Charles-Edouard Jeanneret: Le Corbusier

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His career spanned over five decades, beginning in 1907 working for Auguste Perret, the French architect who pioneered the use of reinforced concrete. He then studied architecture for a year in Vienna before working for Peter Behrnes between 1910-1911, the renowned German advocate for ‘industrial design’. It is believed it was here he met Ludwig Miles van der Rohe and Walter Gropius, the founder and developers of the Bauhaus School of Design. Behrens admired Corbusier’s ethic of mass production and function over style.

During World War I, (1914 – 1918) Le Corbusier returned home to teach in his old school. He used this time to work on new theoretical architectural studies. Bringing both of his early influences from his travels together, Le Corbusier designed the ‘Dom-ino House’ 1914-1915 (a combination of the words domicile and innovation). His model proposed an open floor plan detailing concrete slabs supported by a minimal number of thin, reinforced concrete pillars around the edges with a stairway providing ¬access to each level. This house was intended for mass production, but was also flexible: none of the walls were load-bearing and so the interior could be re-arranged to the occupant’s specifications. This became the foundation for most of Le Corbusier’s work; instead of building horizontally, he built vertically. It could house more residents, and lower the impact on natural areas.

It is easy to believe that this idea of ‘open plan living’ has been revolutionary.
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