STUDY ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN

THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE

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Reply archibonarrigo
11:34 AM on January 19, 2011 
Le Corbusier was born Charles Edouard Jeannerct on October 6, 1887, in LaChaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Le Corbusier was the second son of Edouard Jeanneret, a dial painter in the town's renowned watch industry, and Madame Jeannerct-Perrct, a musician and piano teacher.

The family proudly traced its ancestry to the Cathars, who fled to the Jura Mountains during the Albigensian Wars of the twelfth century, and the French Huguenots, who migrated to Switzerland following the Edict of Nantes (1598). La Chaux-de-Fonds' tradition of offering refuge includes both Rousseau and Bakunin. His family's Calvinism, love of the arts, and enthusiasm for the Jura Mountains, were all formative influences on the young Le Corbusier; Charles L'Eplattenier, a teacher at the local art school, dominated his education.

L'Eplattenier, whom Le Corbusier called "My Master," combined into a National Romanticism many strains of late-nineteenth-century thought, from Ruskin to Hermann Muthesius. He involved his students in his search for a new kind of ornament expressive of the Jura landscape and able to sustain the local craft industry. Apprenticed at thirteen to a watch engraver, Le Corbusier abandoned matchmaking in part because of his delicate eyesight, and continued his studies in art and decoration, with the intention of becoming a painter. L'Eplattenier insisted that the young man also study architecture and arranged for his first commissions.

After completing his first house, Villa Pallet, in 1907, Le Corbusier set out on a series of travels that lasted until 1912, when Le Corbusier returned to La Chaux-de-Fonds to teach beside L'Eplattenier and to begin his own practice. These travels took him first to Italy, then to Vienna, Munich, and Paris. They included a period of apprenticeship to architects with philosophies at odds with L'Eplattenier's teachings,most significantly the structural rationalism of Auguste Perret, a father of reinforced concrete construction, and the Werkbund perspective of Peter Behrens. They concluded with a "Journey to the East" by way of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, culminating in a visit to the Acropolis.
Le Corbusier called the Maison Dom-ino (a pun on the Latin word for house, domus, and on the playing pieces from the game). Le Corbusier envisaged it as an affordable, prefabricated system for the construction of new housing in the wake of World War I's destruction. Developed with the help of Max Dubois and Perret, the system differed from the then standard Hennibique frame in its idealization of floors as flat slabs without exposed beams. Its columns were perfectly straight posts without capitals, set in from the edge of the slab. This system freed both exterior and interior walls from all structural constraints.
There Le Corbusier worked on concrete structures under government contracts and ran a small brick manufacture, but Le Corbusier dedicated most of his efforts to the more influential, and lucrative, discipline of painting. First in a book entitled Apres le cubisme, and subsequently in an art show at Galerie Thomas.
The emerging spirit of industrialized culture in all its aspects became the theme of the journal I'Esprit Nouveau, founded in 1919 by Le Corbusier, Ozenfant, and the poet Paul Dermee, and published until 1925. Le Corbusier collected essays from the journal in the book Vers une architecture. In the essays Le Corbusier proposed an architecture that would satisfy both the demands of industry and the timeless concerns of architectural form as defined in antiquity. His proposals included his first city plan, the Contemporary City. Le Corbusier also proposed two housing types, which were the basis for much of his architecture throughout his life: the vaulted Maison Monol and the Maison Citrohan, a "shoebox" volume with a double-height salon (the salon was modeled on, among other sources, the bistro Legendre, rue Godot-de-Mauroy, where the architect lunched daily).

In order to distinguish their work as painters from their work as critics and theorists, Ozenfant and Jeanneret took pseudonyms. Ozenfant adopted his mother's family name, Saugnier. Jean-neret took the name of a cousin, Lecor-bezier. Separating the Le out, the name sounded suitably like an objet-type; it also suggested the architect's profile, which resembled a crow's (corbeau). Le
Ozenfant and Le Corbusier parted in 1924, with much acrimony over who deserved credit for their joint efforts. In 1922, Le Corbusier formed an architectural partnership with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret; Jeanneret was to play the quieter role, developing plans and details and dealing with clients. They set up an office in the corridor of a former Jesuit monastery at 35, rue de Sevres. It remained Le Corbusier 's office for the rest of his life.

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