: “by constructing a theoretically water-tight formula to arrive at the fundamental principles of modern town planning.” He admonishes town planners for their shortsighted, hasty reactions to predictable problems, and calls down planning methodology conceived without a strategic plan. Seeking to establish a new planning canon, he outlines stipulations for a variety…

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