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Frank Lloyd Wright and the Young Le Corbusier

Paul Venable Turner
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Vol. 42, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 350-359
DOI: 10.2307/989921
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/989921
Page Count: 10
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Frank Lloyd Wright and the Young Le Corbusier
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Abstract

Frank Lloyd Wright's influence on European architecture after 1910, especially in Germany and Holland, is well documented. Little attention, however, has been given to Wright's possible influence on Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret). This article argues that Wright had a major effect on Jeanneret's development in the 1910s, contributing to several of the basic principles of his mature work. A previously unpublished letter by Le Corbusier of 1925 is the main document that sheds light on this question. The paper examines Jeanneret's knowledge of the early publications of Wright's work, and compares selected designs of the 1910s with Wright's published work. Among the formal characteristics that appear first in Jeanneret's designs in a Wrightian context are the continuous band of windows extending the full length of a façade and often even around the corners, the dynamic relationship of interior spaces of differing heights, and the plastic manipulation of architectural form by the removal of "slices" from a building's mass in special ways. These traits lead directly to some of the most distinctive features of Le Corbusier's work of the 1920s, including elements of his "Five Points" of architecture.

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