An exhibition by Vitra Design Museum in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust and the Netherlands Architecture Institute
Supported by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme
In The Crypt, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
In Liverpool this autumn, as part of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations, the RIBA Trust will present the first major UK exhibition of work by world renowned architect Le Corbusier for over 20 years. Swiss born Le Corbusier has been credited as the godfather of modern architecture. With his iconic buildings in Europe, India, North and South America he changed the face of architecture forever and his far reaching influence still resonates in the work of Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, David Chipperfield and Oscar Niemeyer, to name but a few. The exhibition will explore Corbusier’s unique multi-disciplinary approach to the contemporary environment which saw him fuse art, design, urban planning, architecture and even film into his practise.
On display in the dramatic vaults of Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt, the exhibition will include not only original architecture models and drawings but also paintings, films, sketches, furniture, sculpture, and vintage prints. The duration of the exhibition will be the first time the Crypt, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1930 and completed in 1941, has been open to the public.
Highlights include exhibits such as the monumental mural painting from Le Corbusier’s office at Rue de Sèvres in Paris (1948), a large-scale model of the Philips Pavilion (1958), original film footage shot by Corbusier in Arcachon and Rio de Janeiro, and a reconstruction of the model of his utopian masterplan for Paris, the Plan Voisin (1925), none of which has been exhibited in the UK before. Also on display will be original work by other artists and designers such as Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé and Fernand Léger.
Divided into three sections entitled ‘Context’, ‘Privacy and Publicity’ and ‘Built Art’, the show also focuses on major themes in his work, such as his ongoing interest in the Mediterranean and the Orient, his shift towards organic forms in the 1930s, as well as his exploration of new technologies and media.
Entrance to the exhibition is timed so advance booking is strongly recommended.
Book tickets now
PLEASE NOTE Contact Details re tickets:
£6, concessions £4 (RIBA members, senior citizens, students in full-time education, job seekers, registered disabled).
Free to children aged under 16.
Please note a booking fee applies on all advance ticket purchases.
Tickets are also available on the day at the venue.
All groups must book in advance. Parties of 12+ people receive a special advance booking discount. Please call 020 7014 8444 (9am – 6pm, Mon – Fri) to make a group booking.
Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965) was the pseudonym of the Swiss-born architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris. He studied art in his home town in Switzerland before going on to work in Paris for Auguste Perret, the French pioneer of reinforced concrete. Between 1912 and 1930 he worked on a number of villas, including the Maison Dom-Ino (1914-15) and the Villa Savoye (1928-31), experimenting with free plan interiors and long horizontal windows. In the 1920’s his theories of urban design developed around the idea of high-rise buildings which he saw as the answer to the housing crisis and a way of making cities more humane, owing to the larger living space they would provide. This came to fruition with his Unité d’Habitation (1946-52) in Marseille. His most radical work is often considered to be the pilgrimage church of Notre-Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp (1950-54). His last major work was Chandigarh, the administrative capital of the Punjab, India (1950s).
As well as artist, architect and furniture designer he was also a prolific writer, with his most seminal work being Vers une architecture (1923) an impassioned manifesto giving full expression to his radical ideas. He was enormously influential among post-Second World War architects and planners in Britain – not always with happy results – although he never built in this country. He received the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture from the RIBA in 1953.
LE CORBUSIER: THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE
2 OCTOBER – 18 JANUARY 2009, VARIOUS VENUES IN LIVERPOOL
As well as the outstanding exhibition at the Crypt in the Catholic
Cathedral, there will be a series of talks taking place in October and
November – see
for further details.