Lecturer: Prof Antonio Amado, Universidade da Coruña, Spain
Location: UP-FEIT (Pécs, Boszorkány Str. 2.); A-019
Date: 18:00; 26th March, 2018
the book Voiture Minimum. Le Corbusier
and the Automobile) We can see three levels or scales in the
relationship between the architect Le Corbusier and the automobile. In town
planning, he could not conceive future and ideal cities without the car to
connect the different parts of the cities, In architecture, the automobile was
a clear reference for designing perfect houses. In design, he tried to create
the most functional, popular and perfect car for all the people.
In 1936, Le Corbusier took part in a
contest called by the Societé de Ingenieurs of l’Automobile (SIA) of
Paris with the design of a small automobile called Voiture Minimum. According
to what he assured, he had made it eight years before. This project was
continuously vindicated by its author as original and predecessor of other
models such as the well-known Volkswagen, a car that became the most popular
one in the world, with 23 million units manufactured.
In spite of the fact that the Voiture
Minimum was never mass-produced, it has been admired and deified by a great
majority of art historians, industrial designers, architecture critics,
architects, etc., and they have considered this little design of the architect
a real precedent which engineers and automobiles manufacturers have based (or
directly copied) their ideas on.
On researching into the documentation
and correspondence found in the archives, it has been possible to reconstruct
the true history of this project and to state the effort and vain attempts made
by Le Corbusier to get its patent. Also, it could be the opportunity of a
spectacular business in addition to a great professional recognition.
The book on which the lecture is based
deepens on these subjects, contributing to demonstrate, with rigorous analyses,
that Le Corbusier might have distorted the design dates of this automobile in
order to attribute himself a merit that did not correspond to him at all. His
proposal —presented out of date— was made when he already knew the designs previously
presented to the contest by other contestants.
The Foundation Le Corbusier has always
considered 1928 as the original date, based on a sketch that appears on the
back of a postal letter addressed to the architect, with a handwritten
annotation in which the architect reaffirms his authorship. Nevertheless, at
the end of 2007, the author of the book, tracking the origin of the mysterious
envelope and after a series of gradual “detective work” investigations located
the sender of this letter, a septuagenarian Swiss man who had sent it in...
1960. It demonstrates that the sketch, supposedly drawn by Le Corbusier, does
not correspond —far from it— to the pretended date, but to 32 years later...