The Totalitarianism of Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier's influence as an architect has spanned generations. Theodore Dalrymple argues he is more appropriately classified as a totalitarian.
November 23, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"At the exhibition, I fell to talking with two elegantly coiffed ladies of the kind who spend their afternoons in exhibitions. 'Marvelous, don't you think?' one said to me, to which I replied: 'Monstrous.' Both opened their eyes wide, as if I had denied Allah's existence in Mecca. If most architects revered Le Corbusier, who were we laymen, the mere human backdrop to his buildings, who know nothing of the problems of building construction, to criticize him? Warming to my theme, I spoke of the horrors of Le Corbusier's favorite material, reinforced concrete, which does not age gracefully but instead crumbles, stains, and decays. A single one of his buildings, or one inspired by him, could ruin the harmony of an entire townscape, I insisted. A Corbusian building is incompatible with anything except itself."

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Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 in City Journal
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