Le Corbusier On Architecture / by Yu Cao

****"The key is light/ and light illuminates shapes/ and shapes have an emotional power./ By the play of proportions/ by the play of relationships/ unexpected, amazing. / But also by the intellectual play of purpose:/ their authentic origin,/ their capacity to endure,/ structure/ astuteness, boldness, even temerity, the play of those vital abstractions which are the essential qualities the components of architecture. "pp. chapter II [][][][][][][][]Both Matisse and Le Corbusier emphasize "relationships," Corbu also uses "proportions," Matisse "compositions", and "differences." They all aim for "emotional power".[][][][][][][][][]

"The south wall provokes astonishment."

"All the internal harmony of the work is in the drawings. This has been so since the loftiest and most ancient cultures. It is incredible that artists today should be indifferent (even hostile) to this prime mover, this 'scaffolding' of the project." [][][][][][][]Where architecture is? Working drawings. Calculations and working drawings. Signs and numbers.[][][][][][][]

"The work is finished. Come what come may." 1956 Dec

"The positioning of the essential elements of worship... I felt an increasing uneasiness about it, I concentrated on it and today, two years later, I began to draw; I made these five drawings. These drawings embody a thought which brings order, hierarchy and dignity, a thought inducing a fundamental drama. From being inert and neutral things they become active, stirring and significant. In this way the drama is unfolded, is played and is comprehended. This focusing is an act of architecture, an act having a real relation to architecture ... architecture which puts all in order and regulates." Paris, 6/26/1957 [][][][][] Working drawing--an act of architecture that has a real relation to architecture, architecture composes relationships into drama/significance. "Drama" is also what Matisse and Corbusier both emphasize. I want to play in the field that has a real relation to architecture.  [][][][][][][]

"The Parthenon is a drama."

****"When pondering  and working out a project (town planning, architecture or painting) always a long process, I bring into focus, I realize, I come to the point. I have made an immense effort without a word spoken, without speech, in the silence and solitude; over the drawing boards of my office at 35 rue de Sèvres I do not speak; my private office (used for patient research) at Auteuil, is opened to no-one. There I am alone. Never in my life have I 'explained' a painting." 1956 [][]Solitude and realization/creation, focus studio/drawing board is where I AM ALONE.[][] 

The Chapel at Ronchamp by Le Corbusier, Frederichk A. Praeger, New York, 1957



"The business of Architecture is to establish emotional relationships by means of raw materials.  Architecture goes beyond utilitarian needs. Architecture is a plastic thing. The spirit of order, a unity of intention. The sense of relationships; architecture deals with quantities. Passion can create drama out of inert stone."pp.5

"Contour and profile are the touchstone of the architect. Contour and profile are a pure creation of the mind; they call for the plastic artist."


Essential Le Corbusier, by Le Corbusier,  L'esprit Nouveau Articles, Architectural Press