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Le Corbusier: crap / not crap

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by teuchter, Mar 3, 2009.


Le Corbusier ...

  1. Visionary architectural genius

  2. Pompous self-aggrandising megalomaniac loon

  3. Never heard of him

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Well that is the case with old ones. the technology has improved a lot
  2. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    What's the new technology?
  3. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency


    That's the ghost of Corbu speaking. Everything is different now, so we need to build differently.

    At the planning level, things are different to how they've been perceived to be for the past fifty or so years. We are returning to a society where mobility of both people and goods is expensive and becoming more so.

    At the architectural level, a lot of it is fashion and always has been. Different people like different styles. I don't see why we can't build to suit a variety of tastes while sticking to broad planning objectives around relatively dense, mixed-use settlements that reduce transport dependency.
  4. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze Hawking's Angry Eyebrow

    That's sus-fucking-stainable housing!
  5. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If his job is to mend the ones that fail, then obviously he is going to have a distorted view. Presumably he spends most of his time repairing roofs that were done 10 or 20 or more years ago, when the technology was a bit ropey.

    Felt roofing (if that is literally what he does) is now quite an old-fashioned way of waterproofing roofs. Modern membrane-type systems are much more reliable; they are much less prone to blistering and splitting if exposed to the sun for example. Generally they will come with a twenty-year guarantee if properly specified.
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Nothing special really. Just better materials, better design, quality control by using all-in-one roof design and build companies.
  7. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Well, I can't speak for what he actually uses, because I don't know, but he says that they never last, and that his answer to the question "what can I do to stop this from keeping on happening?" is: get a pitched roof.
  8. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Can't we? As a country, we're much richer than 200 years ago.

    There's a lot of false economy about the horribly unambitious building that goes on at the moment – we're making houses that almost certainly won't be around in 100 years' time. We're already knocking down and rebuilding stuff that was only put up in the last 50 years, and we're making the same mistakes again with what we're putting up.

    I would say that it is closer to the truth to say that the current economic system makes it unprofitable to build the same thing now – more 'won't do' rather than 'can't do'.
  9. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Yes, the town planning ideas promoted by Corbusier have proven to have been misguided. I have already said this.
  10. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    Of course we can afford to build decent housing! :) Spend money on houing not arms for a start :mad:
  11. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    This is the point, isn't it? Good concrete buildings are expensive, and the terrible examples of social housing built out of concrete were done on the cheap.
  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I'm not saying we can't build something equally as good. Just that we can't build a facsimile.

    In more detail... this thread and particularly these two posts:


  13. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    They have been saing "modern flat roofing is better" as long as I've ever had anything to do with buildings! :mad:

    Yes & we have just ripped out & entirely replaced at vast cost, the super-expensive, environmentally efficent, high-tech, membrane & grass flat roof that planners foisted on us for one of our new buildings about five years back, so they could look good environmentally & so the local laird could retain an uninterupted view of his estuarine estate policies. :mad:

    Then there was the much-vaunted "Upside Down" roofs on our labs that have been the laughing-stock of our planning & building community for many years now. Many contractors have got rich on those bloody things over the years.

    I may like flat roofed designs but I am fully aware of the numerous disadvantages.

    Don't even start me on our egyptian-life & death motif inspired neo-brualist concrete collumns & structural buildng motifs - Several of them are held-on by the builder's equivalent of string & chewing gum, whilst the amount of spalling on that concrete, esp around the reinforcing rods gave me many sleepless nights when I was charged with general responsability for the building fabric when my last boss was off long-term sick - with stress! :eek: :mad:

    Saying that, there are very few architects, modern or otherwise whose work has literally moved me to tears in the way that a better Corbusier building in its element can. Truly remarkable work. :)
  14. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

  15. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    What went wrong with it and at whose expense? Was it not covered by a warranty?
  16. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    The exotic & specialised strain of grass specified by the architects/engineers as the only thing died after a good cold blast off the North Sea. Nothing would get it to take again despite several attempts at reeseeding. It then started growing bloody bushes & a good crop of whatever the farmer was planting in the next field.

