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

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From Impact to Legacy: Interpreting Critical Writing on Le Corbusier from the 1920s to the Present
Graham Livesey, Antony Moulis

Last modified: 12-11-2015


Abstract: As a major figure of international modernism, Le Corbusier’s work has been subject to extensive critique and review both during his lifetime and since, to the extent that he has become the world’s most studied 20th century architect. While numerous attempts have been made to assess Le Corbusier’s works and ideas in their meaning and influence, little attention has been given to understanding the phenomena of critical writing and research that continues to surround the architect. Drawing upon research by the authors in preparing a 4-volume anthology of writings on Le Corbusier’s work for a major British publisher in 2016, the paper will trace critical reaction to the architect’s practice through a survey investigation of research and writing produced mainly in English from the 1920s to the present. The paper will give a chronological account of the issues, ideas and approaches that have emerged in critical writings on Le Corbusier and his architecture, reporting on the historiographic questions that have presented themselves in undertaking such a large-scale survey work. Reviewing the work of well-known critics the survey has also sought out lesser-known voices whose presence reflects Le Corbusier’s impact around the world, providing new interpretations through fresh perspectives on his work.


Keywords: Architectural criticism; Architectural historiography; 20th century architecture, Le Corbusier.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/LC2015.2015.712

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