Le Corbusier Season 

Corb at the blackboard  

 The Exhibition

LAST CHANCE TO SEE – closes 24 May 


“The show reminds us just how brilliantly seductive, and ultimately ungraspable, Corbusier could be” The Independent


Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture


RIBA Trust and Barbican present the first major Le Corbusier survey in London in more than 20 years. This timely reassessment presents a wealth of original architectural models, interior reconstructions, drawings, furniture, vintage photographs, films, tapestries, paintings, sculpture and books by Le Corbusier himself.

An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum in co-operation with the RIBA Trust and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Curators: Stanislaus von Moos, Arthur Rüegg, Mateo Kries 

Tickets: £8, £6 concessions

Visit www.barbican.org.uk/lecorbusier for full details, including visiting information and ticket booking

Exhibition overview

Featuring unique drawings, models, paintings, furniture, photographs and films, Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture takes an in depth look at the projects, interiors and art of Le Corbusier and reveals the man behind the myth.

The exhibition presents his most important architectural projects, furniture and interior designs, his paintings, textiles, drawings and books. It gives a comprehensive introduction to Le Corbusier's work and influences, but also reveals new views on Le Corbusier for people already familiar with his architecture.

Chaise longue


As indicated by the title 'The Art of Architecture', the exhibition focuses on Le Corbusier's concept of the synthesis of arts - fusing art, architecture, design, urban planning, film and other disciplines into a creative view of the contemporary environment that shaped the 20th century.

The exhibition includes:


  • original architectural models
  • furniture
  • vintage prints
  • drawings and paintings
  • specially built models
  • reconstructions of historical interiors

Previously unpublished material includes original film footage by Le Corbusier, the large-scale mural painting from his own office and reconstructions of architectural models built by Le Corbusier, such as 'Ville Contemporaine', the monumental model of his utopian masterplan for Paris.


The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections:

1. Contexts
Contexts is organised around the five cities that shaped Le Corbusier's life and work and his ideas about the built environment: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Paris, Algiers, New York and Chandigarh. These cities illustrate the historical and social context that shaped Le Corbusier's work, provide important cultural references and introduce some of his main works.

2. Privacy and Publicity
Privacy and Publicity consists of seven settings representing seminal houses or interiors using either large models or reconstructed rooms. Examples range from Le Corbusier's early works in La Chaux-de-Fonds, to the famous settings in the Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau and the Salon d'Automne, to his artistic concepts from the 1930s and 40s. Chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture shown in the context of these projects are clearly presented as part of a typological evolution from the 'primitive' to the 'standard' type. A selection of paintings, sculptures and tapestries gives further insights into Le Corbusier's artistic preoccupation with the human environment.

3. Built Art
Built Art is a bold dramatisation of Le Corbusier's large-scale projects mainly from his late period. It includes six to eight 'large projects' including the Palais des Nations, Geneva (1927), the Soviet Palace competition project (1933), Unité d'Habitation in Marseilles (1947-1952), the chapel at Ronchamp (1955), the Philips Pavilion in Brussels (1958) and the Capitol buildings at Chandigarh (1954-1958). Large-scale models, digital animations and documentary films help explain the ambition behind these projects, namely, to redefine public space and give meaning to the concept of the 'monumental' in 20th century architecture.