Occupy Le Corbusier

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

The natural environment has its champions in American politics, but the built environment, where most of us live and work, does not:

Traditional architecture — derived ultimately from the columns, pediments, arches, and other features of ancient Greece and Rome — evolved by trial and error, teaching best practices to builders and architects generation by generation. The centuries forged a classical language that fostered architecture sensitive to the public’s desire for “congenial facades.” But in the mid-20th century, new ideas took over, and the public has ever since been subjected to endless experimentation and vanity projects.

In most cities and towns, the way new buildings look is not influenced by public taste, which is generally traditional. Instead, it is the purview of municipal and institutional facilities committees, design-review panels, the developers who hire architects who cater to the tastes of officialdom, and the local circle of professionals, academics, and journalists who may be relied upon to cluck at any deviation from the elite fashion in the design of new buildings.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    It goes unremarked that all (as in all) of the protagonists of the new architecture were either fascists (like Corbusier and Johnson) or Nazis. Modern architects are both incompetent and corrupt as well as totalitarian socialists.

  2. Try Christopher Alexander’s Nature of Order. Or even his earlier works in the 70s: The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language. He’s definitely coming out of a Berkeley hippie milieu, but he ends up pretty solid. Certainly would be useful for conservatives, if they ever stopped reading crap meant solely to confirm their biases. Alexander is the antidote to Corbusier and the like.

  3. Grurray says:

    Personally, I wouldn’t shed a tear if all their concrete was ground to dust, but Le Corbusier disciples have been staging a counterattack these past few years. They’re pushing to re-brand Brutalism as the Heroic Period or somesuch neo-nonsense.

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