Le Corbusier’s LC14 stool is Spartan, yet sophisticated. There are three iterations, and we saw the first in 1952 for the Cabanon, a hut by Le Corbusier on the French Riviera. Alongside the many fixed furnishings, the furniture was all conceived as boxes. In 1955 a version was designed for the children’s rooms in the Unité d’Habitation in Nantes Rezé. This piece is distinguishable from the others by simple right-angles rather than dovetail joints. Lastly, in 1959, a version for Maison du Brésil at the Cité International Universitaire de Paris was designed. Here we saw in the introduction of oblong openings on the two main sides makes it easy to move the stool, which can be positioned either horizontally or vertically.
There are perhaps only a handful of people who truly changed the way the 20th Century looked, and Le Corbusier was without a doubt one of them. A self-taught polymath in the fields of architecture, philosophy, and design, Le Corbusier was among the very first to encourage the use of tubular steel and concrete, and certainly a master of those materials. His work emphasizes profile over ornament, with a firm belief that simple geometric forms are best.
Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Griss in 1887, by the age of twenty he’d relocated from Switzerland to Paris, shortened his name to Le Corbusier, and designed his first house. Le Corbusier went on to conceive the International Style, a philosophy that favored open floor plans, concrete structures raised on support pillars, and horizontal windows instead of ornamented facades. Buildings like his Radiant City in Marseille remain the ne plus ultra of Modernism and prefigured Brutalism, influencing generations of architects to come. And his furniture has grown even more influential since his death in 1965. Seating like his steel-and-hide LC1 chair are, while radical in their day, are now like timeless classics, often imitated but never bettered.
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