Architects' Sketchbooks, Episode 2: Le Corbusier
There have been reports that, given the proliferation of digital tools and time-saving software now available, architects no longer draw or sketch as we used to. In this series, I'm hoping to prove otherwise, by delving into the sketchbooks of designers – both famous and otherwise – hopefully revealing some hidden gems of drawing, painting and sketching along the way.
After the vibrant watercolours of Steven Holl, many of Le Corbusier's sketches are generally monochromatic, but no less whimsical in their nature: non-architecural forms feature, including the bulls of Chandigarh, boats, shells and other objects of inspiration. Others, such as the pencil and pastel study of the iconic Villa Savoye, appear subtle and precise – a hand-drawn manifestation of the architect himself.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Swiss-French architect's death, Phaidon recently released a new edition of William Curtis' seminal book "Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms", which contains some 500 images and incisive accompanying analysis. Check out some of Corb's sketches below, many of which went on to form some of the most well-known examples of modernism in the world.
If you have a sketch you would like showcased, send it over via a message on the official Angry Architect Facebook Page, and who knows, maybe you'll be featured next!
Le Corbusier, sketch of bulls and peasant houses near Chandigarh, dated March 1951. Album Simla, Punjab, India, Chandigarh Capitol Project, blue ink on album paper, 18.5 x 13.8 cm (71/4 x 51/2 in). Image © Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris
Le Corbusier, sketch drawn during Latin American lecture tour, 5 October 1929, charcoal on thick paper, 101 x 71.1 cm (39 3/4 x 28 in). Showing the transformations of the ocean liner, the skyscraper and the palace in the context of the League of Nations project (from Précisions, 1930). Image © Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris
Elevation study of the southwest facade of Villa Savoye at Poissy, 1929, focussing upon the composition and proportioning of the openings and piloti, pencil and white pastel on trace, 75.5 x 126.2 cm (29 3/4 x 49 2⁄3 in). Image © Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris
Le Corbusier, sketch of boat and shell, sketchbook B6, 1931, pencil on paper, 18 x 10 cm (7 x in). Image © Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris