Le Corbusier’s Five Points of Architecture is an architecture manifesto noted by architect Le Corbusier. It was authored in L’Esprit Nouveau and his book Vers une architecture.
Five Points of Architecture
During his career, Le Corbusier developed a set of architectural principles that dictated his technique, called “the Five Points of a New Architecture” which were most evident in his Villa Savoye. These were:
- Pilotis – The replacement of supporting walls by a grid of reinforced concrete columns that bears the load of the structure is the basis of the new aesthetic.
- The free designing of the ground plan – The absence of supporting walls means that the house is unrestrained in its internal usage.
- The free design of façade – By separating the exterior of the building from its structural function the façade becomes free.
- The horizontal window – The façade can be cut along its entire length to allow rooms to be lit equally.
- Roof gardens – The flat roof can be utilized for a domestic purpose while also providing essential protection to the concrete roof.
It was Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye (1929–1931) that most succinctly summed up his five points of architecture that he had elucidated in the journal L’Esprit Nouveau and his book Vers une architecture, which he had been developing throughout the 1920s. First, Le Corbusier lifted the bulk of the structure off the ground, supporting it by pilotis – reinforced concrete stilts. These pilotis, in providing the structural support for the house, allowed him to elucidate his next two points: a free façade, meaning non-supporting walls that could be designed as the architect wished, and an open floor plan, meaning that the floor space was free to be configured into rooms without concern for supporting walls. The second floor of the Villa Savoye includes long strips of ribbon windows that allow unencumbered views of the large surrounding yard, and which constitute the fourth point of his system. The fifth point was the roof garden to compensate for the green area consumed by the building and replacing it on the roof. A ramp rising from ground level to the third floor roof terrace allows for an architectural promenade through the structure. The white tubular railing recalls the industrial “ocean-liner” aesthetic that Le Corbusier much admired. The driveway around the ground floor, with its semicircular path, measures the exact turning radius of a 1927 Citroën automobile.
The Carpenter Center was Le Corbusier’s only building in the United States, and he aimed to incorporate his Five Points into the design of the building