\”Geo-Architecture\”: Le Corbusier\’s Urbanism and the Territorial Challenge to Architecture (1911â\”1965)

In a 1957 review of a lecture by Le Corbusier, a Swiss newspaper characterized his urbanism as a \”geo-architecture.\” The geography being evoked was at once human and spatial. Importantly, the review proposed that the Three Human Establishments that Le Corbusier was presenting in his lecture situated architecture in a larger setting than the city and developed a formal repertoire that operated at this larger scale.

The course examines this relationship between architecture and geography as it manifests itself in Le Corbusier\’s urbanism. It covers the different periods of his urban output namely: WWI and formulation of an evolutionary understanding of cities; the 1920s systemic urbanisms; the 1930s type-oriented explorations and the advent of the notion of \”equipements;\” the post-WWII reconstruction projects and the idea of the ensemble, and the 1960s experiments with landscape and two-dimensionality.

The case studies include some well known examples of his urban design work such as La Ville Radieuse, le Plan Obus, Chandigarh, St Die, and Berlin as well as some underexplored projects such as Stockholm, Izmir, Rochelle, and Vallee de la Meuse. The course will also extract the urban logic of some of his architectural projects and typologies like Villa Savoye, the Unite Bloc, and the Venice Hospital.