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Barcelona welcomes Le Corbusier’s architectural ‘landscapes’ with an exhibition

Le Corbusier, one of the key figures of twentieth-century architecture, was more than a mere creator of buildings. His ideas on urban planning, furniture design and his innovative blending of architecture within the surrounding landscape are an integral part of his unconventional work. Such different creative facets of the artist are at the core of the exhibition “Le Corbusier. An atlas of modern landscapes”, held at Barcelona’s CaixaForum from the 29th of January to the 11th of May. The exhibition, the largest dedicated to the artist in the past 25 years, displays 215 objects from the MoMA and the ‘Fondation Le Corbusier’, which stress the extent of his contribution to international architecture.

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28 January 2014 08:00 PM

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ACN / Pau Cortina

Barcelona (ACN).- Le Corbusier, one of the leading figures of twentieth-century architecture, was more than a mere creator of buildings. His ideas on urban planning, furniture design and his innovative blending of architecture within the surrounding landscape are an integral part of his unconventional work. Such different creative facets of the artist are at the core of the exhibition “Le Corbusier. An atlas of modern landscapes”, held at Barcelona’s CaixaForum from the 29th of January to the 11th of May. The exhibition, the largest dedicated to the artist in the past 25 years, displays 215 objects from the MoMA and the ‘Fondation Le Corbusier’ (paintings, drawings, models... ) that stress the extent of his contribution to international architecture.


Architect, urban planner, painter, interior designer, writer, editor, photographer and amateur filmmaker, all of these terms can apply to Le Corbusier, who was a truly multidisciplinary artist. With his iconic architecture and more than 40 books of his own, Le Corbusier highly contributed to the reflection on urban planning, interior design, and modern architecture in cities. 

Creating architectural ‘landscapes’ across continents

His broad concept of the term ‘landscape’, applied not only to nature but also to home interiors and objects, forming the spine of the exhibition ‘Le Corbusier. An atlas of modern landscapes’. Such a name also alludes to the intense production of the artist, who created architectural works in 12 different countries.

In a statement to ACN, the Curator of the exhibition, Jean-Louis Cohen, who also hols a University Chair in History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts of NYU, has stressed that Le Corbusier was the very first global architect. “The geography of Le Corbusier is the first to be worldwide for an architect. He travelled to every continent except Oceania for his projects”, he recalled.

A ‘creator of ideas’ as well as “structural experimentations”

Cohen described the architect as the first one who defined “a complex vision of the modern city, its architecture and its interiors”.  Thanks to a major Work – both regarding “quality and quantity” – that includes 400 projects, 75 buildings and over 40 books, the architect was “a creator of projects but also a creator of ideas”,

In fact, Cohen pointed out that in the 1920s, he became influential for his books more than for his buildings. Nowadays, “the world of architecture is still full of references to Le Corbusier, literary references on the shapes of his buildings and his perception of the modern city”, which underline the longevity of the architect.

Le Corbusier “fully” knew Gaudí’s work

The Curator of the exhibition has drawn a parallel between the creative freedom of both Le Corbusier and Barcelona’s famous Antoni Gaudí. He explained that Le Corbusier had created complex structures which were highly unusual for the time and that he “fully” knew Gaudí’s work, as he travelled to Barcelona. “He was very interested in structural experimentation” just like the Catalan architect, said Cohen.

The largest exhibition devoted to Le Corbusier in 25 years

The exhibition, which opens to visitors on Wednesday at CaixaForum Barcelona and will move to Madrid’s CaixaForum later in the year, is the largest one to be dedicated to the artist in the last 25 years. It was organised by the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA), which lent most of the pieces displayed, with the collaboration of the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, which has provided other materials. When it premiered in New York, the exhibition welcomed 400,000 visitors.

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  • A model of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye in Poissy (by P. Cortina)

  • A model of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye in Poissy (by P. Cortina)