Le Corbusier

Ideas and Forms


A penetrating and comprehensive study of the influential 20th-century architect.


William J R Curtis


Editions:

Price: USD$35.00

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) has been one of the dominant forces in twentieth-century architecture and a legendary pioneering figure. Many of the forms he created have become archetypes of modernism. Yet he was also a social visionary and a writer of powerful polemics whose ideas have generated intense and partisan controversy.

Now available for the first time in paperback, Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms provides a comprehensive and objective survey that exposes Le Corbusier through a more balanced perspective than ever before.

Making full use of the 'Le Corbusier Archive', the author documents individual projects in detail, while linking the imaginative activities of the artist to his philosophy of life, his urban visions, his art and the cultural predicaments of his times. He analyses Le Corbusier's phenomenal powers of abstraction and synthesis, to illustrate how he created a potent architectural vocabulary based on a limited range of types and elements, and how he used it to generate architectural forms of compelling force.

This intimate and meticulous study of all Le Corbusier's major buildings - from first sketches to final achievement - reveals the artist's struggle to reconcile the ideal and the practical and to give institutions and ideologies a suitable symbolic form. It shows, in turn, how this most 'modern' of architects constantly found profound inspiration in both nature and architectural tradition.



SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Paperback
Size: 280 x 215 mm (11 x 8 1/2 in)
Pages: 240 pp
Illustrations: 243 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714827902

William J. R. Curtis is an award-winning historian, critic, writer, curator, painter and photographer. Educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and at Harvard University, he has taught the history of art, theories of design, and architecture at several universities worldwide: among others, Harvard University; the Architectural Association, London; UNAM, Mexico City; ETSAB, Barcelona; Helsinki Institute of Technology; the Accademia, Mendrisio, Switzerland; and the University of Cambridge where he was Slade Professor of Fine Art 2003-4.

In addition to teaching history and theory, Curtis has been directly involved in architectural education in the studio and in juries. He has written historical, critical and theoretical texts on subjects as varied as modern architecture, landscape design, the history of everyday objects, the process of design, historiography, visual education and criticism. His best known books include: the best-selling Modern Architecture Since 1900 (Phaidon 1982; second ed. 1987; fully revised third ed. 1996), and Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms (Phaidon 1996). Unanimously well received and now considered essential classics of their genre, these books have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, German, Japanese, French, Italian, Portugese and Chinese. Curtis has produced over a dozen monographic studies on contemporary architects with El Croquis (Madrid). His writings on contemporary architecture have appeared in international journals such as Architectural Review, Architect's Journal, Architectural Record, L'Architecture d'aujourd'hui, ARK, D'Architectures, Plan Libre, Poïesis, Arkitektur DK, Arquitectura Viva, Il Giornale, dell 'architettura, Abitare, A+U, Architecture+Design etc. and in weekly and daily newspapers such as El Païs, Lavanguardia ,The Guardian, NZ Zeitung and Building Design.

"William J. R. Curtis is the best architectural historian writing in the English language, and that alone makes this book something of an event."—Chicago Tribune

"This is not only the best single work on Le Corbusier - a model of scholarship, erudite yet eminently readable - it is also an invaluable analysis of the creative architectural process. It should be read and re-read by every student of architecture."—Building Design

"It is as incisive narrative, informed by biography and illuminated by penetrating critical commentary, that this book excels."—Times Literary Supplement

"An admirable introduction to Le Corbusier's life and work. It is also a record of personal observation and synthesis by an informed and shrewdly sensitive author which will remain valid and fresh long term"—Architectural Review

"The most lucid and complete chronicle yet available of Le Corbusier's achievement. This book excels."—AIA Journal

"A fantastic new edition from Phaidon."—The Daily Beast

"An exceptional history and a spectacular collection of images."—Metropolis Magazine

"Impressive... Any committed bibliophile should splash out on this new, seductively hefty tome... A succinct over-view of one man's determination to change the world... We are fortunate to have Curtis'; considered critique to vouchsafe Corb's rightful place in the architectural pantheon."—RIAS Quarterly

"William J. R. Curtis is the best architectural historian writing in the English language, and that alone makes this book something of an event."—Chicago Tribune

"This is not only the best single work on Le Corbusier - a model of scholarship, erudite yet eminently readable - it is also an invaluable analysis of the creative architectural process. It should be read and re-read by every student of architecture."—Building Design

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