Drawing experience : Le Corbusier's spiral museum projects

Moulis, Antony. (2002). Drawing experience : Le Corbusier's spiral museum projects PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

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Author Moulis, Antony.
Thesis Title Drawing experience : Le Corbusier's spiral museum projects
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr John Macarthur
Professor Michael Keniger
Total pages 278
Language eng
Subjects 12 Built Environment and Design
680200 Design
310100 Architecture and Urban Environment
Formatted abstract

Le Corbusier's spiral museum projects have received only limited critical appraisal in architectural scholarship. The commentaries that do exist emphasise the symbolism of the spiral as the central consideration of Le Corbusier's use of the form. This thesis presents a new way of understanding the spiral museum projects and re-appraises their legacy for the history and theory of architecture. The research is founded on a visual survey of architectural drawings from the published 32-volume Le Corbusier Archive, the 8- volume Oeuvre Complete, the 4-volume Le Corbusier Sketchbooks and from materials held at the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris. The research shows how the spiral plan form is used by Le Corbusier to conceptualise and orchestrate architectural experience. Understanding this effect of the spiral plan form is revealing for the following reasons. Firstly, it plays out Le Corbusier's thinking about the nature of architectural experience (the concept of the architectural promenade) by way of architectural drawing. Secondly, it reveals a particular kind of conceptualisation of the plan within architectural practice which has its own historicity. The thesis demonstrates the remarkable persistence of a planimetric technique within architectural practice between the 19th and 20th centuries and also offers a general insight into aspects of architectural design process by illustrating a set of historically based relations between concepts, graphic marks, and orthographic practice in architectural design. The significance of the thesis findings is for an understanding of planimetric technique under modernism for the reason that the operation of technique is routinely played down in accounts of Le Corbusier's work, and in the history of architectural modernism more generally.

Keyword Le Corbusier, 1887-1965 -- Criticism and interpretation.

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