Villa Shodan by Le Corbusier
'The man who believed that a house was a machine for living in – and set about making that work.' (Gallagher, D: 2001)
Le Corbusier was a Swiss Architect (although later changed his nationality to French) born in 1887. His most mentionable buildings are, L'Esprit Nouveau Pavilion, Villa Savoye, Unité d'Habitation all of which were designed and built in France.
'Le Corbusier is without doubt the most influential, most admired, and most maligned architect of the twentieth century. Through his writing and his buildings, he is the main player in the Modernist story, his visions of homes and cities as innovative as they are influential. Many of his ideas on urban living became the blueprint for post-war reconstruction, and the many failures of his would-be imitators led to Le Corbusier being blamed for the problems of western cities in the 1960s and 1970s.' (Gallagher, D: 2001)
Le Corbusier was very interested in the capabilities of reinforced concrete. He designed the dom-ino house which consisted of reinforced concrete pillars that held up each floor. The idea was a new technique for 1908 which meant people were able to have large open facades because the outer walls weren't structural. The inner walls could be placed anywhere on the floor, they didn't use any structural value on the floor, for example the floor, pillars and stairs are the only structural elements of the build making everything else light, and easy to modify.
He designed his own five points of architecture which are shown below:
(1) Pilotis, which are reinforced concrete pillars.
(2) The open plan, the pilotis create an open environment.
(3) The free facade, the outside walls aren't structural which enables long ribbon windows.
(4) Ramps, different way to circulate in the building.
(5) The roof garden, which replaces the houses footprint.
Le Corbusier designed an easily assembled, offsite, pre-fabricated structure. This made it easily modifiable for any design of building; it was made out of reinforced concrete.
Villa Shodan, Ahmedabad, India, 1951
The Villa Shodan was built from 1951 to 1956 in Kharawala Road, Ahmedabad, India. Le Corbusier designed the house for Surottam Hutheesing as a place to have receptions and events. Hutheesing sold Le Corbusier's plans to his colleague Shyamubhai Shodan who built it on another site for himself and his family of four. This house incorporates Le Corbusier's five points of architecture, for instance the ramp leading to the upper floors which mirrors that of his earlier work 'Villa Savoye'. He also manipulated the light entering the building with different size and colours of windows much alike in his design of Church of Notre-Dame-du-Haut which was built around the same time (1954).
The building is made out of reinforced concrete, it was left in its raw state showing the texture of the wood used in the frame work that surrounds the concrete whilst it was poured, and they were painted in vibrant colours to make the texture stand out. The only smooth surfaces are under the roof parasol and the ceilings. The building as it was situated in a hot climate needed to be well ventilated so there are a lot of large openings to let wind through the building to help cool it down. There are two holes in the roof which also let heat out, and indirect sunlight in.
Le Corbusier at the barbican. Available: http://www.barbican.org.uk/lecorbusier. Last accessed 21/04/2013.
Villa Shodhan. Available: http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/corbuweb/morpheus.aspx?sysId=13&IrisObjectId=5507&sysLanguage=en-en&itemPos=75&itemSort=en-en_sort_string1%20&itemCount=78&sysParentName=&sysParentId=64. Last accessed 21/04/2013.