Five points of architecture and sixteen points of architecture

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Cristina Handal History of Architecture II Section Essay Assignment 4 TA: Alexandra Quantrill March 26, 2010 Topic 2: Five Point of Architecture and 16 Points of Architecture

Le Corbusier, in Fivepoints of a new architecture, and Theo van Doesburg, in 16 Points of a plastic architecture, present their individual visions of a new architecture. Both theorists are conscious of the new tectonicpossibilities available through the development of steel and reinforced concrete yet their proposals for a novel architecture differ substantially. This difference is evident not only in their writtenwork, but also in the architecture that these essays have inspired. For Le Corbusier a building is clearly divided into structural and nonstructural elements. Structure takes the form of steel columnsand concrete floor slabs and it is only articulated on the ground floor in the pilotis, structural support elements, which elevate the ground floor and the plot underneath for gardening. Thesestructural elements, which are placed according to maximization of support and are thus independent of the interior spatial organization, continue vertically to carry intermediate ceilings all the way up tothe roof. Floor slabs extend beyond the supporting columns to allow for a free façade- free of any structural articulation. Theo van Doesburg in a similar fashion imagines all structural elements tobe placed according to some “constructional calculation” (in his 9th point) that maximizes support while minimizing the number and size of support elements. While le Corbusier treats structure andnon-structure as two independent systems

superimposed on one another, with the former covertly supporting the latter as can been seen in the plans of the villa Savoye (see image 1), for van Doesburgstructure is influenced by non-structure and gets articulated to its full extent with intersecting reinforced concrete slabs and steel columns that articulate the form of Schroder house. Le...
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