Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known by the pseudonym “Le Corbusier”, was an architect, urban planner, decorator, painter, sculptor and man of letters, born in Switzerland in 1887.1900, Charles-Édouard began training as an engraver and chiseller at the art school of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss Jura. In 1909, at the end of a study trip to Italy, Austria, aand back through southern Germany and eastern France, he visited Paris and met Eugène Grasset, an architect specialising in decoration, whose book formed the basis of his training as an architect-decorator. On Grasset's advice, he learned the rudiments of technical drawing by working for a few months in Paris as a draughtsman for the Perret brothers, building manufacturers specialising in technical constructions. He then went to Berlin and worked for a few months as a draughtsman in the large agency run by Peter Behrens.Back in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the young teacher undertook the renovation of his school: it failed and he resigned at the beginning of 1914.After a few missions as a building decorator for the Swiss federal authorities, he decided to set up his own practice as an architect. In 1917, the young architect, who had no real clientele, dreamed of participating in the reconstruction of France, the victory of which he anticipated at the end of the First World War.In 1917, he founded his first architectural studio on rue d'Astorg.At the end of the war, in 1919, he became the director of a materials company in the Paris suburbs. In 1922, the arrival in Paris of his cousin, the young architect and future designer Pierre Jeanneret, enabled him to find a solid partner to relaunch his architectural activity, his company on rue d'Astorg having gone bankrupt the previous year. The two Swiss cousins set up their joint agency at 35 rue de Sèvres, which was to remain Le Corbusier's only architectural studio throughout his professional life. To publicise their agency, Charles-Édouard published a book containing a selection of texts on architecture that had appeared in Le Corbusier's magazine Puriste. The anti-academic book, fiercely opposed to the form-degrading decor and the five orders of pontificating architecture, was an editorial success that surpassed the avant-garde aura of the purist magazine. The 1920-1930 decade saw him produce a remarkable series of projects for villas, workshops and houses in which the elements of the Corbusian architectural language were formalised. Le Corbusier conceived his profession as an architect in a modern way: building requires a rigorous implementation, as much as a testing of architectural ideas which, apart from the volumes and forms conceived by a necessarily “mathematical” thought, do not exclude the way of living (and thus the furniture and the arrangement of spaces) and the urban and landscape environment as a whole. In 1937, invited at the last minute to the Paris International Exhibition, Le Corbusier designed the Temps Nouveaux pavilion, which, perhaps ironically, showed the precarious state of architecture in France through its design. In May 1940, Le Corbusier closed his design studio and architectural office on rue de Sèvres. Le Corbusier (re)became a dreamy discoverer and artist by collecting found or discarded objects and by devoting himself to mural painting. But the second year of the German occupation made him return to Vézelay, in occupied Burgundy, with his wife. He returned to Paris only after 1942, and his studio was only reopened for his former colleagues after the liberation of Paris. The destruction caused by the World War, and then the demographic growth in France, called for reconstruction. The ideal economic solution was the industrialisation of the building industry and the standardised production of equipment in series. To meet this challenge, the ATBAT or Atelier des Bâtisseurs was created on rue de Sèvres. Recognised men of the arts contributed their skills, support or financial contributions, or sympathised with the workshop.His services to the State earned Le Corbusier the title of Commander of the Legion of Honour before 1950.From the beginning of the twenties, Le Corbusier had multiplied his contacts with furniture suppliers. He began researching the most sober and/or economical materials and basic forms in collaboration with Thonet. In 1927, he called on Charlotte Perriand, who had been noticed the same year at the Salon d'Automne, to carry out the interior design and overall furnishing of the La Roche villas in 1928.

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