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SOCC26H3 (16)
Lecture 3

Week 3 Lecture Note

5 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC26H3
Professor
John Hannigan

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Radiant City and Le Corbusier
Much of the GTA population lives in high rises, and the density is quite high
At one point, the area around Fairview Mall in North York was the second densest
settlement in Canada; the highest was in Vancouver
Clearly, in cities like Toronto, you have many residential high rises, and in these high
rises, you have dense population
Where did the notion of the high rise come from?
oThe high rise is a relatively new invention
oIn fact, up until the 20th century, there werent any high rises
oThe highest buildings in cities were churches, but beyond that, most buildings
were low rise
oIn the case of Toronto, for a long time, the highest building was the Royal York
Hotel
oStarting in the 20th century, high rise buildings, apartments, and condominiums
started to be built everywhere
oWhere did the high rise come from? - Answer lies in French architecture/planner
oHe is best known by Le Corbusier
oHe was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965)
Le Corbusier in contrast to Ebenezer Howard, was born in to privilege, in a situation of
prosperity
Hes often thought of being French, but was born in Switzerland and then later on
moved to France
One of the ironies about him is that he grew up in an environment which emphasizes
the tradition
He became a representative of modern architecture and design
He grew up in a community in Switzerland that was known for watch making
Community watchmakers existed in contrast to industrial revolution (factories,
assembly lines, and mass production)
Community in Switzerland was traditional made watches in the way they were made a
hundred years ago handmade with skilled craftsmen and thus hang onto traditional
values and ideas and traditional ways of doing things
How he came up with the high rise - had to do with his fascination of technology
At the same time as he was in sympathy of the old and traditional, he embraced
everything that was new and technology
He sometimes suggested that his life of philosophy changed when introduced with
something called technological rationalism = belief that architecture must be based
on a firm knowledge of materials and mathematics because would want to be sure
high rises wouldnt fall down
Materials was central to his approach
In particular, one of the things really important here was the invention of something
called the structural steel = when building starts to go up, at first its the steel work
that goes up, especially when youre going 20-30 storeys up
www.notesolution.com
Up until the early 20th century, the height of cities was severely limited because it was
near impossible to build anything very high, you couldnt build very high using wood
The invention of structural steel opened all kinds of possibilities in the city you could
build high
Another important thing is concrete
When you combine structural steel and concrete, in a sense you open all kinds of
possibilities when it comes to construction
In a way, concrete and steel come hand in hand; was era of structural steel
It said that he was seeking a kind of synthesis that he was in some ways trying to
combine on the one hand values of the tradition and fine craftsmanship with the
technologies in the future
Eventually, he had decided that making watches his whole life was not what he wants to
do, so he took a course about craftsmanship and taught him about architectural
drawings
He decided that his future was not in Switzerland but in Paris, so moved to Paris
If nothing else, Le Corbusier was a man who has no limits, he didnt do things modestly
He announced that he was going to redesign industrial civilization
His first attempt to contribute to designing industrial civilization was something called
the Dom-Ino = plan for mass manufactured houses based on a concrete frame
In WWI, he realized that this huge war was coming, and at the end of it, there will be a
tremendous need for new housing and thats right and thats what happened after
WWII
Because wars end up with bombing and houses were destroyed, so after wars, there was
tremendous need for housing
There was new wave of building new towns in Britain in late 40s and early 50s because
of massive bombing and needed construction
In this period after war time, houses couldnt be put up quickly because there was huge
need for housing they have to be done slowly
After WWI, he realized they have to be built quickly, so thought about mass producing
houses based on a concrete frame could produce them on an assembly line
He anticipated the mobile home
Interestingly, Le Corbusier was very well acquainted with the ideas of Ebenezer
Howards
His inspiration was from the way it was implemented by the architectures
He disagreed with the decentralization, came to believe that the best thing was the
opposite to build new industrial cities that were like centralized steroids and increase
density
It was supported by concrete pillars to reinforce concrete columns and they would have
held the roof up
You would have this structure with six concrete columns supporting the roof on top,
inside it was open concept which was radical because since the beginning of civilization,
you would build walls to divide space, but his Dom-Ino was based on open concept like
office space these days
That means whoever was inside could share the space however they want
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Radiant City and Le Corbusier Much of the GTA population lives in high rises, and the density is quite high At one point, the area around Fairview Mall in North York was the second densest settlement in Canada; the highest was in Vancouver Clearly, in cities like Toronto, you have many residential high rises, and in these high rises, you have dense population Where did the notion of the high rise come from? o The high rise is a relatively new invention o In fact, up until the 20 century, there werent any high rises o The highest buildings in cities were churches, but beyond that, most buildings were low rise o In the case of Toronto, for a long time, the highest building was the Royal York Hotel o Starting in the 20 century, high rise buildings, apartments, and condominiums started to be built everywhere o Where did the high rise come from? - Answer lies in French architectureplanner o He is best known by Le Corbusier o He was born Charles-douard Jeanneret (1887-1965) Le Corbusier in contrast to Ebenezer Howard, was born in to privilege, in a situation of prosperity Hes often thought of being French, but was born in Switzerland and then later on moved to France One of the ironies about him is that he grew up in an environment which emphasizes the tradition He became a representative of modern architecture and design He grew up in a community in Switzerland that was known for watch making Community watchmakers existed in contrast to industrial revolution (factories, assembly lines, and mass production) Community in Switzerland was traditional made watches in the way they were made a hundred years ago handmade with skilled craftsmen and thus hang onto traditional values and ideas and traditional ways of doing things How he came up with the high rise - had to do with his fascination of technology At the same time as he was in sympathy of the old and traditional, he embraced everything that was new and technology He sometimes suggested that his life of philosophy changed when introduced with something called technological rationalism = belief that architecture must be based on a firm knowledge of materials and mathematics because would want to be sure high rises wouldnt fall down Materials was central to his approach In particular, one of the things really important here was the invention of something called the structural steel = when building starts to go up, at first its the steel work that goes up, especially when youre going 20-30 storeys up www.notesolution.com
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