Unlikely architectural duet, Corbusier – Luftwaffe,
Arranged for Europe’s facades
A much-desired lift
For what went missing in fury of the raids
The pencils later made a perfect fit.
The poems of Joseph Brodsky certainly contain some poetic exaggeration, but not too much of it. A wonderful French architect Le Corbusier really changed the face of Europe a great deal.
He was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in the family of a hereditary watchmaker- enamelist and followed his father's path in jewelry and design. And yet he could not resist and made a dashing turn into architecture – he started his first architectural project when he was barely 18.
Le Corbusier was a consistent urbanist – that is, he insisted on the construction and development of big cities. He was talking about the cities in remarkably metaphoric words: “the workshops of the spirit, where the best works of the universe are created". In his opinion, they had only one problem: the streets of medieval cities were built by donkeys. And this is just pure truth without any insults: city streets were laid where once there were tracts of animal-drawn carts. It is clear that these streets were far from being wide and straight, and Le Corbusier was a convinced supporter of restructuring the old cities. He was not allowed to make changes in Paris and Barcelona, but he managed to make a reality of many of his own ideas in Marseille. For example, the famous Unité d'habitation, the Marseille housing unit – an apartment building with standardized apartments – straight the ancestor of our Khrushchev-era apartment blocks. Le Corbusier simply named the house “a car for housing” without any second thought. He embodied this principle in practice: Le Corbusier's buildings are extremely ascetic and functional. No baroque dashes for you, no classic columns – everything is quiet, simple, in the spirit of the times and elegant in its own way. Nothing else to say, that’s classic for you!