The path of the first years of Him Corbusier like architect, in the first decades of the 20th century, was devoted almost with exclusividad to the investigation around the subject of the house and characterised for being plagada of researches and findings, of inventions and redesigns, that had a big importance no only in his back architecture but, besides, in the one of many of his coetáneos and contemporary. It is in these first years where is easier to recognise, by his youth, some of the most notorious keys of his thought creator.
With the years, LC accumulated maturity and intensity but, also and like consequence, showed more complex and indescifrable. His genial innovative capacity and discoverer, the one who did him happen to the history and follows us surprising, suffers from, clear is, of naïve immediateness and, therefore, can not detail with successive isolated analyses. Speak of the work of LC is always speak half, with the feeling of have not said, neither much less, all what in reality can arrive to say. But, fortunately, in these first years of architectural investigation the signs of his thought find more nítidos. If we look in the following years, in the most advanced stages of development of his ideas, the readings do more watched and is easy to distract the attention in the conmovedora madeja of his architectural recreations.
Detain us in his “Complete Works”. They are the compendio of his personal architectural will and, especially, have the value to be the monograph that the own LC, along his life, commissioned to select, order and maquetar. More specifically fix us, for deepening in the already exposed, in his first volume (1910-1929). It is, definitely, the volume more carefully selected, the most pedagogical and, besides, the one who initiates a way that finishes at all less than eight volumes and forty years afterwards. It treats of a beginning sugerente, introductory, as if LC wanted to present, of casual way, the “characters” that more forward went to form the plot and the denouement of his global architectural scene.
We see this volume like a statement of intentions, like a measured script from which, given his intentional communicative attitude, can entresacar with main ease some of the more incipientes mental mechanisms of his architectural creation. We try to discern in these first projects grouped, in these mainly characterised years by the will of invention, some of the invariants of intellectual procedure that, later and of way more mixed, go to form the base of the thought of the architect.
A “Domino” House.
After some preambles with sketch of his trips of formation and a “onlooker” I project of 1910, the famous perspective of the house appears “I” “dominate” (realized in 1914, 27 years after age), that, seemingly innocent, appears flood of precise intentions and of vision of future. In her, without being very perspicacious, many of the constructions are recognized by facility in phase of structure of our current cities (is it possible to be more visionary?). In any case, obviating his later transcendency and for centring what occupies us, we see that already in this first project a very particular way of thinking is getting.
He proposes a project of housings, which later develops of diverse forms, from the abstraction and the “power” of a constructive system and compositivo that is characterized by his new simplicity and economy. A “opened” system but, simultaneously, clear and unequivocal. We think an unitary result that, on the contrary, it is thought in a fragmentary way. That is to say, on the one hand, departing from the major simplicity, one proposes a system of horizontal strata piled up in the space, and for other one, a few supports and a stairs. The new thing, evidently, is not the exposition of a framework of reinforced concrete, other pioneers already it announced before that LC, but the effect of the relative position between the supports and the alignments of forged, that is to say, his autonomy, the fact of thinking about a front independent from the structure amble and, certainly, the transcendency of this action. This is, the “horizontal” thought (plants) becomes free of the “vertical one” (section and gathering), but not to refuse between yes but ” to dissociate itself “, to treat itself in all his dimension separately and, later, to put in value mutually. The procedure is simple: pairs bordering of opposite, that is to say, to be employed aisladamente at ways a priori opposite taking his result to the limit, having as aim join them in such a way that one finds a unit of great intensity. We see, for example, as the stairs in his relative position tied to that of the props, it breaks crafty the rigid symmetry of the set, “infecting” even the retranqueo of the edge of one of the wrought ones. In a gesture seemingly without importance, but that constitutes the necessary “pinch” in order that the totality is understood as the quite homogeneous one. The Domino house,, that was never constructed as such though yes it used as model for any of the later villas, it is not but a demonstration of force, a basic example, since we will see, of his operative later one.
