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7.1 and 7.2 The two perspectives on the right represent a view of each building taken from the same vantage point respective to each building's relative size.
7.3 and 7.7
7.4 and 7.8
7.5 and 7.9
7.6 and 7.10

Even though the Palais des Congrès and the Villa Savoye differ stylistically, they share many of the same design principles. While the Villa Savoye is Le Corbusier's ultimate manifestation of Purist architecture, the Palais des Congrès can be seen as a 'baroque' reinterpretation of the same purist dogma. Where the Villa Savoye is pristine and 'machine-like', the Palais des Congrès is bold and exaggerated.

Like the Villa Savoye, the Palais des Congrès has pilotis, a free plan, and a roof garden (three of the Five Points of New Architecture), yet, in the Palais, each of these elements is distorted--there are column of two different diameters laid out on the structural grid, the plan is full of irregular shapes, and the roof garden is not flat and enclosed but rather expansive and sloping in several directions.

The comparisons and contrasts continue. Both the Villa Savoye and the Palais des Congrès are essentially a square box elevated above the ground on pilotis, but the Palais is rendered even more insular by placing the box and the pilotis on a pedestal of brise-soleil and surrounding the entire building with a moat.

The ramps of the Palais des Congrès are also a distortion of those at the Villa Savoye. The ramps of both buildings change from interior to exterior creating an architectural promenade that connects the ground plane with the roof garden and the sky, however, the ramps of the Villa Savoye coil upward within the central confines of the square plan whereas the ramps of the Palais are decentralized and stretched beyond the square plan boundaries.

Finally, it is easy to see the similar treatment of the 'ground floor' exterior walls. These entry level walls, within both buildings, are primarily floor to ceiling windows that allow visual penetration. Moreover, both sets of walls recess from the box perimeter, and the ultimate shape of both glass walls contrast distinctly with the overall square plan.

11.1 Maison Dom-ino prototype, 1914. Le Corbusier. Axonometric.
11.2 Composition Three, 1929. Le Corbusier. Axonometric.
11.3 Composition Three, 1929. Le Corbusier. Plan.
11.4 Palais des Congrès, 1964. Le Corbusier. Plan of the stage set in the auditorium for 2000 people.
11.5 Palais des Congrès, 1964. Le Corbusier. Perspective view of the stage set in the auditorium for 2000 people.
11.6 Palais des Congrès, 1964. Le Corbusier. Stage set axonometric.
11.7 Wall House 2, 1972-75. John Hejduk. Axonometric.

On the stage of the Palais des Congrès' large auditorium, Le Corbusier placed some free-form changing rooms within a Maison Dom-ino structure. This permanent 3-dimensional backdrop is a paradigm of Le Corbusier's seminal ideas of architecture--it recalls the Maison Dom-ino prototype (1914), Composition Three (1929), and more recently the porter's lodge at La Couvent de la Tourette. Set on a stage, this small structure is a tangible symbol of Le Corbusier's message, and, in some ways, it is also a swan song. Perhaps John Hejduk's Wall House 2 is the best example of how far this particular set of Le Corbusier's ideas can go.

12.1 House 10: Museum, 1963-67. John Hejduk. Axonometric.
12.2 House 10: Museum, 1963-67. John Hejduk. Plan
12.3 Palais des Congrès, 1964. Le Corbusier. Axonometric of Level and Level 3a, columns, escalator and amorphous elements.
12.4 Wall House 2, 1972-75. John Hejduk. Axonometric of the 'individual' rooms.

John Hejduk's House 10: Museum and Wall House 2 both show the influence of Le Corbusier's Palais des Congrès. The regular column grid combined with amorphous walls and 'rooms' is an inherent vocabulary to all three buildings, and it seems safe to say that this is a vocabulary unique to the decade between 1960 and 1975.



Quondam © 2018.04.24