Couvent de la Tourette, Le Corbusier


Villa Savoye (1928-1931) Le Corbusier et Pierre Jeanneret

The Villa Savoye in Poissy (outside of Paris) was designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. Built in reinforced concrete the house best exemplifies Le Corbusier’s five points of modern architecture. These were:

1. pilotis – a grid of reinforced concrete columns that served as main structural support, elevating the house from the ground to allow for the continuity of the landscape underneath.

2. plan libre – given the pilotis there was no need for load-bearing walls to support the structure allowing interior walls to be placed freely and only where the program required them.

3. toit jardin or roof garden – an open-air terrace that reclaimed the landscape displaced by the occupation of the building.

4. fenêtre en longueur – horizontal windows that provided rooms with an equal distribution of natural light and ventilation.

5. façade libre – unconstrained by load-bearing considerations building skins could be arranged freely to serve the requirements of the interior spaces.


Le Corbusier’s Le Poeme de l’Angle Droit

This sketch is based on the mural of Le Corbusier’s Swiss Pavilion at the Paris University Campus that I visited for the first time this past summer.

C.5. The image of a woman’s body with a unicorn’s head.

The vessel drifts on
with voices singing on board
as all becomes strange
and is transposed
carried up
and is reflected on
the level of elation


places I’ve drawn, but have not yet visited series: Le Corbusier’s (& José Oubrerie) L’eglise Saint-Pierre de Firminy

Designed in the mid-1960’s, this church by Le Corbusier was completed by José Oubrerie in 2006 who was a member of the original design staff. Construction started in 1973 but was halted in 1978 due to political conflicts. These drawings were made while looking at slides that my wife took when she visited it.


a simple resting bed

Here’s a sketch I made “literally” copying Le Corbusier’s own of the design for his father’s tomb, included in a letter to his mother.

In addition to the simple forms, what I like most of the design (and letter) were his notes on the selection of plant material and its careful thoughts on their placement; specially of the species selected for the joints.

Geraniums were picked since they symbolize the good that exists in everybody. While the other species, (yellow or white poppies, alpine pansy, primula or moss) Le Corbusier mentions they were his father’s favorite.