Friday. Again. Time flies. Madame had chef classes. I wanted to see the Le Corbusier house, la Roche again. My first visit a few years ago was impressive. My interest in architecture has since deepened so I went to see this iconic building again.
Second time around was much easier to find. This tum the exterior impressed me as well. I could see the incredible advance his vision meant for architecture. There are some points that stand out immediately. The structure is lifted of the ground to make more space. One can move under the building, even here with a small awkward plot. It increases garden space and give an open feeling of space.
With pillars carrying the weight of the building he could free walls for what he called ribbons of light, strips of windows running the whole length of a wall. This makes interior spaces light and airy. He uses lots if double volume space as well that increases the feeling of free space. Space flows from one living area into another. Since they are not all on the same level there is still privacy everywhere.
He built the house for an art collector so wall spaces are ideal for that purpose.
Look at this photo of a contemporary car to put his progressive thinking in perspective.
My next stop was museum Mamortane. It is dedicated to the art of Manet but houses an eclectic collection. The Monets impressed me, especially the later works where he worked more freely. The paintings are symphonies of color and brush marks on canvas. Almost abstract.
Part of the building is dedicated to an exhibition of gothic illuminated manuscripts. Really beautifully crafted art miracles.
I missed an incredible chance tonight. If you go to the Theatre Champs Elysees an hour before a show you can get a seat with limited view or no view of the stage for 5 euro. Tonight was a production of LA Clemenza due Tito by Mozart. I do not know the music and thought that it might not be worth while if it is little known music. I watched the whole video on You Tube. The story is absurd like most operas, but the music is beautiful. It was written with roles for castrati,now sung by sopranos. I posted a video. Can you see why it is performed seldom?
I am fascinated by the idea of the renaissance man. The kind of person who can do anything. Michaelangelo, who started of as a painter but branched into architecture, sculpture, poetry and architecture. Leonardo Da Vinci, the painter of the worlds most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was sought after as a war strategist, designer of things ahead of his time like parachutes, diving boats and explosive devices, to name but a few.
In our time with major technological advances on every front it is difficult to be the best in your own field, let alone other fields of expertise. It is hart warming to still find such people. In architects I found some modern renaissance men. Especially in the field of furniture design.
Chairs is one of the most essential of household and interior decorating furniture. The end of the nineteenth century saw a big change in how people saw their surroundings. Changes in social structure caused people to discover their own worth and allowed people of all social levels to surround themselves with beautiful things. The industrial revolution with mass production made costs of many products come down. New technology made designs possible that were previously not even draemt of. All this caused an explosion of design in chairs.
The first development in chair design came from the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris. Morris was a designer, artist, poet and novelist. His life motto was that one should surround yourself with objects that is both useful and beautiful. The arts and Crafts movement emphasized the use of handcraft and material of high quality.
I am a fan of modern Architecture. Well, lets say most of the well designed buildings. One of the greatest architects of the twentieth century must be Charles-Edouart Jeanneret-Gris, or better known as le Corbusier.
Le Corbusier summed up his approach architecture in five points.
1. Lift the whole structure of the ground. He used pilotis or reinforced concrete stilts to do this. Because the stilts carried the weight of the building it allowed the next two points
2. A facade free of support elements.
3. No interior support walls witch allows for open plan spaces.
4. Ribben windows that span the length of the building that allows in lots of light and uninterrupted garden views.
5. Roof space used as garden and outdoor entertainment area.
On a recent visit to Paris I could not wait to visit the Le Corbusier Foundation that is housed in the Maison la Roche, built to house the art collectors collection of modern paintings. The site of the building is a challenge to any architect, but the ingenious rethinking of use of space make this house something special
One enters the house into a foyer that extends upward over three floors. With stairs and passages one is linked to the rest of the house.