Le Corbusier. The duality “Architecture Mâle” and “Architecture Femelle”


  • Andrea García González Universitat Politècnica de València




Le Corbusier, Architecture, Painting, Writings, Ambiguity


In the 50´s, Le Corbusier publishes two books, Le Modulor (1950) and Le Poème de l´Angle Droit (1955). They are extremely important given that they represent the synthesis of his architectural thought at the height of his career. In both, references can be observed to the duality of male-female, which do not seem to have been previously part of the architect´s consistent theoretical body. One decade later, duality imbues the architectural critics, who interpret it as the opposition between two residential projects from early 1920´s, the Maisons Monol and the Maisons Citrohan. Both projects are proclaimed as a germ of two genealogical lines which come to an end with the Villas Sarabhai and Shodhan in the 50´s. They are related respectively with two concepts "architecture femelle" and "architecture mâle", cited by Le Corbusier in Le Modulor. However, the exhaustive analysis of the paradigm of both architectures through different periods, a complete reading of both texts and its relationship with Le Corbusier´s  pictorial production, brings to light the importance of ambiguity and polysemy in the architect's work, which is difficult to divide in hermetic categories.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Andrea García González, Universitat Politècnica de València

Doctor Arquitecto por la ETSA-UPV. Ha desarrollado su carrera profesional en el estudio de Rafael Moneo, en Madrid y actualmente en Vancouver en la firma ZGF Cotter Architects. Es coautora de la comunicación " La Villa Sarabhai. La riqueza de lo ambiguo" en el congreso internacional "Le Corbusier, 50 years later".


Birksted, Jan K. Le Corbusier and the Occult. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.

Calatrava, Juan. “En los alrededores del Poema del Ángulo Recto.” In: Doblando el ángulo recto. 7 ensayos en torno a Le Corbusier. Madrid: Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2009.

Calatrava, Juan. “Le Corbusier, 1928: la plástica de un arquitecto.” In: Le Corbusier, Madrid, 1928: Una casa-un palacio. Madrid: Residencia de Estudiantes, 2010.

Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya. Le Corbusier et le livre. Barcelona: Co·legi Oficial d´Architectes de l Cataluya, 2005.

Curtis, William. Le Corbusier: ideas y formas. Madrid: Hermann Blume, 1987.

Hendricks, Genevieve. “Evocative Objects and Sinuous Forms: Le Corbusier in the Thirties.” In: Le Corbusier´s Secret Laboratory. From Painting to Architecture. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013.

Jeanneret, Charles Edouard. and A. Ozenfant. Après le Cubisme. París: Éditions des Commentaires, 1918.

Jeanneret, Charles Edouard. and A. Ozenfant. La Peinture Moderne. París: Les Éditions G. Crès et Cie, 1925.

Jencks, Charles. Le Corbusier and the Continual Revolution in Architecture. New York: The Monacelly Press, Inc. and Charles Jencks, 2000.

Le Corbusier. Almanach d´Architecture Moderne. París: Les Éditions G. Crès et Cie., 1925.

Le Corbusier. “Unité.” Special issue, L´Architecture d´aujourd´hui (April 1948).

Le Corbusier. Le Modulor. Essai sur une mesure harmonique a l´échelle humaine applicable universellement a l´architecture et a la mécanique. Boulogne: Éditions de l´Architecture d´Aujourd´hui, 1950.

Le Corbusier. Le Poème de l´Angle Droit. Paris: Éditions Tériade, 1955.

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Œuvre complète de 1946-1952. Zurich: Editions d´Architecture Artemis, 1976.

Ozenfant, Amadée and Le Corbusier. “Idées personnelles.” L´Esprit Nouveau, no. 27 (1924).

Reichlin, Bruno. “Jeanneret-Le Corbusier, Painter-Architect.” In: Le Corbusier´s Secret Laboratory. From Painting to Architecture. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013.

Serenyi, Peter. “Le Corbusier´s Changing Attitude Toward Form.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians XXIV, no. 1 (March 1965).

Stirling, James. “Garches to Jaoul. Le Corbusier as Domestic Architect in 1927 and 1955.” The Architectural Review 118 (July-December 1955).

Turner, Paul V. La Formation de Le Corbusier. Idéalisme & Mouvement Moderne. France: Macula, 1987.

Von Moos, Stanislaus. Le Corbusier. Barcelona: Lumen, 1977.





Research articles
Received 2016-04-12
Accepted 2016-09-12
Published 2016-10-27