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Le Corbusier Le Grand Hardcover – 23 Jun 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; Pck Slp edition (23 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714846686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714846682
  • Product Dimensions: 33.4 x 8.6 x 43.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'the man who designed the 20th century - [Le Corbusier] arguably had more of an influence on the form of the modern world than any other architect ...You couldn't make a book like this about just any architect. - Beyond the architecture, reveals a great deal about the man himself. - It all points to a life lived enviably fully.'
The Guardian online

‘The impact of all the illustrations is undoubtedly fascinating - a real joy [ - ] to browse through - conveys the experience of a day at a really well organised archive.’
Building Design, July 2008

'formidable and wide-ranging - Le Corbusier Le Grand is a feast. - Every page is dense with ideas. - a source book for the modern world.'
Jonathan Meades, News Statesman

About the Author

Jean-Louis Cohen is undoubtedly France's most authoritative and knowledgeable historian of twentieth-century architecture and urbanism. He divides his time between Paris and New York, where he is the Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts of NYU University.

Tim Benton, a highly regarded Le Corbusier scholar, is a Lecturer in the History of Art, Open University, Milton Keynes, England.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luis Burriel Bielza on 19 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is indeed a great survey over the whole life of Le Corbusier. It's good for beginners as well as for experts. For the first ones, the contents are very well organized and clearly displayed and it highlights his most famous buildings. For the second ones, it brings out new unedited documents, postals, letters, curious items and personal pictures which will for sure broaden their knowledge. In fact, a great work of art and architecture. Maybe the introduction of each chapter are too short to get you in. Still, this book brings you closer to the controversial architect and the man behind the glasses.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Le Corbusier Le Grande 5 July 2008
By Richard F. Geary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine being able to sort through Le Corbusier's private archive on your own; his sketches, his private correspondence, his family picture album, his artwork and his original architectural drawings. This tome is like no other on Pe're Corbu that you have ever seen. This massive, [35 lb], volume is a wealth of original documents about Corbu - the man! There is very little in the way of hyper-academic text, publisher-prepared drawings and the same old stock photos of his work. There are so many photos of the architect that have never been published that one wonders if he had a photographer with him at all times. This work allows you to see his often stormy relationships with the press, government officials, friends, his family and other architects. For me this was a totaly unexpected format and in the beginning I was a little put off. I was especially puzzed by the myriad of hand written letters that are faithfully reproduced. Then I realized that the second small volume in the slipcase has the etxt of all these letters in translation. The more I looked at the material the more facinated I became. I realized that this allows a glimpse into the workings of a man, an artist and an architect unlike any architecture book I have ever seen. This book will not fit on your book-shelf and once you see it you will probably never let it leave your coffee table. For me this book is in-expensive at twice the price. You won't be sorry.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HUGE, but very accessible 27 Aug. 2008
By Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The July 5, 2008 review makes a good case for this book. The format is daunting due to its size, but the photos and text are large and easy to "take in". In some ways it is like a scrapbook, as it has images that are related to Le Corbusier (French ID card, letters to/from people) as a person. It touches on the entire range of his life: social, architect/artist/sculptor/inventor, bookmaker, traveler, etc.

A complete bibliography of books ON him would have been a nice addition. There is a complete bibliography of the 35 books he published, but the biblio by others is weak.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Grand Indeed! 28 Nov. 2008
By James Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is nice to see the grand master of Modernism getting such a beautiful tome dedicated to the incredible width and breadth of his work. There was a time not so long ago when Le Corbusier was much vilified and Modernism thought to be dead. But, here we are restoring many of the great works of the era and resurrecting the movement as it seems Americans are finally embracing the clean lines if not the socialist vision of Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier had a tough time in America. His one work is the former Carpenter Center at Harvard, essentially a walk-through model of his vision. His ideas for the United Nations Building in New York, like the unrealized League of Nations Building in Zurich, were essentially cribbed and made into a pastiche of his egalitarian architecture. He saw America as a nation ruled by Rockefellers and wanted no part of it after being part of the design team on the UN Building. Peter Blake writes humorously about this time in No Place Like Utopia.

The chapters take in the full scope of his work with photos and illustrations that give greater richness to his work than in the monograph that was compiled by Willy Boesiger and Oscar Stonorov during the 50s and 60s, available through Birkhauser. Le Corbusier oftened presented his projects as storyboards illustrating the process of his work. What makes this book special is the number of photographs of Le Corbusier himself, as well as attention to his Purist works of art that often provided the ground work for his architecture.

For admirers of Le Corbusier this book is a must have. For those seeking an introduction there are more affordable ways to go such as Kenneth Frampton's monograph, Le Corbusier: Architect of the Twentieth Century. However, there is no discounting the great influence this man has had on Modern Architecture.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Le Grand Review - tim michael 8 Mar. 2010
By Tim Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of LeCorbusier and his work, this book is highly recommended. While most books tend to obviously focus on his architecture, Le Grand offers very personal insight into the life of LeCorbusier. From his childhood in Switzerland through his last commissions, the reader is offered a glimpse into the mind of LeCorbusier through unseen sketches, written recordings, notes to clients, and amazing photographs depicting an array of events ranging construction images to ribbon cuttings to LeCorbusier enjoying time on the beach in southern France. Aside from the Sketchbook Series, this is the single best volume on LeCorbusier which I have come across.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What an amazing person 15 Sept. 2008
By Richard del Monte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With as many Corb books as I already own I could not imagine that I needed another one until I saw this one. I would classify this as more of an illustrated biography, including a great deal of personal correspondence. The book gives you a picture of the man (as well as his work) that I have not seen in any of the academic texts covering his life. Outstanding printing quality, definitely worth having.
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