Between Vision and Function
Zwischen Vision und Funktion:
Der Jahrhundert-Architekt Le Corbusier
DOM publishers, Berlin
Audiobook, 74 minutes, €14
There are numerous publications about the work and the person of Le Corbusier, an architect who has considerably shaped Modernism. In “Zwischen Vision und Funktion: Der Jahrhundert-Architekt Le Corbusier” [Between Vision and Function: Le Corbusier the Architect of the Century], in his audiobook series Moritz Holfelder ranks him with architects like Peter Zumthor and Zaha Hadid. From a collection of three speakers’ voices, original recordings and interviews, the listener gains insights into Le Corbusier’s patterns of thinking, working and lifestyle. Using his key designs which are vividly described and the artistically poetic work “Das Gedicht vom rechten Winkel” [The Poem of the Right Angle], Holfelder develops the multi-faceted and sometimes contradictory image of the architect: on the one hand he is modest and industrious; on the other, arrogant and calculating. He would spend the morning in his studio where he would paint and work on his theoretical writings before concentrating on his work as an architect in the afternoons. His functional and technical design is often described as being human-unfriendly even though he felt committed to nature and humankind and drew his inspiration from these sources. His use of exposed concrete and his reduced use of colour are typical of his minimalist architecture which appears cold, and yet he was successful in creating atmospheric spaces with it. These (apparent) contradictions provide the listener with 74 minutes’ worth of a multi-faceted overview of Le Corbusier’s creative output.
The two audio samples provide an initial impression. The first extract comes from the beginning of the book in which the “Gedicht vom rechten Winkel” [The Poem of the Right Angle] is expanded upon. The second item tells of Le Corbusier’s attachment to nature which he pursued during his stays in his “cabin” in Roquebrune at Cap Martin.