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Le Corbusier was one of the most influential yet controversial architect–planners of the twentieth century, as well as being a prolific writer, painter, sculptor, and poet. He occupies a troubled place in architectural scholarship. Some cannot forgive him his arrogance and political opportunism. Others see a designer of genius and a polemically brilliant writer.

Early Years

Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in Switzerland in 1887, he seemed destined for a career in watch-case engraving before developing an interest in architecture. The first house he built was the Villa Fallet (1907), which reflected his hometown vernacular with its steep roof and ornamented façade. Between 1908 and 1911, however, Jeanneret was apprenticed to Auguste Perret and Peter Behrens, early pioneers of reinforced concrete construction and industrial design.

He traveled extensively around Europe ...

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