Toward an Architecture

We live within a world of chaos, arbitrarness and enthropy.

Our natural state is, what Rousseau used to call a ‘state of nature’. A state far from logic and order.

We don’t feel good in this state. That’s the way animals live.

When our predecessor animals, became aware they, or we started longing for light, and for order. We lose ourselves when we are being left within a darkness. Our mental health goes lost, we become unsafe, scared, alone.

We need plan, volume. We need walls that may create boundaries from the world of chaos and make us feel human. Except the awareness of unsafety outside we may create places, which provide us with light and air.

We may stop being afraid, anxious, uncertain. We may build architecture.

This way of thinking is presented in “Toward an Archtiecture” – the book Le Corbusier written in 1924, which consisted of the text he published previously with his friend Ozenfant in L’Esprit Nouveau.

Opposing the regime of the Academy

Their reacted on the changes that took place at that time. The effects of Industrialisation were flying, riding and swimming already across the globe. Cities were growing rapidly, as well as the number of people on the Earth and the thempo of their living. However, the architecture stayed unchanged in terms of its ideas. Historicism, the movement officially acclaimed by the Academies of that tiem, cost investors lots of money, because of the impractical solutions, and materials which could have been already changed with industrial ones.

Le Corbusier proposed instead of using problematic stones and bricks, standarised, prefabricated materials, which have been already commonly used by engineers.

Volume, Surface, Plan

He claimed that quality of architecture doesn’t lie merely in materials, but spatial qualities they create. He pointed out Three Reminders to Architects –Volume, Surface and Plan. He tried to persuade people about the value of pure, geometric forms, which should be watched in the bright light, making people feel good, due to their logic and simplicity.


However, his book faced ambivalent opinions. Many poeple have felt offended by the juxtaposition he made with the great Greek temple, Parthenon with new at his time Voisin car. However, the point Le Corbusier tried to make doing so, was the process of seeking standards which can address a certain problem in a best possible way.

Toward logic

Le Corbusier was a nervous, and even mean man. But he followed rules of logic in order to keep control over himself and that’s the reason why he wanted so much to build archtiecture clear, simple and in order.

Nicholas Fox Weber, ‘Le Corbusier: A Life’
Le Corbusier, ‘Toward An Architecture’

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