Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Journey to the East

In a time while he still answered by the name of Charles-Édouard, and only 24-years old, the young man who would turn out to be the most influential architect of the 20th century decided to switch the “Grand Tour” (the “mandatory” trip through all the main European capitals at the time) by the mysterious cities and cultures of Eastern Europe, including Vienne, Budapest, Istanbul, Athens and many others.

During the 7 months that the trip took, the young student kept a diary, with a collection of very personal thoughts, describing experiences, what he saw and felt, always maintaining a more or less open mind to all these new cultures and people that were starting to reveal themselves to him. Everything followed by numerous drawings, watercolours, sketches or simple notes, a routine that he would keep for the rest of his life.

Posthumous published (requirement of the architect himself), this book is a true adventure romance (especially for “architecture geeks”), which, in a way, brings us back to our teenager readings where everything is read in a rush. Even though it can’t be called an “architecture book” it will provide a delicious trip to the universe of Le Corbusier as a person and not as much of his work, though, it’s packed with multiple architectonic references and this sense of vocation’s discovery.
In this time of uncertainty where most architects already forgot where they came from or where they are going to, perhaps this book can provide some clues and inspiration.

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