Futagawa, Yukio [Editor / Photographer]: LE CORBUSIER: VILLA SAVOYE, POISSY FRANCE 1929-31. Tokyo: A. D. A . Edita Residential Masterpieces 05, 2009.

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Residential Masterpieces 05

Yukio Futagawa [Editor and Photographer]

Kengo Kuma [text] Yukio Futagawa [Editor and Photographer]: LE CORBUSIER: VILLA SAVOYE, POISSY FRANCE 1929-31. Tokyo: A. D. A . Edita, 2009. First edition [Residential Masterpieces 05]. Parallel text in English and Japanese. Folio. Photo illustrated French folded wrappers. 80 pp.  Fully illustrated with color and black and white plates. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print. A nearly fine copy.

10.25 x 14.25 perfect-bound softcover magazine with 80 pages of full-page color and black and white plates, shot specifically for GA by Yukio Futagawa. Insightful text by Kuma and excellent photography by Futagawa make this an extraordinarily nice tribute to one of the iconic residences of the 20th century.

The Villa Savoye remains Le Corbusier’s seminal work. Situated at Poissy, outside of Paris, it is one of the most recognizable architectural presentations of the International Style, as well as a modern take on a French country house that celebrated and reacted to the new machine age.

Yukio Futagawa's photography clearly illustrates Corbu's Five Points -- his tenets of a new aesthetic of architecture constructed in reinforced concrete:

  • The pilotis, or ground-level supporting columns, elevate the building from the damp earth allowing the garden to flow beneath.
  • A flat roof terrace reclaims the area of the building site for domestic purposes, including a garden area.
  • The free plan, made possible by the elimination of load-bearing walls, consists of partitions placed where they are needed without regard for those on adjoining levels.
  • Horizontal windows provide even illumination and ventilation.
  • The freely-designed facade, unconstrained by load-bearing considerations, consists of a thin skin of wall and windows.

One of the most imaginative and influential architects of the twentieth century, Le Corbusier devoted a lifetime to building and planning, from private houses and churches to apartment blocks and entire cities.  Although they aroused a storm of opposition ats the time, his most famous buildings have largely determined the course of modern architecture in the past few decades.  Two of them, the now legendary Villa Savoye and the pilgramage church of Ronchamp, have been declared historic monuments by the French government.  They and many other works, in many countries, are shaping the architectural future.  Le Corbusier's ideas, his books, his vision of the Radiant City, continues to be as much discussed today as when he first put them into circulation.

Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, Le Corbusier (1887–1965) adopted his famous pseudonym after publishing his ideas in the review L’Esprit Nouveau in 1920. The few buildings he was able to design during the 1920s, when he also spent much of his time painting and writing, brought him to the forefront of modern architecture, though it wasn’t until after World War II that his epoch-making buildings were constructed, such as the Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles and the Church of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp.