Le Corbusier

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, who was Swiss-born, then acquired French nationality, was a complete artist: architect, urban planner, painter, sculptor and designer!


Charles-Edouard Jeanneret was born in 1887 in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He studied classical architecture during several voyages. He discovered the solid bases of classical architecture, but was also curious to explore other cultures. Throughout his career, he continually mixed heritage and modernity.

His buildings are found in twelve countries and four continents.
After a career lasting sixty years, he died accidentally on 27 August 1965.

His work is now considered as the international emblem of the Modern Movement in architecture. It provided new solutions:

  • inventing a new architectural language: architecture that gives way to light
  • modernising architectural techniques and technology: architecture that develops upwards
  • meeting the social and personal needs of modern people: functional spaces

At a very early stage, the architect developed the principles of five key points for a new architecture:

  • a building raised on pilotis pile stilts,
  • a self-supporting structural framework formed by columns and beams,
  • glazed external walls,
  • a flexible open plan (without load-bearing walls) that can be adapted according to the building’s functions and their changes,
  • a terrace roof that acts as a roof garden.

Maison De La Culture Architecture Colonnes

Le Corbusier combined the organisation of space with the use of carefully chosen colours, which reflect his main lines of thought:

  • green: to adapt architecture to its environment and remain continually in touch with nature,
  • yellow: architecture that develops with light,
  • blue: constant contact with the space,
  • red: Man is the driving force of his creation.

His most emblematic works include:

  • Villa Stotzer (La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, 1907)
  • Villa Savoye (Poissy, France, 1928)
  • Cité Radieuse (Marseille, France, 1945-1952)
  • National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo, Japan, 1957)
  • Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut (Ronchamp, France, 1950-1955)
  • Palace of Assembly (Chandigarh, India, 1955)


Modulor Le Corbusier

Le Modulor (contraction de « module » et « nombre d’or »), notion architecturale inventée par Le Corbusier pour adapter les proportions de ses unités d’habitation à la morphologie humaine.


  • 1887
    Born on 6 October in La-Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland).
  • 1908-1909
    Work experience training with the Perret brothers: study of reinforced concrete techniques.
  • 1923
    Publication of Vers une architecture [Towards an Architecture], a veritable “bible” of modern architecture.
  • 1931
    Completion of the Villa Savoye in Poissy.
  • 1945
    Finalisation of Le Corbusier’s Modulor, establishing architectural proportions based on the scale of the human body.
  • 1952
    Completion of the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille (in the Bouches du Rhône area of France).
  • 1954
    First visit to Firminy.
  • 1955
    Completion of the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut in Ronchamp (in the Haute-Saône area of France).
  • 1960
    Completion of the Dominican Monastery of Sainte-Marie de la Tourette in Eveux-sur-l’Arbresle (in the Rhône area of France).
  • 1955-1965
    Construction of Chandigarh, capital of the Punjab region (India).
  • 1961-1965
    Construction of the Maison de la Culture in Firminy.
  • 21 May 1965
    Le Corbusier’s last visit to the Firminy construction site: inspection of the main structural works of the Maison de la Culture and laying the foundation stone of the Unité d’Habitation.
  • 1965
    Died on 27 August at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (in the Alpes-Maritimes area of France).
  • 1966-1969
    Construction of Firminy Stadium.
  • 1968
    Creation of the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, devoted to the conservation, study and dissemination of Le Corbusier’s work.
  • 1973-2006
    Construction of the Church of Saint-Pierre in two phases, designed with José Oubrerie.