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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
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The Pavillon Le Corbusier is the only building in the neighborhood positioned obliquely to the street. Le Corbusier’s design frees it from the rigid building lines so that it can stand as autonomously as possible as a solitary structure in the landscape.
There was, however, another reason for this particular orientation. Early in his career, Le Corbusier had already taken to heart the insights of the historian Auguste Choisy, who wrote that the builders of antiquity had specifically chosen the site of the Parthenon in Athens for the oblique view it afforded, which enhanced the structure’s picturesque appeal. Although a frontal view is more majestic, Choisy found it to be an exception that must be justified. Le Corbusier had also sought the more intriguing oblique view in his Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is set diagonally between the buildings lining Quincy and Prescott Streets.

View from northeast, Pavillon Le Corbusier

Auguste Choisy, Histoire de l’Architecture, Paris, 1899 (reprint 1999). Le Corbusier bought the book in 1913.

William Curtis and Eduard F. Sekler, Le Corbusier at Work: The Genesis of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA, 1978.

Image creditso

Ansicht von Nordosten, Pavillon Le Corbusier
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Skizze/Collage Nr. 5 zur Situierung des Centre Le Corbusier, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Frankreich, 31. Juli 1961
Abbildung: © Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris. FLC 21131D

Parthenon auf der Akropolis in Athen von Südosten, 447–438 v. Chr. erbaut
Abbildung: Cornell University Library, Rare & Manuscript Collections, A. D. White Photographs Cornell University, Gift of Andrew Dickson White

Luftaufnahme des Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Le Corbusier, 1961–1962 erbaut
Abbildung: Aerial Photography of New England, 1963