Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Great Buildings 1 - Villa Savoye

Having promised to feature more architecture in my blog, this is the first in what I intend to be a semi-regular feature. Each post will feature some information on a different building and it's architect. My intention is to span all eras and styles although I apologise in advance if I tend to focus more on Modern and Contemporary buildings.

The building I've chosen first is the Villa Savoye , designed by Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier (born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) was one of the key figures in the Modernist Architecture movement of the 20th Century. His architecture explored the challenges of modern life and the opportunities presented by modern materials - in particular concrete. His early work was done under the tutelage of Auguste Perret, the French pioneer of concrete construction.

Before moving on to large scale civic and residential projects both at home in France and Internationally, Corbusier made his name in the construction of several villas and the development of his 5 principles of architecture - all of which are present in the Villa Savoye. These were:
  • The use of "Pilotis" - Using concrete pillars to raise the building off the ground and support the structure - which allowed for a
  • Free Facade - As the walls are no longer the principle support for the building, the architect has more flexibility of design.
  • Open-plan living areas - Again, if the pilotis carry the weight of the building, more freedom is given to the architect in creating large open living spaces
  • Ribbon Windows - creating unencumbered views was another advantage of concrete construction and pilotis as window areas need not be constrained by load bearing walls. In the Villa Savoye, this means the windows can run the length of the building.
  • Roof Gardens - Corbusier believed in compensating for the loss of ground space by creating gardens and terraces on roofs and extending the living space outside.
Le Corbusier's influence was not just key in the Modern Architecture movement. Many of his ideas, principles and styling cues can still be seen in today's contemporary architecture. He was a pivotal player at a pivotal point in the development of Architectural Theory and Practice.


Wikipedia has plenty more on Le Corbusier and the Villa Savoye.


Andrew

3 comments:

Stephen Chapman... said...

I am divided on this. It looks stunning and I like it to look at, but I couldn't see myself living in the building.

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