In the project of a villa at the edge of the sea, of 1916, it tests and proposes a different system, though not for it less innovator and visionary. In the bottom the method of thought is similar. Since in the houses “I” “Dominate”, beyond the effect developed of the idea, which for being “opened” will be able to have many results, children all of them of the idea Mother, LC proposes a construction prefabricated in series of panels of reinforced concrete, modulated, systematized and arranged in you were squeaking longitudinal. A “vertical” system of walls and supports combines with a “horizontal” system of modulation every five meters in both directions that, in this case, “it” “stretches” in an alone sense to obtain the dynamism of the longitudinal one. He presents, as always, diverse drawings perspectivos and planimetric; in one of them the covers from the exterior seem to be flat, in other one he proposes (for the first time of many) an interior finished off with vaults vahídas, curious element that it uses as emblem of maximum domesticity along all his career. The plant, certainly, does not coincide exactly with the drawn images, expressing thus that the general idea / force is more important than the final result. His thought is fragmented, operates in parallel and, as final need, surprises with the way in which it unifies the parts. In addition, his interest is not in “freezing” results. His principal will is to open ways that the time will take charge crossing.
The Troyes houses, of 1919, exposed likewise as houses of rapid execution by means of what it names “liquid concrete”, come to abound in the same foundations. Also in the house “Monol” (1920), he insists on the concept of houses on series, this time with a major emphasis on the idea of group and global image, proposing, with all clarity, the profile of the series of constant vaults, and insisting on the economy of the parallel and directional disposition of the longitudinal walls. Definitively, the real formal and constructive bet of these offers.
We see like at the end of the years ten, not uselessly coinciding with the difficult years of the first world war, it is interested principally for looking for new methods for the construction of housings. His field of investigation centres principally on technical systems with the sufficient autonomy opposite to the results as to be taken again by all freedom, facility and extent of gun-sights. It is as if the vital situation that it crosses was forcing him to define the rules of a game from which the moment to play has not come. His skilful “liberating” thought allows him to contemplate the problem from the distance that supposes centering, separately and with all the energy, in each of the fundamental aspects that have to intervene, obviating superfluous aspects. Selecting carefully the different topics to treating, choosing them with autonomy for, only in few occasions, in an ostentation of creative and selective capacity, to give them a unit, to provide them with a “body” with sense. A strategy, in the end, at a height of the circumstances.
This effective distance opposite to the results, this opened attitude and strongly propositiva it would not leave her, at least, up to after the second great war.
A “Citrohan” house.
In 1920, he proposes the first version of the house “Citrohan”. It is significant to emphasize that the projects in that indeed he is interested always he pleases of inserting several versions. In this project it comes, again, to the system of ” vertical parallel planes “. Arranging the wall system direccionado obtains it was concentrating in the section in double height and to find a ” simplification of the light sources ” with a house / box opened only in his short sides. Across a great hollow in the front of the double height, and of two horizontal windows in the opposite testero. That is to say, it chases the economy of means in all his dimensions.
They characterize the offer the round symmetry of the set, it strategically rotates (again) for the autonomy of the exterior stairs that runs parallel to the walls and of the interior of snail, and the trend “to “liberate” the different elements. It works, probably for authentic need, under control of the “quantity”. “The architecture presides at the quantities”, it enunciates in Towards an Architecture, written in those days. For it it takes up to his last consequences the balance of the means to obtain the architecture, the “construction of the light”.
He practises successfully the intensity of the formal economy and the conceptual simplicity. The unit of the project is always manifest, even if his thought is felt by clarity ” on parts “. There works with the concatenation of “pure” actions what leads him to controlling the wished effect, to proposing projects – origins, to rising over any result to sight the germ, the embryonic condition of what it was going to enunciate as the “New Spirit”.
A “Esprit Nouveau” that, since it could not be differently, it summarizes in these pages by means of the concrete specification of three concepts: the “volume” – the architecture is the wise, correct and magnificent game of the volumes under the light-, the “surface” – the volume is wrapped for a surface, a surface that is divided according to the directives and the generatrices of the volume, accusing the individuality of every volume-, and the “plant” – the plant is the generating one, the plant us contributes the essence of the sensations-. That is to say, again it separates with perspicacity the message. It acts by means of isolated “stills” that in his set manage to transmit wonderfully the global “image”. First it enunciates the speech in three dimensions (volume), as when it draws images perspectives of his offers, later in two dimensions across the vertical (surface) and the horizontal (plant), since in his planimetric representations, and on the message having made it like that we are transmitted by all his shades, by all his virtues. With total clarity.
