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Department of Architecture


Flora Samuel, University of Sheffield

Abstract Le Corbusier idealized woman; he described her as 'the primordial ingredient'. This talk will take his view on the importance of woman and the feminine in the life of man and how this was played out through Le Corbusier's architecture, in particular the Unité in Marseilles and the Monastery of La Tourette where woman is notable for her absence. Archival research as well as the writings and work of those Le Corbusier admired are used to shed light on his often enigmatic pronouncements on this subject. Close analysis of architectural detail and the choreography of the architectural promenade will inform the discussion.

Biography Flora Samuel, an architect and writer, is Head and Professor at the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. She has spent the last fifteen years rewriting the history of Le Corbusier to take into account his interests in nature and women. Her analysis is characterised by close attention to architectural detail, the subject of her book Le Corbusier in Detail. Her latest book, Sacred Concrete (with Inge Linder-Gaillard) will be published by Birkhauser later this year. She is very interested in communicating the value of architecture and in improving the way architects express their value, hence her interest in helping practitioners develop their research, for example through her AHRC funded Home Improvements Knowledge Exchange project.

The seminar will take place at 5.30-7pm in the Faculty Library.

The seminar series is funded by the Martin Centre, King's and Christ's Colleges.

Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 - 17:30 to 19:30
Event location: 
Library, Department of Architecture