    The roots then started working their way through the membrane & into all the strangest places, so it started pissing through constantly - Which is great when you are trying to maintain near clean room status & have hugely expensive & unique electronics packages & camera/optical systems lying open underneath.

    There was hell to pay over maintainence as nobody wanted ro risk climbing up work on it (only grows to 3 inches, my arse!) and the union dug its heels-in. My suggestion of roping a couple of goats up there did not go down well!

    The builder/warranty issues were dealt with by our estates people but I have a feeling they could have done that better.

    Anyway, its not my problem anymore & I truly pity the guy who now has to deal with it all.

    We now have cammo aluminum, curved - ick!
  17. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Ok, fair dos. I misunderstood.

    And nor should we want to build a facsimile, imo. Horrible, regressive Charles Windsor view of the world.
  18. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    most of those 'green' roofs are a sham :mad:
  19. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Exactly - Guess where I'm usually standing! :mad: :oops:
  20. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    In what way?
  21. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    1. They're as thin as possible, which means that only scrawny bollocks will grow on them
    2. That scrawny bollocks often dies and what you're left with is essentially 'brownfield' and it just gets colonised by weeds

    If you want a truly 'green' roof, then you have to go the full distance - a proper depth of soil, a wide range of plants, and of course the large increase in structure to support it all.
  22. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Ours had a fair depth of soil and some form of sealed insulation as well as membranes - Which certainly contribured to its fairly impressive environmental credentials.

    However, once the roots got at it , it became a bloody great sponge, which added greatly to the leakage problems & made it next to impossible to determine where the water was getting in. Then nicely fertilised by all the seagull shite, it was colonised by a variety of mould & fungi. Which smelled nice!
  23. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    It's the difference between a sedum roof and a full-on green roof.

    I'm also a bit sceptical of sedum roofs for the reasons you mention.
  24. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Yep. We've put one on a project that's just finishing on site right now (by client request) and when I look at it in photos, my first reaction is "that looks like industrial scrubland. therefore I expect it to be colonised by scrub"

    The project does have solar heating and water reclamation though, so it's not all bad :)
  25. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    This guy has some shots of that Corbusier abbey& Firminy - the French new town that features many late period buildings, some still incomplete IIRC:

  26. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter


    That's the church that was built just a couple of years ago, based on what drawings still existed.

    Some have questioned whether it's really right to do that - given that any building's design changes somewhat during the construction period and this was particularly the case with Corbusier. In other words, if it had been built while he was still alive, he might have tweaked it a bit and ended up with something a bit different. Still looks good though; I'd like to visit it some time.

    There is a nice big model of it in the Barbican exhibition.
  27. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    That seems silly to me. Of course it would have looked different if he'd been alive to tweak it. But he's dead, so he can't. That's no reason not to build something based on an idea of his that you think is good.
  28. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I guess it falls into the same category as arguments about re-mastering albums posthomously.
  29. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Err - IIRC the church was contemporary with Corbusier's other work in Firminy. Which of course as one of his last projects, did end-up as a mainly posthumous scheme.

    The concrete shell was poured & largely complete to the roof but sat derelict for many years due to some dispute - I remember various campaigns/calls from architectural groups to finish it from the early 80s onward.

    ETA - Here we go. The foundation stone was laid in 1970 and construction continued in a stop-start manner after that. Indeed, the entire project seems to have been marred by partners blowing hot & cold, then pulling out & sometimes reinvolving themselves plus various financial problems & disputes. Even Corbusier himself seems to have quit at one point.

    Chronology here:


    The rest looks interesting too. :)


    Also interesting to see that it has not been finished as a church internally nor consecrated - The French State being forbidden to fund religious projects. It is now a venue with a Corbusier museum in the offices beneath.
  30. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    That's interesting. I'd like to visit that place some time.

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