“Real estate Villas”.
After the shallow explanation of the ” New Spirit ” it has speak good of the city. The growth of the population and the economic concentration they do that there rethinks in those days a problem that, for centuries, it had remained out of the competition of the architects, but that, in this moment, starts forming a part importantly of his reflections. The sway of scales is fundamental in his operative intellectual one and, therefore, it applies the maxim of – everything owes to the parts and vice versa-. That is to say, it cannot propose systems of construction of housing without giving response to the city. It cannot speak about the city without proposing systems of group of housings. In 1922 he thinks about the ” contemporary villa for three million inhabitants ” though everything makes suspect that it is not any more than a prologue to sustain his first great project/manifest: the “Real estate Villas”. A project enthusiast who, as that of the house “Citrohan”, will have successive later versions. In fact it might be said that they are related as for that there treats itself, in essence, about a group of units type “Citrohan”, a group that LC, at last, wants to propose as solution to the city. A few units of housing with prismatic form in two levels grouped in parallel, but in that, as evolution of the “Citrohan”, it introduces a new concept: the “suspended garden”. Courts of two heights perforated in front and connected in vertical by means of a coincidental perforation with the later alignment of the housing, across which the stays of the houses, arranged in “L” around, are opened selectively on the outside.
In one of his principal drawings of the ” Real estate Villas “, in that one gives a global image of the built-up set, there is curious the presence of a car of the epoch in the first plane, element that will repeat in many photographies and later drawings. In the cars of the twenties it appreciates with clarity that the aesthetics of the machine are related by the fact that the different parts are articulated guarding his individuality, adapting every form to his function, freeing every form to every function. The conical prism of the front part wraps only the engine that presents a similar form, the semispheres of the beacons, freed to every side of the engine, wrap the cones reflectors of the areas, the mudguards are curved and salient pieces that wrap the movement of the wheels, the cabin with his seats is a prism that encloses the “cockpit”. It is undoubtedly for LC a model of the “modern technology” who exemplifies with clarity the way in that it is necessary to understand the architecture. All the parts interveners are independent, autonomous specialized for his function, but they all between yes form an unitary object, capable of serving with efficiency the man. The ” machine to live ” is something more than a concept funcionalista, is a notion that interprets the mentality of the formalization of the epoch to put it to the service of the architecture. Not uselessly, when it calls “Citrohan” his model of villa it wants to establish a play on words with the brand “Citroën”, with it it wants to indicate that this model of house is thought for the massive production, to be produced as if about a car or a bus it was treating itself. Actually, the above mentioned comparison enunciated in the twenties, it is as if nowadays we could compare the housing with the mobile phone, or the construction with the aerospace technology.
The evolution of the “Citrohan” house.
The version of the house “Citrohan” of the ” Lounge dÁtomne ” of 1922 it incorporates a new and significant element: the “pilotis”. It tests the weightless effect of the house raised on supports of the area. In an action, since always, it exempts of naiveté. It comes to a solution that beside managing to isolate the construction of the dampness of the land and the topography manages to free the “volume” furthermore, emphasizes it opposite to the environment. On this enclosed case the house rests on a “tray” raised on the supports, putting in value the quality objetual of the house on having placed it on a species of podium, in exhibition. It is as if it wanted to liberate the result of any link; of the area, of the water (he proposes even the piece at the edge of the sea), of the gravity, that is to say, as if it wanted to demonstrate constant the need of his round independence. This obsessive isolation of the objects to creating reaffirms him in his way of understanding the architectural thought. To separate the thought tries the most powerful tool of resolution and investigation. By means of this mental process, it manages to enunciate more roundly his offers. It manages to communicate better his new messages. The house “Citrohan” like that offer will manage to construct it some years later, in 1925, in the colony Weissenhof in Stuttgart.
