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#64: A Machine for Living In

May 6, 2009

I’m a novice when it comes to “modern” (growing vintage by the moment) architecture and art movements, but ever the student I love to learn about them. I’m a sponge, be my teacher.

I find it endlessly inspiring to read about individuals who in their success had no desire to be like anyone or anything that came before them. They light sparks in us and remind us to do more and start being who we want to become.

Architects as artists fascinate me. They have the ability to completely change the visual landscape of a place, even if with a small oeuvre to show for their labors, and their work in cities is seen by more eyes than any one gallery or museum could lend. I’ve come under the spell of “starchitect” Le Corbusier, fronteirsman of Modern and International style, but more so the man himself than the legacy. Le Corbusier proselytized that the world’s cities “must start again from zero”. I’m a dogmatic preservationist with an appreciation for blending the old with the new, but still, I can get deep with his teachings: Be pure, think big.


Plus, now that I’ve unearthed the world’s most perfect double breasted Glenn Plaid jacket (vintage de la Renta! How did I forget about this?) from the bowels of my closet, I’m determined to get a pair of owl eye spectacles and go all Le Corbusier on you before the temperature breaks 70. (Yes, prescription lenses. Don’t question it.)



Le Corbusier at work:

Ronchamp, France

Ronchamp, France – back, or is it front?

Villa Savoye, France

Chandigarh, India

The man built himself a holiday home, called Cabanon, in the South of France in the early 50’s. I’d like to give minimalism a go in a place like this. In 2006 a replica was created for exhibition in London:


original exterior

original exterior

Less is more, no?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2009 10:41 am

    A little passé, I think. Especially that one in India. Horrendous!

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      May 8, 2009 10:44 am

      Agreed, and a little out of place here on ISV, but I didn’t just want to be like WOAH, AWESOME GLASSES AND JACKET cOoOoOoL!! you know? And I do truly appreciate the man and the myth.

  2. JKL permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:35 am

    i’ve been spending alot of time here lately:
    a friend inadvertently put me onto modular homes and now i can’t stop believing that its the best way to go.
    of course, i really hate how these places are ikea’d out, but its the building itself im talking about here.

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      May 8, 2009 11:49 am

      Interesting. The Glidehouse on that site features a Le Corbusier designer lounge chair. Looks so ergonomically correct I could die of good posture. Leave the memory foam at home, folks. I’d like to go for a “no stuff” vibe but fear it’s not in the stars. Will live vicariously through you, through the ages.

  3. Zolo permalink
    May 23, 2009 8:38 pm

    I loathe these dogmatic architects. Who the hell wants to live in a machine? Why should our buildings mirror the inhumanity and tendency to genocide of the modern age? Who wants an office in a monument to the probability of nuclear war? Buildings like this are a monument to the architect’s ego.
    I’d much rather live in a yurt or a tipi.

  4. tylerbenz permalink
    May 28, 2009 11:43 pm

    Cabanon is amazing, as are his eyeglasses.

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