The paper considers the possibilities of the genuinely symbolic in modern architecture. It does this by focusing on some aspects of the thematic content of Le Corbusier’s and Paul Otlet’s Musée Mondial. Of particular interest are the
role of nature as a source of the building’s forms and of spiritual renewal,
and the perspectivity inherent in its privileging of vision. It briefly reflects on the incompatibility of the symbolic and the instrumental concerns
of architectural modernity.