Le Corbusier was born in Switzerland on 6th October 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. His given name was Charles Edouard Jeanneret. La Chaux-de-Fonds is a relatively small town with an artistic flare and a valued place for craftsmanship due to its economic and cultural ties. Le Corbusier grew up in a middle class family. His father was in the watch business and his mother was a pianist and music teacher. One of Le Corbusier’s major inspirations was his mother who conveyed to her children the values of discipline. Le Corbusier would often quote his mother in later life, “Whatever you set out to do, be sure that you actually do it.”
Le Corbusier was exposed to design from his childhood. He would often follow his father in trekking and mountain climbing and was always encouraged to look hard at nature. He had conventional education till the age of fourteen after which he was enrolled in ‘Ecole d’ Art’, a program that led to an apprenticeship in watch engraving. By 1905, it was clear that Corbusier’s eyesight was too fragile for watch engraving, thus he switched to drafting under the same instructor. His teacher and family were determined to make him an architect and after some persuasion, Le Corbusier agreed.
Between 1905 and 1907, while still a student, Le Corbusier worked on some of his very first designs; music rooms for the Union Chretienne de Jeunes Gens and Matthey-Doret and then redecorating the interior of a chapel at nearby Fontainemelon.
Le Corbusier's architectural education:
1908: Vienna with Joseph Hoffmann
1908-1909: Paris with Auguste Perret
1910-1911: Berlin with Peter Behrens
1911: Travelled to Balkans, Greece, Asia minor and italy. Inspired majorly by the Acropolis in Athens, sculpture of the 5th century B.C. by Phidias on the Parthenon, St. Peter’s in Rome by Michelangelo
Posted by: Nadia Shahed