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The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art is located in the Harvard University in Cambridge. It is interesting as this is the only building that was actually designed by Le Corbusier in the USA. This building has a compact and roughly cylindrical mass that is bisected by an S-shaped ramp on the third floor. It is the home to the visual art of Harvard, and it has a large open studio where the students can work as well as exhibit their art. Le Corbusier had designed this building with the collaboration of Guillermo Jullian de la Fuente, a Chilean architect in the 35 rue de Sevres of Le Corbusier. This building was completed in 1962 and became the palace of showcasing the fusion of painting, photography, sculpture and film with architecture. This particular Centre in the New England region holds the largest collection of 35 mm films where the independent, silent and international films hold the screening. As mentioned before, it is the one and only building designed by Le Corbusier in the United States has too many things to admire. The Auditorium section in the final design was reconciled with having a pinwheel effect so that the two halves of the roughly cylindrical mass can meet at the vertical core housing an elevator (See figure 2).
In the global context, the importance of The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art is critical as this is the place where all types of art and art forms get infused. This particular place appears to be an inverted version of Vila Savoye. This building embodies five point of architecture of Le Corbusier from the exterior of the Carpenter Centre. These five points are the reflection of his own technique which he referred to be the ‘five points of a new architecture’. These five points are Pilotis that is the replacement of the supporting walls by a grid of reinforced concrete columns bearing the complete structural load of the building. Politis is the basis of the new aesthetic. The second point includes the free designing of the ground plan which relates to the absence of supporting walls. This means that the house will be unrestrained in its internal use. The third point is the frees design of the façade to separate the exterior of the building from its structural function and to set the façade free from the structural constraints. The fourth point of this design includes the horizontal window that cuts the façade along its entire length as well as lights the rooms equally. Finally, the roof garden or the fifth façade on the roof to serve a domestic purpose in one hand and provide essential protection to the roof made of concrete.
In the previous designs of the Carpenter Centre For Visual Art had created the problem of disruption in the central mass which later solved by bringing the pinwheel effect so that the two halves of the design are joined at the vertical core that may house an elevator. Le Corbusier has highlighted an architectural promenade which runs through the center of this particular building and connects the interior galleries, studios and the screening rooms to public spaces and the campus within the building. The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art has a centralized ramp having a slow ascent through the building levels. The building has a large and open floor plate that is supported by the iconic pilotis mentioned before allowing the open studio environments. It has a degree of revealing the visitors to peer into the interior spaces through the separation of the ramps and the floor plates (see figure 3). The flexible configuration of this building showcases the works of the students. The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art has big horizontal openings as well as the roof garden, the fifth pillar of Le Corbusier’s design gives scope for the external connection.
The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art is located Quincy and Prescott Streets and surrounded by the buildings of the Georgian style. This building stands out prominently in the local context. From different angle, the building has different presentation. For instance, as seen in the figure 4. the building from the Prescott Street it looks like the curved studio space, from the brise-soleil, it is placed perpendicular to the direction of the central portion of the ramp and make the narrow ends visible from the street. From the Quincy street, the building reveals its ondulatoires which interferes with the curve of the building less than the view of brise-soleil do on its opposite side (see appendix 1). On the ramp from the Quincy street before entering the building, the grids and rectangles and square of the windows, studio spaces and brise-soleils can be seen.
The concept of The Carpenter Centre For Visual Art of Le Corbusier was actually inspired by the architectural plastic themes from the year 1945 and started some initial investigations such as domino. This building can be contrasted with the Millowners Association Building in India which too was formed with blocks of different height in the open plane, wrapped in marquee as well as accessible through a ramp sculpture. In case of The Carpenter Centre, Le Corbusier has used the central nucleus as a cubical volume which ends in the curved workshops at every end of the diagonals. This set is crossed by the S shaped ramp breaking with the orthogonal geometry of its neo-Georgian environment. Therefore, it can be concluded that each of the steps that the architect has used in the design process is the method of his testing new ideas as well as to purify the older. This is the reason why the building attracts the architect and designers around the world till today.
Goldschmidt, Gabriela. "Manual Sketching: Why Is It Still Relevant?." In The Active Image, pp. 77-97. Springer, Cham, 2017.
Leatherbarrow, David. "Introduction: The Project and Projects of Modern Architecture." Companion to the History of Architecture (2017): 1-7.
Lorenz, Wolfgang E. "Complexity across scales in the work of Le Corbusier Using box-counting as a method for analysing facades." CAADence in Architecture (2016).
Shah, Mahnaz. Le Corbusier's Venice hospital project: an investigation into its structural formulation. Routledge, 2017.
Vinson, Shaelyn J. "Exploring the Contemporary Use and Understanding of Precedent in Architectural Design via a Comparative Analysis of Brunelleschi and Le Corbusier." (2016).
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