Precisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning

Le Corbusier's Precisions, arguably his most influential book, becomes available again in English in a new expanded facsimile-reprint edition.

 

 

Title Information

Le Corbusier. With a new essay by Tim Benton and explanatory notes by Eva Guttmann

New expanded edition

, 2015

Hardback

408 pages, 72 color and 61 b/w illustrations

15.5 x 24.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-65-4

Content

Precisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning, or Precisions, as the book is commonly known, originated from a series of ten lectures presented by Le Corbusier in Buenos Aires in 1929. Concise summations of the Swiss-born French architect’s pioneering philosophy, the lectures contain some of Le Corbusier’s most compelling aphorisms and cover topics ranging from technique, design and human scale, and the 1927 League of Nations competition to the teaching of architecture and an analysis of the transformation of his own work over time.

This new edition presents the Precisions lectures to a new audience. During the lectures, Le Corbusier punctuated his points with a series of improvised crayon-on-paper drawings. This is the first edition to reproduce all forty drawings in color. The book also includes Le Corbusier’s introduction, appended in the 1960s, which describes the tremendous impact the city of Buenos Aires had on the architect—its beauty and vast potential, as well as the considerable challenges presented by this city “trembling on the verge of great works.” A new additional essay by Tim Benton places the lectures in context with the larger body of Le Corbusier’s work. Finally, an appendix has been added with brief descriptions of key figures and events discussed.

Authors & Editors

Tim Benton

, born 1945, is a British scholar, writer, and broadcaster. He is a professor of art history at Open University and has written extensively on Le Corbusier. He has also been a visiting professor at Bard Graduate College (2003) and at Columbia University’s Department of Art and Archaeology (2007) in the US.

Eva Guttmann

 is a freelance architectural publicist and also works as an editor with Park Books. She was editor-in-chief with Zuschnitt magazine 2004–09 and director of Haus der Architektur in Graz 2010–13.

Le Corbusier

 (1887–1965) was one of the most significant figures of 20-century architecture. The Swiss-French architect’s buildings, interior designs, urbanistic visions, and writings remain highly influential until the present day.

Praise

The book is a Bible: complex and distracting, enlightening and perplexing. Le Corbusier's non-arranged spiritual matter unfolds itself as ‘streams of consciousness’ to the reader, where common threads get lost from time to time, that hands it over to the reader to find their own thread navigating through redundancy sometime, in order to finally witness and comprehend a significant part of Le Corbusier's thinking at the peak of his creative vision. Jonis Hartmann, worldarchitecture.org

 

Rating [four stars out of five] of classics is generally not done. The rating therefore applies to the revamped version with an excellent educational forword by Tim Benton and the many (58) newly printed drawings.” Salka Hallström Bornold, FORM Nordic Magazine on Architecture and Design

 

 

Precisions gives English-speaking architects and students an entree into a period of Le Corbusier's work that is usually overlooked in twentieth-century surveys. (...) [This book]  not only gives us insight into a critical moment of transition in Le Corbusier's work but also reveals a dimension of this complex yet very human architect – his interest in nature and vernacular culture – that has been largely neglected in the functionalist polemics of the early Modern Movement.”  Mary McLeod, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 55, No. 1 (1996)