Le Corbusier and the Contemporary Revolution in Architecture In examining what role history plays in Le Corbusier's vision of what he terms "the contemporary revolution in architecture", the thesis of this essay is that architectural history, to Le Corbusier, is instructive but also limited in its value. As Le Corbusier writes, "I shall confess to you that I have only one teacher: the past; only one education: the study of the past". What this means is that he believes that it is necessary to begin with a historical education. At the same time, this education is useful in that it can teach us as much about where building and planning has failed as it can teach us about how it has excelled. History, according to Le Corbusier, provides the...The end:
.....value in looking at the history of architecture is that one must be able to differentiate between what lent itself to the function of human society and what did not. Modern buildings, with the advantage of new materials, can achieve different goals for the needs of modern society. In other words, we do not need to rely on ancient building forms because they cannot be linked with the needs linked to modern building functions. History can therefore provide people with reflection on architectural ideas alone. In this way, architectural history, to Le Corbusier, is instructive but also limited in its value. Reference Le Corbusier. Precisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning, E. Aujame, trans. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1991.