Le Corbusier’s Five Points

Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of what we now consider Modernism, is famous for developing several concepts including the use of concrete, urban planning ideas, and new architectural principles. The essence of his views on architecture can be found in his Five Points Toward a New Architecture, which are detailed below.

Supports – Columns support the structure and elevate the building.

Roof Gardens – The flat roofs the Le Corbusier preferred called for utilization of that surface, with roof gardens being the solution.

Free-Plan – With columns acting as the structure, the architect is free to place walls in the space as appropriate without having to be concerned about loads on those walls.

Horizontal Windows – Long ribbon windows stretching along the façade allow for copious amounts light to enter, which was challenging with the mullioned, vertical windows of the past.

Free Design of the Façade – because the floor can be cantilevered away from the supports to a certain amount, the façade can be easily and freely manipulated with little concern about the structure.

5 PointsMost of these principles, while revolutionary at the time, are common practices and elements in today’s buildings. The troublesome thing is that these principles are heralded as “truths”, or a complete pattern that solved all design problems. In actual practice they are a little bit stifling and do not respond to all challenges that can be presented. Additionally, they fail to appropriately consider the human element and the cultural frameworks in which the exist.


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