Top 10 Ways Le Corbusier Ruined Architecture

Hot take.



Le Corbusier is the most repeated name in the Architectural world. I haven’t taken a single architecture studio or lecture class that didn’t mention something about him, and with justifiable reasons — his contributions ripple and affect our built environment to this day.

Some say it may not be accurate to say that Le Corbusier “ruined” architecture, as his contributions and impact on architecture and design have been widely debated and are subjective to personal opinions based on how much influence he has in our world.

It is that very influence that inspired this list that I have been holding back for 10 years, all the way back when I started my architectural journey.

A young Le Corbusier

1 —Be Wealthy. Be Man. Be White.

Corbusier never had formal architectural education. He learned everything by going to the library, working with renowned local architects for a few years, and making most of his early mistakes with his parent’s wealthy friend’s houses. After he got sued, he took a break, traveled the world with friends, and was able to just paint and explore himself as an artist for two years. He wrote books and hung around the right people that were already part of his social circle, with his family and family friends investing in his ideas and endeavors.

None of that would be possible in the early 20th century if he weren’t a white man that’s from a wealthy area of France and had contacts he grew up with money to spend.

Image credit: Jacob Brillhar

2 — Cultural Appropriation & Erasure while Traveling

Corbusier had a famous traveling moment in which he went to the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, and several other areas in the Middle East. When he returned from the trip, he came back with clarity of mind and his famous five points of architecture that all architectural students have shoved down their throats. When presented, they are meant to be evidence of Corbusier’s remarkable visionary talent. The thing is… they were almost word-by-word descriptions of traditional Turkish Architecture…




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