Le the first representations of his ideas at the

Le Corbusier,
Radiant City/ La Ville Radieuse

In the late
1920s Le Corbusier lost confidence in big business to realise his dreams
of Utopia (is an imagined community or society that possesses
highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens)
represented in the Ville Contemporaine and Plan Voisin (1925). Influenced by
the linear city ideas of Arturo Soria y Mata (which
Milyutin also employed) and the theories of the syndicalist movement (that he
had recently joined) he formulated a new vision of the ideal city,
the Ville Radieuse. It represented an utopian dream to reunite man
within a well-ordered environment. Unlike the radial design of the Ville
Contemporaine, the Ville Radieuse was a linear city based upon the abstract
shape of the human body with head, spine, arms and legs. The design maintained
the idea of high-rise housing blocks, free circulation and abundant green
spaces proposed in his earlier work. In the context of utopian city and city
planning, Le Corbusier is one of the pioneers who introduced the idea of living
in a city that is actually planned, designed and then built. He forced people to think what it will be like to
live in an environment that is predetermined. Ultirnately he succeeded in
actually building such kind of an environment.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The Ville
Radieuse also made reference to Corbusier’s work in Russia. In 1930, he wrote a 59-page Reply to
Moscow when commenting upon a competition in Moscow. The report contained
drawings defining an alternative urban model for the planning of the
city. He exhibited the first representations of his ideas at the
third CIAM meeting
in Brussels in 1930 (although he withdrew the Moscow proposals). In addition he
developed proposals for the Ferme Radieuse (Radiant Farm) and Village Radieuse
(Radiant Village).

La Ville Radieuse, ‘The Contemporary City for Three
Million Inhabitants’ proposed by Le Corbusier for central Paris is a myth in the history of
contemporary town planning. The proposal, according to Le Corbusier, could
increase the urban capacity and at the same time improve the urban environment
and the efficiency of the city. The thoughts and design principles embedded in
the proposal of La Ville Radieuse quickly became models for architects of the
post-war period. Le Corbusier was ambitious for the proposal and he even suggested
demolishing the whole part of central Paris in order to adopt it; this of
course raised strong objections. Though the proposal has never been realized,
it has attracted a lot of discussion. This study employs computer simulation to
evaluate the daylight and solar performance of La Ville Radieuse; it attempts
to test the propositions of Le Corbusier, with reference to daylight design and
to draw conclusions about the design of high-density solar cities.

Contemporary City
of Three Million Inhabitants’ was designed by Le Corbusier for central Paris
and was first shown in November 1922 at Salon d’Automne, Paris. It was designed
to accommodate as many as six times the population of central Paris at that
time. According to Le Corbusier, the design of La Ville Radieuse represents an
indisputable ideal of personal freedom. He believed that many cities in the
early twentieth century were chaotic and inefficient; he therefore came up with
the proposal of La Ville Radieuse, which had the following objectives:

·      -Provide effective means of communications

·      Provide large
amount of green area

·      Provide better
access to the sun

·      Reduce urban
traffic

The scheme called for a cluster of
cruciform towers with each structure surrounded by open space. In keeping with
the proclivity for social engineering promoted by many modern architects at the
time, Le Corbusier’s master plan promised to greatly improve the
lives of residents. To achieve this goal, it was thought that what people
needed was to live in an urban environment based on symmetry and order built
from a tabula rasa, which would replace the asymmetry and disorder of
traditional European cities. With a Cartesian grid separating cars,
pedestrians and commercial spaces, Le Corbusier saw the Radiant City’s geometric
layout, standardisation and repetitive towers as “the perfect form” of
urbanism.

The layout of La
Ville Radieuse is almost symmetrical in the centre, which is the core of all
types of public transport. The central terminus is an access point to the
subway at the lower deck of the underground system and trains at the upper deck
of the underground system. The ground level is open to air-buses and air-taxis.

The central
part of the site is reserved for twenty- four skyscrapers, which are also the
most controversial elements in the whole design. These cruciform skyscrapers
are mainly for business and hotel purposes. Each skyscraper with dimensions
about 190m x 190m and a height over 200m were designed to house five to eight
hundred thousands people. According to Le Corbusier, this area would become the
civic centre and headquarters of all the leading firms. Surrounding those
skyscrapers are residential districts, which provide accommodation for people
who work in the skyscrapers. These housing blocks were known as apartment-villas.
Inside these housing blocks, each duplex apartment has its own hanging garden
and according to Le Corbusier, each apartment is a house on its own. The housing districts
would contain pre-fabricated apartment buildings, known as “Unités.” Reaching a
height of fifty meters, a single Unité could accommodate 2,700 inhabitants and
function as a vertical village: catering and laundry facilities would be on the
ground floor, a kindergarden and a pool on the roof. Parks would exist between
the Unités, allowing residents with a maximum of natural daylight, a minimum of
noise and recreational facilities at their doorsteps.

In La Ville
Radieuse, the business district, the residential district, the transportation
core and the high street shopping area are organized in a Cartesian way where
all elements as a whole function like a ‘living machine’. In light of the
advancement of construction technology, Le Corbusier believed that millions of
residents could benefit from the advantages of this rational planning.

Nevertheless, the idea of
proposing order through careful planning is as relevant now as when Le
Corbusier first published The Radiant City. Issues of healthy living, traffic,
noise, public space and transportation, which Le Corbusier – unlike any architect
before him – addressed holistically, continue to be a major concern of city
planners today.