Three melodies of Le Corbusier | Marcelo Gardinetti

Curutchet House, Le Corbusier | Marcelo Gardinetti

The break of the conceptions academicistas produced by the pictorial revolution of ends of the 19th century and fundamentally the search of the most important interpreters of the cubism obsessed for representing the depth in two dimensions, created a new universe of images that gave origin to numerous artistic currents. In the subsequent years, the pictorial idea developed by the Purism understands the representation of objects by virtue of his physical properties, his conflicts or his agreements, admitting the tension between planes as a spatial fact of the represented surface. A scene where the light and the tonalities are determinant for the achievement of the aim..

The purist convention applied in the painting, is transported to the Le Corbusier´s architecture from 1920. Since then and until the end of his career, the references to his to know pictorially are tied to his work in dispositions, gestures or reasonings, anyone is his program or scale.

This implicit alliance awards to the Le Corbusier´s architecture a singular character coined in a dialectics fulfilled with poetical allegories. This merger demonstrated in undivided languages, he finds in the composition of the elevation of street of the Curutchet House an emblematic case. With three of his lateral faces compressed between dividing walls, the character of the front it turns out to be fundamental to express the idea of architecture prepared inside the work.

In the Curutchet House, Le Corbusier summarizes the process compositivo of the frontal sight applying the pictorial purist approach.

The design is a balanced game of signs applied in the space. It separates in planes the components that historically formed a part of the unit of the wall: the structure, the closing and the solar protection. Of this form, every entity turns into an independent cap, superposed into an exercise of phenomenal transparency that differentiates the first plane, way and bottom. The Brise Soleil, the plane of carpentries and the plot of pilotis constitute three caps of the composition that Le Corbusier denominate 3 melodies.

This qualification was aimed by the own one Le Corbusier in the plane of elevation that Bernard Hoesli was developing, by means of a text and a small drawing realized to lifted hand that reflects schematically these three entities. [1]

The Le Corbusier´s melodic composition sequences three caps with different paces, or more exactly, with modulations originated by different criteria: The brise soleil and the amounts of the carpentries are formulated on the basis of the mandates of the modulor, on the other hand the plot of pilotis answers to structural needs. Nevertheless, this duality of rhythmic criteria used in every figure, it slips by in the final composition.

The brise soleil is treated as a floating plane in front of the front volume, recovering a double function: in the level of doctor’s offices it interrupts the step of the solar beams and when it overcomes the volume it transforms in balustrade of the terrace and frame of the visual ones towards the forest. The plane of carpentries adjusts horizontally from side to side of the volume, to evenness of the wall, to award this image of typical looseness in the work of Le Corbusier. Behind, the column plot perforates the volume of the doctor’s offices, to rise on the terrace and to support the top canopy.

Curutchet House, Le Corbusier | Marcelo Gardinetti

In the pictorial purist compositions a palette reduced in tones articulates the objects, bringing the elements over located behind on them having illuminated with equal intensity that the located ones ahead. This effect of lights and shades that induces the pictorial compression is moved to the elevation of street, incited in the disposition of the elements. The brise soleil produces an effect of uniform shade on the plane of the doctor’s offices, sequel that repeats the top canopy on the dividing wall. This effect of shade more shade confirms with the luminosity of the front of the housing located behind, that appears as a plane illuminated due to the hollow promoted in the slab of the terrace. This simultaneous operation generates the effect of wished approximation.

The game compositivo plastic is renewed in a polyphony born in the location of the volumetric components with regard to the frontal plane. In this game, the portico placed to the left side balances the asymmetry produced by the top canopy leaned on the right side. In the same way, the bevelled design of his sides encourages the point of escape that is opposed to the effect of visual dispersion that promotes the uniform plot of the brise soleil.

This statement, which well might recount to a pictorial perfect work on an enormous linen, tries to outline the technology used in the composition of the frontal sight of the Curutchet House, planned according to the laws that govern the pictorial purist space. Planes and caps transformed into melodies that Le Corbusier aúna to compose a suggestive spatial euphony.

But it is not a question only of a game compositivo. This melodic allegory reproduces the poetical, pertinacious, almost Utopian search, of a man who was allowed to offer him to the architecture the expression of the human sensibility.

Marcelo Gardinetti . architect

La Plata. march 2013


[1] plano n°12.151, 1 march, 1949, ©FLC.

Marcelo Gardinetti

No voy a hablar de la penumbra, mejor voy a ver si puedo despertar.

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