In 1922 it projects and constructs a villa in Vaucresson. A parallelepipedic house where, continuing with his method, it detaches from the principal volume the piece of the stairs. Thereby it breaks the symmetry of the main face and in turn it puts in value the order of the entire house. In this house, as particularity, it puts into practice for the first time other one of the crucial points of his new architecture: the continuous horizontal window. Though more from a figurative point of view that from all his force of exposition; the supports in this case are not late of the front as goatish to suppose.
In the project of the Artist’s house of 1922, he repeats this exposition, though this time the lateral isolated stairs and the cover are finished off by expressive curves. LC feels a real temptation for putting in tension the formal global strategy by means of opposite, confirmed elements.
In this point, for some reason, LC gives a temporary jump and inserts an extraordinarily interesting project dated in 1924: the houses in series for artists. Continuing with the idea of “box” LC he proposes this time you marry square plant (till now always it had wanted direccionar somehow the plant by means of more or less exagerate rectangles). A square in plant with two principal characteristics: a support in the center (that uses in turn of bajante as the cover in “impluvium”) and a double height cut away with the diagonal. A diagonal that tries to change the sensation of size of the exiguous housing, for treating itself about the longest line that can “show” in this space and that, in addition, meets accompanied by the diagonalidad of the stairs that develops parallel to the spatial cut. The diagonal supposes a ” unexpected dimension ” enunciates LC. An exercise of syncretism that did not have develop good later but that, as other times, stops opened generously. The topic of the diagonal, which this project tests, was specially important for “modern” many. Without going beyond acordémonos of Melnikov’s pavilion of the International exhibition of decorative arts of Paris of 1925.
The house for his friend and painter Onzenfant, of 1922, it him supposed working with his new architecture fitted between dividing, for the first time in an urban context. In this construction despliega his language with major fluency. The stairs protagonists, the spaces and windows to double height, the horizontal windows, the plant with tabiquería “frees”, they are elements that he handles already with certain skill. The urban corner stands out for the ” teeth of saw ” of the cover, testing again the notion of singular silhouette, coming to the mechanism of ” standing out ” opposite to the sky, of being opposed to the principal volume to look for the opposition and the contrasts.
As if it wanted to reveal all his formal digest, he presents later the project of a villa in Auteil, the first project of the villa The Roche / Jeanneret, also of 1922. In her the incorporation of a ramp stands out, for the first time, inside the parallelepipedic volume of the villa. Later he presents the project of the lounge d’Automne of 1924 in the one that proposes, also for the first time, an interesting villa composed by two independent volumes, joined by a gangplank. And hereby so graphical and direct, from examples that treat directly the topics to using, there introduces the villa The Roche and Albert Jeanneret of 1923, exposed later, in that the previous test of the fragmentation is constructed in two pieces and the incorporation of a ramp in the interior, in the room where the Swiss banker The Roche had to hang his collection of pictures cubists. Definitively, the basic and essential topics of this offer are the duality (two, the pair of pieces) and the diagonal (ramp), positions in tuning in with skill. Villa where already there starts being meant the complexity to which there can come the subtle composition of elements of LC’s language.
To followed line, it starts introducing the scheme of what calls the “housing standardized”, proposing a game of additions of three-dimensional modules, as cards of dominoes. The option to articulate a volume broken across a piece of stairs remains introduced with his project of the house Lipchitz-Mietschaninoff of 1924. To begin to expose the effect of an urban loteo of pieces pareadas it teaches some drawings of his urbanization d’Adincourt of 1925. To count the idea of high density in the construction it shows the project of the university city for students, also of 1925. It inserts then the small villa at the edge of the lake Léman, constructed with special fondness for his mother, where across an excessively longitudinal piece it plays with the complex walls, with the “inhabited perimeters”, obtaining a surprising and highly qualified effect a little removed from his linguistic speech up to the date but intensely and, undoubtedly, related to the force of the direccionalidad that had come proposing in numerous occasions. He insists on his contents with his images and arguments concerning the “Real estate Villa”, and with a dogmatic page on the one that establishes a “notice to the manufacturers” to construct modulated windows. And everything, like bombardment of preparatory images, to show the complex warp of diverse situations that, already then, they led him to raising it was done by the neighborhood of Pessac, of 1925. An awkward, singular, risky project, in which LC verifies the effect of his new architecture constructed in “mass”, the effect of a landscape constructed from his innovative architecture. It ends this series of images with a photography of yes the same, supported in a railing factory of one of the terraces and looking at Pessac’s extensive built-up environment. Thoughtful and, I imagine, a little surprised but connoisseur already from the transcendency of his contribution to the history of the architecture.
The evolution of the “Real estate Villas”. The pavilion of the “New Spirit”.
We see like, come this point of development of his ideas, it needs to anticipate the results by means of a series of previous projects, concrete examples of each one of the topics to treating, to be able to explain in all his complexity the set of references that constitute his principal projects. Again in a clear manifestation of his separated thought, of his way of seeing the results as a pondered composition of isolated topics.
The project of the villa Meyer in Paris, of 1925, is the first one of a series of projects of one-family housings of great sophistication. The investigation tidy and staggered concerning a new architectural language starts turning into virtuosity, in this villa the aspects treated are recognized by clarity and tested previously but, also, a certain attitude starts being recognized not only propositiva if not, in turn, complaisent with his architectural game. The skill that it starts demonstrating is the symptom of which his arduous search is started returning in happy finding.
It returns to raise the “Real estate Villas” but this time to introduce the construction of the pavilion of the “New Spirit”. A work that had a great importance in the spreading of his messages for being in the International exhibition of Decorative Arts of Paris of 1925, together with others as Melnikov’s already mentioned pavilion or the tower of information of Mallet Stevens. A curious piece as for which it is a question Villas as a housing supposedly isolated of the system of group of the “Real estate”, a unit detached from the set built-up and put on the area with total autonomy, as if about a spaceship it was treating itself, demonstrating his “strangeness” opposite to the context. It was his new architecture opposite to the world and it put a lot of interest to stand out and up to in exaggerating the aesthetic world that was supporting his message. Architecture, painting and sculpture, furniture and objects, all this unified in an alone action. An atmosphere of aesthetic global change with which to represent the modern revolution that was in preparation.
But it is necessary to emphasize that, again, we are before a pavilion well-considered and constructed of a very particular way. The unification of the arts, of the artistic currents, across the architecture it was already, in 1925, one widespread idea, but LC, since already it has us used, it solves the pavilion coming with skill to the fragmentation of actions and messages to obtain an intense result. The fact of constructing a unit of housing that, actually, remains clear that a group treats itself about a basic cell in closed very much major apple and that, in turn, it speaks about a new way of understanding the city, is an intelligent way of saying without doing, of establishing meanings beyond the strictly evident thing, of extending concepts. A pavilion that, in addition, he supports to be an object in yes same, that is to say, that can manage to understand as an isolated villa, since he would remain demonstrated some years later in the villa Stein in Garches.
Of equal way, the incorporation of artistic objects spread by the spaces of the housing answers to an of integration will; it corresponds with a solution that is directed to make, on the one hand, the offer more credible but, for other one, since in his initial projects, to composing the unit with isolated elements, this time not only architectural. Clearly opportune attitude that, in turn, leads him to including his work inside the context of the revolutionary activities of the forefronts of these years.
Five points of a new architecture.
Since he is accustomed, and like introduction of the following great message, LC has a measured order for a new collection of diverse projects. It surrounds the center of the question as if it wanted to delimit, to put in contrast, the perimeter of the understanding. First it reports a new incursion in the urbanism, proposing the “fantastic” Plan Voisin of Paris (1925), suggestive and visionary though rather impertinent. And then, it exposes the artists’ small house in Boulogne (1926), with a volume fragmented in a “particularly difficult” lot, the expressive “imprisoned” and bold volume of the “Palais du Peuple” (1926), and the houses “minimum”, also of 1926, where it tests interesting Siamese housings with the topic of the size limit as challenge. All of them “really “extreme” projects in which it reveals the difficulty that contains the architecture, perfect to delimit and to emphasize the attention concerning a central and basic point; the principal manifest of his architectural investigation: five points of a new architecture. His principal contribution to the modern movement. It is evident that he was a teacher in the putting in scene.
These five points actually might be understood as five “liberations” with regard to the tradition and the past, since it takes charge expressing in the schemes and drawings that he accompanies.
