About Buildings + Cities
Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture
3 years ago

27 – Le Corbusier – 2 – Oyster and Breezeblock Years

We’re in Paris, 1917, where Charles-Edouard Jeanneret is making friends, thinking about sex (and writing enormous letters about it), designing the occasional mechanised abattoir / concrete garden terrace, going bankrupt, trying to sell concrete blocks to postwar society, inventing a new style of painting, launching a highly costly art magazine, and (finally!) acquiring the name under which he would become famous — Le Corbusier!

One of us had a very creaky chair in this episode. Also we were drinking again. Apologies for both.

We discussed — 

  • The breeze block plant at Alfortville
  • Societe d'Applications du Beton Arme
  • a Slaughterhouse at Challuy, near Nevers
  • (for no good reason) Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’ (1906)
    - Unbuilt project for a dam

  • a Water Tower in Podensac
    - his meeting and collaboration with Amedée Ozenfant
    - Purism as a style in Art — the Tate has a good definition
    - Fernand Léger
    - L’Esprit Nouveau

  • Pierre Jeanneret

We’ve been reading — 

  • Nicholas Fox Weber ‘Le Corbusier: A Life’ (2008)
  • Jean-Louis Cohen ‘Le Corbusier: Le Grand’ (2014)
  • Oppositions 15-16 (1980)
  • Catherine de Smet ‘Le Corbusier: Architect of Books’ (2004)

Music —
Charles Trenet ‘Le Retour des Saisons’ archive.org
Victor Marching Bank ‘French Reel’ (1918) archive.org
Jean Sablon ‘Sur Les Quais de Vieux Paris’ (1941) archive.org
Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’ (1940) archive.org

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