Tag Archives: le corbusier

A Work Of Art: Le Corbusier’s Gesamtkunsthaus

Le Corbusier designed the Gesamtkunsthaus (A Work Of Art) as small home for the client, Heidi Weber, an art collector, and as a space to exhibit his own artwork pieces. The house is set by Lake Zurich and was completed in 1967.

The interior is a mix of steel posts and balustrades, timber panelling, concrete stairs and ramps, slate and rubber floors, blended with earthy hues on the walls.

The interior is formed by a series of pre-fabricated steel cubes, the steel window sill noticeably forming the kitchen worktop in the eating area and the desk top in the study area. On the outside the cubes are faced with large glass and enamel panels in popping primary colours, with the lush green surroundings and icy blue lake in the near distance.

The sun reflecting on the still pond next to the building creates a rippled light effect on the grated ceilings.

The main room is almost 7 metres high with enormous windows. The walls are timber panelled and the earthy colours add warmth to the interior which must help to make it feel homely in the winter.

Le Corbusier’s signature concrete staircase takes centre stage in the main room and its solid feel is further enhanced by the slim black balustrades whose lines echo the lines of his exhibited artwork.

A large steel canopy roof designed in topsy-turvy fashion shades the large organic -shaped roof terrace , ramps and doors. It provides a cool, peaceful retreat.

Gesamtkunsthaus which is now a museum, is a beautiful example of how landscape and man-made elements can combine. Even with its primary colours the building somehow fades and recedes into the surrounding trees.

A date with the Barbican

If I were to tell a tourist in London to visit one place, it would be without doubt the Barbican Centre. I love this place. The Barbican complex has ideals that a student of architecture would only dream of, after years of studying Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright who designed and tried to introduce new ways of living, this place is the reality of such a dream. The collection of rough concrete buildings connects through long passageways, occasionally with views cut out to show glimpses of the sky, water or other blocks around the centre. The complex has been softened by introducing circular shaped blocks, detailed timber shutters, large white arched windows, hanging green foliage and bright bunches of flowers that the residents have planted at the fringes of their terraces. As a whole the buildings and facilities are equivalent to a small city within the big city. It can have a strange feeling as given it’s very central location, it is still so quiet that some people find it eery. My counterpart had never been to such a place before and it was interesting to see his reaction, but the dominant feeling is that you don’t feel that you’re in London at all. We sat there quite relaxed watching a photo shooting that was happening in front of us. The high level of the Barbican apartments command a magnificent view across London as well as across the central lake and water gardens. It all has an incredible theatrical atmosphere as everyone can watch everyone watching them! If you haven’t manage to get there yet I can highly recommend it.

The Green Room