1st Edition

Towards a Public Space Le Corbusier and the Greco-Latin Tradition in the Modern City

By Marta Sequeira Copyright 2018
    210 Pages 149 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 149 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Le Corbusier is well-known for his architectural accomplishments, which have been extensively discussed in literature. Towards a Public Space instead offers a unique analysis of Le Corbusier’s contributions to urban planning.

    The public spaces in Le Corbusier’s plans are usually considered to break with the past and to have nothing whatsoever in common with the public spaces created before modernism. This view is fostered by both the innovative character of his proposals and by the proliferation in his manifestos of watchwords that mask any evocation of the past, like l’esprit nouveau ("new spirit") and l’architecture de demain ("architecture of tomorrow"). However, if we manage to rid ourselves of certain preconceived ideas, which underpin a somewhat less-than-objective idea of modernity, we find that Le Corbusier's public spaces not only didn't break with the historical past in any abrupt way but actually testified to the continuity of human creation over time. 

    Aimed at academics and students in architecture, architectural history and urban planning, this book fills a gap in the systematic analysis of Le Corbusier’s city scale plans and, specifically, Corbusian public spaces following the Second World War.


    1. Height + 0.00 metres: centre civique 

    2. Height + 50.00 metres: toit civique 

    3. The sameness of ratios  

    4. Dichotomy in ratios  

    5. Civic centre and civic roof as models


    Marta Sequeira holds a professional degree in architecture from the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon (2001) and a PhD in Architectural Projects from the School of Architecture of the Barcelona Technical College (2008). Since 2008 she has been an associate professor at the University of Évora—between 2011 and 2012 she was Head of its Department of Architecture—and she presently lectures at the Faculty of Architecture in the University of Lisbon. She has won, with the research presented in this book, the Prix de la Recherche Patiente, granted by the Fondation Le Corbusier in 2016.

    'Le Corbusier’s inclination towards the Mediterranean is no secret. It is telling that he died in 1965 while at last revising for publication the manuscript of his 1911 Journey to the East. But the full extent of his debt to ancient Greece and Rome had never been fully exposed. Thanks to a rigorous study of his surviving sketches and an illuminating analysis of his designs, Marta Sequeira has firmly mapped the historical precedents and their agency in Le Corbusier’s late work.' Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, USA