Houses UP!

There is a fetish in presenting “5 Points of Modern Architecture”. Interestingly, piloti are normally put on the first place – it may be because the original list was prepared this way, or maybe that’s beacause its catching name.

However, there may be also another reason, especially given how important role the point plays in Le Corbusier’s revolution.

                                       volume lifted totally from the ground

Parisian aristocracy versus the progress

It starts with the fact that before publishing  L’Eprit Nouveau houses were seen as heavy solids made from stones or bricks, with very thick walls, rooted deeply into the ground. Facing the idea of houses’ roots with the ground they were standing on was Le Corbusier’s biggest challenge. The city where Le Corbusier and his friend Ozenfant have been publishing their texts, Paris, was the city of great families traditions. Generations after generations have been inhabiting big palaces creating traditions and long bloodlines.

On the other side was villa Savoye with its volume lifted totally from the ground. Although, Le Corbusier claimed this solution was to prevent the influance of soil on the building, the other probable reason was its symbolic meaning.

The architect opposition towards the whole tradition of archtiecture was of epic scale and the act of lifting the house can be as well interpreted as liberating archtiecture from the weight of its past.


Richard Weston, Key buildings of the 20th century

Le Corbusier, Toward an Architecture


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