Features April 1983
“I am alone”: Le Corbusier, bathrooms, and airplanes
A suitcase found in a closet in Le Corbusier’s Paris apartment at 24 rue Nungesser-et-Coli after his death contained seventy-three sketchbooks neatly ordered. They include a mélange of sketches and notes: on designs in progress (not only for architecture, but for paintings and sculpture as well), travel observations, rough drafts or outlines for writings or talks, diagrammatic plans for exhibitions, vituperations against those who crossed him, and philosophical musings—all mixed with the jotting of daily routine: telephone numbers, appointments, things to be bought, things to be done. He referred to the sketchbooks as “une chose active.” They are a fascinating record of the day-to-day actions and thoughts of genius on the run, often telegraphic and fragmentary in brusque memoranda and scribbled notation; they also show Le Corbusier grasping a moment free of pressure for rumination and for making elaborate drawings of things...
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