Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier, is an architect, town-planner, painter-decorator and writer who was born in Switzerland in 1887 and died in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, in 1965. He studied initially as an engraver and chiseller at the art school of La Chaux-de-Fonds. However his poor eyesight and the recession affecting this craft – that he did not particularly enjoy – led him to join Charles L’Eplattenier’s art class. L’Eplattenier directed him to architecture, asking him to decorate a villa under the guidance of architect Chapallaz. After this initial contract, Le Corbusier travelled extensively to study different types of architecture, learning from every visit and every encounter.
He opened his own firm in 1912 in La Chaux-de-Fonds but did not meet the success he was expecting. Relocating to Paris, he met painter Amédée Ozenfant with whom he founded purism in opposition, in particular, to cubism, and advocated a return to the meticulous drawing of objects. In 1922, he partnered with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret when the latter moved to the French capital. Together they opened an architects’ studio in the rue de Sèvres.
As early as 1927 his first buildings led him to state the “five components” of the new architecture: stilts, garden roofs, free plan, landscape windows and free-standing facades. After World War II, he developed the Modulor concept, the standardised human shape used to determine the size and structure of the residential units designed by the architect such as Cité Radieuse in Marseille or the Unité d’Habitation in Firminy-Vert…
Marie Cuttoli, a major collector and publisher, ordered a first tapestry cartoon from the great architect in 1935. For Le Corbusier, tapestry is part of architecture like a wall that can be moved or taken away. In 1948, his decisive meeting with Pierre Beaudouin, master weaver in Aubusson, led him to design over 30 cartoons, several of which were woven by PINTON.
Nathalie Junod Ponsard