Le Corbusier: Inside the Machine for Living

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Crown Publishing Group, 2000 - Antiques & Collectibles - 183 pages
The ideas of Le Corbusier on modern furnishings, modern houses, and modern cities are still, more than three decades after the architect's death, persuasive and extremely influential. He considered the objects of daily life -- a chair, a cabinet, a bottle -- as "tools," elements whose form and function could be rationally resolved and then standardized. His own metal furniture, designed in collaboration with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, was based on strict conceptions of utility and typology that nevertheless resulted in pieces that were among the most elegant and luxurious creations of modern design. While Le Corbusier's reputation was based on his rhetoric of functionalist utility, standardization, and the machine, his rational approach was modulated by human experience and had a poetic and complex relationship to the built and furnished environment.

In this authoritative volume, George H. Marcus analyzes this relationship as it informed Le Corbusier's domestic interiors and furnishings spanning his entire career, from the revolutionary Esprit Nouveau pavilion of 1925 to the celebrated Villa Savoye to the controversial Unit d'Habitation in Marseilles and other works of his later years. Marcus pays particular attention to the often unappreciated role of color in these projects and focuses in great detail on the seminal pieces of furniture produced by Le Corbusier's studio -- including the famed grand confort chair and chaise longue - documenting not only the conditions surrounding their conceptualization and design but also the vicissitudes of their original production and their continuing manufacture. Extensively illustrated with new color photography, archival photography, and the architect's sketches and drawings, Le Corbusier: Inside the Machine for Living offers fresh insight into this relatively little-studied aspect of the great architect's career.

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About the author (2000)

George H. Marcus, teaches the history of twentieth-century design at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Design in the Fifties: When Everyone Went Modern and Functionalist Design: An Ongoing History, and co-author of Landmarks of Twentieth-Century Design.

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