Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, LC2015 - Le Corbusier, 50 years later

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Le Corbusier’s Musée à croissance illimitée: A Limitless Diagram for Museology
Irene Chin

Last modified: 09-11-2015


Abstract: “Let us imagine a true museum, one that contained everything, one that could present a complete picture after the passage of time, after the destruction by time…” This paper considers La Musée à croissance illimitée, an unrealized proposal from 1939 by Le Corbusier in which a series of galleries elevated on pilotis and organized about a square courtyard would extend – infinitely. The paper unfolds as an analysis of the museum and its relationship to history and time, structured by the form of Le Corbusier’s proposal. Four themes establish the parameters of the investigation – spatial organization, notions of monumentality, relationship to site, and ideas of growth – and Le Corbusier's resistant approach is considered as a method of criticality. Order-less, face-less, place-less, end-less. To categorize the Museum of Unlimited Growth as such is not to suppose conditions without, conditions of lack, or absence; but rather is a means to consider the proposal as an absolute – a degree zero that subsumes and thus allows for conditions of possibility. The themes set up a dialectical reading of the project, as its negations are bound to the assertive, positivity of the idea of a limitless spiral. Perpetually unfolding and folding in on itself, the Musée resists the forces of time. It is the ur- museum, a concept that negates the historiography of museums before and proposes an impossible model for museums to come.


Keywords: museum; limitless; growth; spiral.

Palabras clave: museo; límites; crecimiento; espiral.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/LC2015.2015.584

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