Sunday, July 17, 2016

Firminy (France) – France, laboratory of urban utopias of Le Corbusier – The Express

When talking about the architect, there are anti, anti fiercely; and pro fiercely pro. His aesthetic raw, monumental and stripped concrete, leaves no one indifferent. Many also point to the failure of the collective project “ Vertical Cities ” of “ bar ” which can not stop trying to shed ever since.

It must be seen in the context of the time. It was an incredible vanguard in the 30s when it was no crane and techniques Construction were backward. Or postwar meet the challenges of population explosion and unhealthy, when we had to build three million homes in 30 years , “said Vanessa Fernandez, teacher-researcher at the School architecture of Paris-Belleville.

The idea of ​​this pioneer of the Modern Movement was not to park the surplus population but rather to put the well-being at the heart of architecture.

With its buildings on stilts, large strip windows, his family duplex dual orientation with open kitchen (revolution), he returned light everywhere – also in the fight against tuberculosis. The cupboards are not too deep, not too high ceiling, stair treads suitable for all family members.

To do this, it creates a unit of measurement, the “ Modulor “, the human scale. Not just any “ beautiful, athletic and measuring 1m83 ,” notes Vanessa Fernandez. A great man and standardized: the Aryan, according to opponents of the architect, notorious anti-Semitic and fascist activist.

– modern Eminently ‘-

Firminy (center-east), its second largest site after that of Chandigarh in India, the architect realized in 1953 a real neighborhood, with its house of culture – legacy of his friendship with Malraux-, its stadium, swimming pool and church. This is the idea of ​​planning capable of responding to natural and cultural needs of man.

In this sense, it is still eminently modern, it just has to see what criteria are built eco-districts today or pavilions which include the stilt the strip windows and roof terraces , “said Geraldine Dabrigeon conservative director of Firminy-Vert.

In Marseille, the “ Radiant City ” was renamed “ house fada .” Many do not understand why in the 50s it was wrong in relation to the main axis: again, a story of light.

Sixty years later, the spirit of vertical village remains in Marseille, at least Firminy where strainers walls create neighborhood conflicts in the building where the majority of the 414 apartments of public housing.

In Marseille, it’s true that there is a somewhat greater cohesion ” as in the other four residential units, admits Jacques Delemont, President the association of residents.

In the “ streets ” – the corridors – children play; kindergarten on the roof terrace is still active; a hotel restaurant, some traders and a place of creation on the roof, MAMO, continue to live this concrete liner.

Since Marseille was European Capital of Culture in 2013, the Radiant City has even become the third most visited place in the city, after Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde and MuCEM. A living heritage, as desired by Unesco, but that people do not want to turn into architectural zoo.

– Convent and shed –

Far from the tumult of Marseilles, in the Beaujolais region, 12 Dominicans live in a concrete temple, iron and steel surrounded by hills and forest . This is the monastery of La Tourette in Eveux, produced in 1953 by Le Corbusier after an inspiring visit to the Cistercian Abbey of Thoronet.

There austerity at first glance but the recount focuses us to essentially ,” said the brother Marc Chaveau.

It is true that when “ you are not going well, the building offers no consolation except to refer you to yourself ” but “ he we shape the look, it teaches us to be attentive to the play of light purposes , “the religious, also art historian.

Again the convent is an open place, home to the curious, even to sleep.

The Tour de France may continue to Chapel Rondchamp (is) or, closer to Paris, the Villa Savoye at Poissy.

And end the shed of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, trapper refuge with functionalism thought of the architect. “ A castle on the French Riviera, which has 3.66 meters by 3.66 meters ” as described by one who loved to spend his holidays in vintage blue.

There will drop also his last breath at age 77, by drowning a few meters away in 1965.


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