Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier (1887–1965), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades; he designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India, and North and South America.
Dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, Le Corbusier was influential in urban planning, and was a founding member of the Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Le Corbusier prepared the master plan for the city of Chandigarh in India, and contributed specific designs for several buildings there.
Like his contemporaries Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier did not have formal academic training as an architect. He was attracted to the visual arts and at the age of fifteen he entered the municipal art school in La-Chaux-de-Fonds which taught the applied arts connected with watchmaking. Three years later he attended the higher course of decoration, founded by the painter Charles L’Eplattenier, who had studied in Budapest and Paris. Le Corbusier wrote later that L’Eplattenier had made him “a man of the woods” and taught him painting from nature. His father took him frequently into the mountains around the town. He wrote later, “we were constantly on mountaintops; we grew accustomed to a vast horizon.” His architecture teacher in the Art School was the architect René Chapallaz, who had a large influence on Le Corbusier’s earliest house designs. However, he reported later that it was the art teacher L’Eplattenier who made him choose architecture. “I had a horror of architecture and architects,” he wrote. “…I was sixteen, I accepted the verdict and I obeyed. I moved into architecture.”
On July 17, 2016, seventeen projects by Le Corbusier in seven countries were inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as “an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement”.