Chasing After Corbu

…so as to be better positioned to throw heavy cooking implements at him.

Unite d’Habitation

I know I’m ruining the ending (and at the very beginning no less), but the basic conceit of this blog is that Le Corbusier is a stand-in for industrialization and centralized control as much as the more brutal side of modernist architecture. He famously described the Unite d’Habitation, pictured above, as “a machine for living in,” which is more creepy than evil as a stand-alone statement — sure, housing is a consumer product just like vacuum cleaners, got it — but sets off all sorts of alarm bells when you realize you’re staring at the genesis of 50 years of human anguish in the form of dreadful housing projects. But it’s not Corbu’s fault — I mean, who could have predicted that Borg-ish housing was a bad idea?

3 comments to Chasing After Corbu

  • The Social Pathologist

    I mean, who could have predicted that Borg-ish housing was a bad idea?

    Anyone who had more than a superficial understanding of human nature. Corb was a social improver. These types always know whats good for you even if you don’t like it.

  • Very true. In fact, here’s a quote from the master:

    “The design of cities was too important to be left to the citizens.”

    So he would probably say, “Yes, I do know what’s best.” And not even realize that everyone listening is horrified.

  • Le Corbusier is an immortal icon. Some people intending not like their work, others to admire. One thing is certain, it was a reference for many architects.

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