Colomina Discussion

Posted: April 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Repost from 2013:


Hey, I really enjoyed our discussion of Loos and Corbusier, as analyzed by Beatriz Colomina (here, she speaks on male, female, and post-gender architecture). I thought student participation was curious, intelligent and engaged. Thanks for that. It help me do a better job and enjoy myself all the while. Though things will never be perfect, that exactly what we should want an Honors Intellectual Traditions class to look like. Let’s just discuss the remaining Colomina articles on Monday. I hope to see many of you at the UMFA lecture at noon on Friday, the last of our three mandatory group lectures, and the one most closely related to our assigned reading materials. Aside from that, have a great weekend!


Any comparison between Loos and Le Corbusier is fascinating. In the work of both architects there is creative tension between two specific attitudes. On the one hand, their work is concerned with the autonomy of architectural means. On the other, each architect tries, in his own way, to place his work in a context. These contexts frequently overlap. For Loos, the frame of reference is traditional craftsmanship, the task being socially determined. In Le Corbusier‘s case, the division of labour between design and realization forms the core of architectural process. The assignment and means of realizing it are formulated in terms of new technologies. The issue is further complicated by a consideration of the cultural backgrounds of the architects in question. Space embraces the notion of continuity and distance, as well as the idea of enclosure. Their respective vocabularies, Raum and espace, may have partly formed their visions.

Raumplan versus Plan Libre was originally published in 1987. This revised and updated edition looks anew at the respective merits of two giants of modern architecture. As well as featuring writings by the architects in question, the book illustrates the evolution of the work of Loos and Le Corbusier, with detailed reference to their domestic projects, ranging from the Strasser House (1919) to the Last House (1932), and from Maison Domino (1915) to Villa Savoye (1932). With its excellent overviews and analyses it will give the reader a deeper insight into the motivations of these two architects, so near yet so far away.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s