LE CORBUSIER VILLA SAVOYE BY: SAKHILE MNGADI S212 447 653 MS NICOLA DARKE 2 APRIL 2012
BIOGRAPHYLe Corbusier was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, on October 6, 1887 in thetown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Although born Swiss, he lived mostof his life in France. In 1900 Charles-Edouard Jeanneret started his studies atthe École dArt in his birth town. He trained as an engraver and goldsmith but,from 1904, he began his studies in architecture. His work as an architectmade him very famous amongst his colleagues and began his ascend towardslegendary status.Undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural minds of the 20 th century, hisunique approach using reinforced concrete, separated him from ordinaryarchitects of his time.In 1917 he moved to Paris and assumed the alias Le Corbusier. It was at thispoint in time that the world turned its attention towards his work. In 1943 LeCorbusier applied a similar interdisciplinary approach to developing "Modulor",a system of quantity, based on the male figure and the Golden Mean, used todetermine the proportions of units in architecture and technology. This wasalso the foundation of Le Corbusiers work in furniture design. There arecountless works of furniture, designed by Le Corbusier that are consideredmodern day classics. “Modulor” is still used todayOne of his most noted post-war housing complexes is Unité-dHabitation inMarseilles and his pilgrimage chapel, Notre-Dame-du-Haut, in Ron-champs.These two structures were by all means some of his most radical work. 6/10/1887 – 27/08/1965Le Corbusier died on August 27, 1965.
ANALYSIS OF THE SITEThe Villa Savoye, is a brilliant example of Le Corbusiers 5 points of newarchitecture. The house is firmly driven into the ground with what seems to belong narrow piles to which all weights are positioned on. This makes sensebecause the site where the house is situated is a dark and often damp site.The reinforced concrete piles, give us the sense that the house is floating, thehouse could not be built on the land because of the type of soil and nature ofthe ground. Le Corbusier has used his restrictions in the design of the house.The house is built on a relatively flat surface. Geomorphology tells us that thismeans that surface runoff is a minimum. In turn, the house cannot be builtdirectly on the ground with strip or raft foundations because waterproofingthese on a site like this would be a nightmare and there would also be a riskof mass settling and movement. The soil is described as moist and dark, andsince it is always raining here (200/365) the design is suitable.Having said all of this it is just, to say that the site is very wet and the sand/clay soft and as a result pile foundations, which is what was used, arenecessary.
CONCEPT IDEATo comprehend Villa Savoye and Le Corbusier‟s creative approach, one has to look back several year before its completion date. In the 1920s a new Architectural language wasdeveloping that got to be known as „International Style‟. Developments at the time were emerging around the world adopting the new style and its purposes. The style concentrated onthe prevailing tendency of creating the building as a block and decorating the outside enclosure with ornaments. The new style took away the original views of the building and said thatthe outside should work with the inside simultaneously. This new style aspired to represent what was thought to be the machine age. It used the new construction techniques based onconcrete, steel, and industrial glazing to build its hovering planes and interaction of the solid concrete and steel with the lighter glass. The Style wanted to project a utopian image of thefuture where the Machine brought a higher level of living.Having considered the above mentioned style and concepts, it becomes much simpler to describe Villa Savoye. Contrasting to the structures he designed before this one where he wasrestricted by the structures urn surroundings Villa Savoye is located in a small town outside Paris. This liberated Le Corbusier to ingeniously build on his concepts to provide the mostpowerful expressions of his ideas. He also added the element of time as a fourth dimension in the project.He suggested that the approach towards the house be best experienced by a passenger in a car. Past the entrance gate, the visitors sight isLe Corbusier conceived the approach towards the house to be best experienced by a car passenger. Past the entrance gate, the visitor‟s vision is obstructed by trees. The housereveals itself all at once as a grand white box, hovering on columns.