Le Corbusier

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For my essay I have chosen to compare Le Corbusier with an artist called Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters. When I originally chose to compare these artists I assumed they would be difficult to relate as I did not know much about either. After my research I found out the artists had a lot more in common than I first anticipated. Both Kurt Schwitter and Le Corbusier were born in the same year and both work with sculpture and paint. Instead of comparing all of Le Corbusier’s work with all of Kurt Schwitters I have chosen to choose a project of Le Corbusier, to compare with a selected amount of Kurt Schwitters work. The title of my essay is architecture or reinvention, which puts forward the argument that a lot of people referred to my selected piece of Kurt Schwitters work, the Merz Building, as a piece of architecture. Personally I feel the Merz Building by Kurt Schwitters was not a piece of architecture, but more of a reinvention of an original architectural space. This title referrers to Le Corbusier as although it is still architecture, his aim partly is to reinvent crowded areas on his travels around the globe. Also I gathered information from a book titled ‘The Architecture of Reinvention’ and extracted my title from this. Charles-Eduard Jeanneret Gris, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier was an architect in the early 19 hundreds. He was also an urban planner, sculptor, painter, writer and modern furniture designer. Le Corbusier was born in Switzerland in 1987 in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, and became a French citizen in his 30’s and became famous for being a pioneer of modern architecture. A lot of Le Corbusier’s work during the 1920-1930 periods started from poetic suggestion, being inspired by Cendrars after his 1924 trip to South America. In later years Le Corbusier steered away from poetic suggestion and he returned to doctrinaire urban principles. A lot of Le Corbusier’s work was produced because he was dedicated to providing a better way of living for residents of crowded areas. Le Corbusier constructed buildings in Europe, India, Russia and North and South America. He is perhaps best known for his innovations in urban planning and his solutions for low income housing. Le Corbusier believed that the stark, unornamented buildings he designed would contribute to clean, bright, healthy cities. "By law, all buildings should be white." – Le Corbusier

Kurt Schwitters was an artist who was born in Hanover in the same year as Le Corbusier and both artists worked during World War 2. Kurt Schwitter was a painter, who also worked in construction, surrealism, poetry, painting, sculpture, graphic design, and typography and installation art. The project of Kurt Schwitters I am choosing to compare to Le Corbusier is his project in his family home in Hannover. Alongside collage, Kurt Schwitters also dramatically altered a number of spaces throughout his life. Probably the most famous example of this is the Merzbau, the transformation of around 6 rooms in his family home in Hannover, which took him 14 year to complete. This piece was called the Merzbau (see appendix 1). The Merzbau in Hannover was a fantastically constructed interior; he did not build, but dramatically altered the interior of his family home. The walls and ceiling were covered with a diversity of three dimensional shapes and the room itself was crowded with materials and objects or "spoils and relics", as Kurt Schwitters himself put it. Kurt Schwitters himself described the Merzbau (Merz Building) as his life's work. The Merzbau was constructed a number of times, first in Hannover, then in Norway, and although Kurt Schwitter died before it was completed one in England. The Merzbau in Hannover was destroyed in an Allied air raid and the Norwegian version, fell a victim to a fire. Only the English version remains.

The starting point of the Merzbau project was Schwitters' studio in his house at No. 5 Waldhausenstrasse. However the...
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