Le Corbusier, the great Swiss-French Modern architect, in his book Vers Une Architecture (Towards An Architecture), proposed 5 points for a new architecture. His 5 points were:
- pilotis – lifting the building up off the ground on columns
- free facade – separating the exterior walls of the building from the structure of the building
- open floor plan – an open plan, without walls between the major rooms
- ribbon windows – windows that stretched the full width of the facade opening up the building to light and views
- roof garden – providing private exterior space on the roof
These points established the working ideas that provided the foundation for his designs for much of his career. They are famously illustrated in his first master work, the Villa Savoye, built outside of Paris.
Le Corbusier’s 5 points served him well. They are not so useful for an architect whose practice is based mostly on modifying existing construction: remodeling, additions, fitting out shells with new interiors. My interests in architecture are also different.
I want to bring meaning to architecture. While Le Corbusier did bring meaning to architecture, based on exploiting the images of the, for him, new machine age, I chose to base my language of architecture on human experience and lives, materials and construction.
Years ago, I established my own 5 Points of Architecture. My 5 points are:
habitation – architecture is for people, the joyous and commodious accommodation of human life
construction – exploit the expressive potential of construction
change – accommodate change; build for change
autonomy – harness the inherent complexities to enliven and enrich buildings by assembling autonomous parts
light – build to exploit light
In the next 5 posts, I will discuss and illustrate each of my 5 points of architecture in more depth. I strive to apply my 5 points to every project I undertake.