‘Architecture is light and light is colour‘ says Le Corbusier in Colin Bisset’s fascinating novel, ‘Loving Le Corbusier’.
My previous post was inspired by this insightful and thought-provoking novel and I wanted to post a little more about the revolutionary 20th Century architect that was Le Corbusier.
And of course that had to be about COLOUR!
As with all his artistic endeavours, Le Corbusier was highly detailed – to the extent that he created his own paints. He produced 2 colour palettes: KT 32 in the 1930s and KT 43 in the 1950s.
The 1930s colours are 43 shades taken from nature and in general have a reserved feel to them. They do not shout.
Le Corbusier used these colours sparingly, his architecture of the time being primarily white as seen in the Villa Savoye of 1928-31.
However, the later 1950s palette comprises 20 much stronger, more primary, less earthy colours. All artists evolve and it seems that Le Corbusier felt that his later, larger buildings needed stronger colours, ‘By the arrangement of colour and the use of the trowel the contrasts were created and the splendour of boire concrete realised!’ (Le Corbusier 1945, Fondation Le Corbusier)
This later colour series was used to great effect in Le Corbusier’s Unité d’habitation, Marseille 1952.
Look at that rainbow ceiling!
‘The home should be the treasure chest of living.’ Le Corbusier