The Villas of Le Corbusier, 1920-1930: With Photographs in the Lucien Herve Collection

Tim Benton, Author Yale University Press $65 (224p) ISBN 978-0-300-03780-7
Benton's remarkable series of case histories shatters the conventional image of Le Corbusier as an ivory-tower idealist and theorizer. Eccentrics, artists, collectors and the genteel poor were among the clients for whom Le Corbusier built luxury houses during the 1920s. These projects were beset by cost overruns, delays and disastrous technical failures that necessitated urgent and expensive repairs. Frequently, the interplay of economics, site and client relationships led to a sudden shift in a villa's design. Le Corbusier's high-handed approach to many of his clients strained close friendships to the breaking point, sometimes beyond. Building these houses around his own notions of privacy and freedom, the architect filled austere interiors with high points of commanda library or an apex looking out on nature. The results, to some homeowners, were cold or confusing. Benton lectures on architecture on the BBC's Open University. Illustrations. (August 19)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-300-04935-0
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-3-7643-8406-7
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