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  • Writer's pictureGebler Tooth Architects

7 Things you didn’t know about Le Corbusier

1. The architect’s actual name is Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, but he named himself Le Corbusier in 1920. The name is a variation of his grandfather’s name, Lecorbésier. Adopting a single name was popular among artists back in the time.

2. Le Corbusier never had formal academic education in architecture. He taught himself by reading books, visiting museums, and sketching buildings. He told the BBC in 1951 “I am anti-school. I am going to confess to you that I left school at 13 because schools were very mean in the past, they were no fun.”

3. Le Corbusier became nearly blind in one eye around 1918. He would argue that his glasses should be half-priced accordingly.

4. In 1934, Philip Johnson-designed his own glasses, inspired by Le Corbusier’s signature glasses, and handed the designs to be made by Cartier.

5. Le Corbusier designed India’s first planned city, after the country’s independence, in the 1950s. His design for the city was based on his concepts for the Radiant City. He, also, designed a number of administrative buildings for Chandigarh. Although the city’s design was quite influential, especially in the former Soviet Union, it was criticised for being pedestrian-unfriendly. Also, the buildings were thought to be huge and boring.

6. Le Corbusier met with Albert Einstein at Princeton University in 1964 and discussed the “Modulor.” In spite of Le Corbusier’s “bad” explanation of the idea, as he would say, the scientist described it in a letter as “a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.”

7. Le Corbusier who was quoted saying “How nice it would be to die swimming toward the sun,” did, actually, die in 1965 while taking a long swim in the Mediterranean, against his doctor’s instructions. His dead body washed ashore later. It is believed he died of a heart attack.

Heres some of Le Corbusier's most celebrated buildings.

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