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Le Corbusier

The Art of Architecture

Installation view of Le Corbusier

The first major survey in London of the internationally renowned architect in more than 20 years.

Le Corbusier (1887-1965), widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the 20th century, was also a celebrated thinker, writer and artist. His architecture and radical ideas for reinventing modern living still resonate today.

This reassessment presented a wealth of original architectural models, interior reconstructions, drawings, furniture, vintage photographs, films, tapestries, paintings, sculpture and books by Le Corbusier. It also featured important works by his collaborators and artistic contemporaries such as Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant.

The exhibition charted how Le Corbusier’s work changed dramatically over the years; from his early houses inspired by the regional vernacular of his native Switzerland to his civic buildings in Chandigarh, India (1952-64). 

Tagged with: Art Gallery Archive

The exhibition was organised by Vitra Design Museum in collaboration with the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust. It is supported by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme. 


The Barbican’s celebration of Le Corbusier highlighted his connection between the arts with a full programme of concerts, films and talks to accompany the exhibition, including a day presented by the BBC Symphony Orchestra dedicated to the composer Iannis Xenakis who worked as an architect in Le Corbusier’s studio. The exhibition also offered a unique opportunity to see the influence of Le Corbusier’s architecture and ideas on the Barbican complex, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn in the late 1950s.


Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam
26 May 2007–2 September 2007

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein
28 September 2007–10 February 2008

Museu Berardo, Lisbon
19 May 2008–17 August 2008

The Crypt, Metropolitan Cathedral of the King, Liverpool
2 October 2008–18 January 2009

Barbican Art Gallery, presented in partnership with the RIBA, London
19 February 2009–24 May 2009

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
9 July 2009–5 October 2009

With thanks

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Barbican and the RIBA Trust are grateful for their generous sponsorship of this exhibition: National Partner: Liverpool Culture Company; National Associates: Duravit, ERCO, Liverpool John Moores University, Shed KM, Sto, Urban Splash; Patron: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Exhibition sponsors: Buro Happold, FalconerChesterHall, Liverpool Architectural Society, Polypipe, and RIBA Charteres Practices and other companies who have become Exhibition Supporters.