The first one, the pilotis, is not but the liberation of the soil (dampness, topography) and of the sensation gravity. The second one, The terrace – garden, supposes liberating the built-up volumes of the imposition of her traditional solutions of the roofs. The third party, the free plant, supposes liberating the composition and the order of the thick walls for, across the segregation between the structure amble (supports) and the closings coming to expositions “separated” in that the tension between the parts is a manifest and meaningful (hierarchy). The quarter, the continuous horizontal window, takes us to the liberation of the hollow in front, long ago slave of the stability, now to the exclusive service of the lighting and ventilation of the stays. And the fifth one, the free front, is the liberation of the gathering as tidy system of seriaciones to the service of the constructive wall system, the front for LC consists as if about a picture it was treating itself, segregating and arranging aesthetically in the plane the blind parts with regard to the opened ones. Actually, composing more that having.
I dress the exposed thing till now it might add even, in a free interpretation, a sixth point: the liberation of the stairs (or the ramp, definitively the element of vertical traffic); we have seen since from the beginning of the project of the “Domino” house the stairs he behaves in every project as an isolated, principal element and protagonist of the general composition, an element caracterizador of the strategy of every offer. A key point for the understanding of the solution in every case. It is probable that sientiera as a “personal”, almost calligraphic aspect, and it is for it for what it does not choose to include it in his five points – manifests. But undoubtedly, the liberation of the stairs is an unvariant of his way of acting in these years, and is an aspect that can be outlined in all his projects.
Since it was logical once enunciated his clarifiers five points it demonstrates his real possibilities across concrete examples. A series of magnificent villas exemplify it. It chooses for it also five examples, in the following order (not chance): the house Cook in Boulogn-Sur-Seine (1926), the house Guiette (1926), the villa Stein in Garches (1927), Both villas of the Weissenhof (Stuttgart, 1927), and the house Plainex in Paris (1927).
Villas very variegated and sophisticated all of them, but also very different, as if about a directed sample it was treating itself. Anyhow, beyond the recognition of his ” points of new architecture “, an unvariant of drawing is recognized in all of them, and therefore of thought. It is a question that does not happen unnoticed already in his first projects but that is now where it turns out to be more evident. The plants are drawn so that the zones of service are specified by means of a reticle of pavement opposite to the rest. Separating accurately, paraphrasing and being anticipated to Kahn, the zones “servidoras” of the “served ones”.
Another unvariant of these houses is that it submits to the different volumes, as I say clearly different all of them, to the incorporation of the stays between parallel lateral walls, chasing the idea “Citrohan” of house – box of walls direccionados, so much in that the fact of being between dividing needs it like in that not.
We see like in the question of the specification of the spaces in two categories (servants and served), since in the fact of establishing lateral blind walls (main and back face), between other questions, it is clear that LC looks for the duality (the managing of two in terms of quantity) as method of establishment of hierarchies and tensions, as way of creation of the form. And in addition, the duality uses as tool directly become related to his intellectual system of dissociations. There is no better way of evolving in a process of formal creation that to object nimbly and intention pairs of diverse situations. The vertical one opposite to the horizontal one, the building opposite to the landscape (the artifice opposite to the natural thing), the lateral thing opposite to the frontal thing, ahead opposite to behind, the straight thing opposite to the curved thing, the structure opposite to the closing, the big thing opposite to the small thing, the clear thing opposite to the dark thing, etc.
The Savoye villa.
After the parenthesis like change of third of the project of the Palace of the Company of Nations in Geneva (1927/28), the first public important building that LC attacks. Prelude of what was going to come some years later, in that it tests his formal vocabulary in another type of use and scale. And after the curious detachable pavilion for Nestlé of 1928. Examples both of an attitude of search of new formal and constructive ways. LC starts prefacing with parsimony, since always, his following great Manifest: The Villa Savoya.
For it despliega later the projects of the Villa in Carthage. Onlookers as for whom the offer of 1928 and that of 1929 scarcely they have something that to see. It seems as if one had done it from a clear idea of section (the plant does not even appear) and other one from a basic idea thought about plant, which they do not marry between yes but which, nevertheless, them arranges one after other one because he is interested in both ideas. Together and separately. Beyond the results.
Later, and as development of the idea of the Real estate Villa, it exposes the projects Wanner in Geneva (1928/29), anticipation of the section of central corridor of the idea of the Unit of Room of the 40s. It inserts a project couple that the possibilities investigate tipológicas of the residential blocks. And after slow this one to stroll concerning his surprising capacity of invention, finally, there comes the first version of his masterpiece, at least of his first period as architect (the one that passes between both world wars), the villa Savoya.
A villa, of which already one has said and written practically of everything, is important and relevant for many questions. First, from our perspective, he supposes the zenith of his first stage of investigation concerning the thought of the modern housing. In her there is perceived a summary and an exaltation of all the aspects that has been treating in his projects up to that one at the time, though it does not look like actually any of them; it is the first time that does a villa with four fronts, rejecting the walls “Citrohan”, arranges his five (or if his six are wanted) points of the new architecture by all brightness, in an exhibition of linguistic skill, and simultaneously it does it with an unpublished and unusual, absolutely innovative piece from the formal and strategic point of view. Which rabbit of the top hat.
It has been said that actually there treats itself about a house court, a house suspended in the nature, a modern palace (basement, development and coronation), etc. Interpretations apart, that since always it spends with LC’s masterpieces (Ronchamp, Unité, Chandigarh), are not small and all somehow certain, the important thing, in our case, it is to identify, if it is that it is possible, the intellectual mechanisms of creation of so surprising project.
LC speaks of ” promenade architecturale “, serving to this personal taste for putting a title to the things, which it is not but the expression of the character of the house in yes. A “walk”, a tour, which infects both the exterior and the interior. A dynamism that it puts in tension the formal “estaticidad” of the piece. The car makes a detour crossing the ground floor of the house, up to “sinking” in the garage. The visitor moves diagonally, forward and behind, by means of the ramp or the stairs, enjoying the perspective of to stroll. The walls, planes of diverse colors, idea taken again of the motivating Bauhaus, do of the stays changeable places opposite to the light. In a species of recreation of a kaleidoscope. To visit the villa Savoye is he was finding in a surprising, curiously cozy world, but simultaneously changeablly, vibrant. The architectural elements, the ramp, the walls, the sky, the colors, they appear with vocation of sequence, of constant change. The architecture for LC, already is not only linguistic investigation, formal strategy and compositiva, starts being, in this house already with all his magnitude, the creation of a particular atmosphere and a few sensations, the manifestation of a certain character and nature.
The separated thought, the skilful fragmentation of actions in search of the unit, the strategy and the character, is something that in this villa already is started perceiving veladamente, losing the brightness of long ago. The creative genius gives a step improve in a precocious sample of all his brilliance propositivo, the complexity and the wealth of shades and readings, the diversity of interpretations they make an analysis difficult clarifier. LC has crossed an initial way in search of a new architecture. The villa Savoya represents a border from which his way of operating will start being less recognizable, more complex and unlike. There is eloquent the famous scheme of systems and strategies concerning his villas, placed later and numbered from one to four, and that is closed with the villa Savoya, because it means a colophon, an intelligent summary of an investigative architectural process that tries to look for a certain perfection. In him he compares the system disintegrated of the villa Roche (“picturesque”), with the system of cubic composition (“pure prism”) exemplified by three levels of approximation: the paralelepípedo of the concept “Citrohan”, which enunciates like “very difficult” (satisfaction of the spirit), the idea of the villa in Carthage (trays in formation of strata of free plant) that it labels of “very easy” (practise and combi), and finally the villa Savoye, which it qualifies of “very generously”, that is to say, of very balanced and completely. Like culmen in the search of satisfying the intention.
From this moment it results in complex end to look for linear methods of understanding, to glimpse clear manners of action, in the speech of the rest of the volumes of the Complete Work.
Serve this succinct tour of the work of the first LC to deal, though it is partially, the powerful beginning of the principal inventor of the architecture of the 20th century. His work, as that of the big ones of the history, ire revealing with to pass of the years. Though, much I am afraid that many generations more will have to spend start exhausting at least probably the importance of his message.
Sergio de Miguel, archuitect
Madrid, january 2010