Centre Le Corbusier
The Centre Le Corbusier or Heidi Weber Museum is an art museum in Zürich (Switzerland) dedicated to the work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. In 1960, Heidi Weber had the vision to establish a museum designed by Le Corbusier. This building should exhibit his works of art in an ideal environment created by the architect himself.
In 1960 Le Corbusier was mandated by Heidi Weber, a Swiss art collector and patron, to conceive a public exhibition building. One year later, the first drawings for a building to be constructed in concrete were presented, in 1962 the concept was changed to a steel building. Two years later the construction was started, in 1965 Le Corbusier died, and on July 15, 1967, the Centre Le Corbusier was officially inaugurated.
The building is located on the shore of the Lake Zürich nearby Zürichhorn in the Seefeld quarter. It can be reached by foot (20 minutes from Bellevue) or by public transportation: Trams 2 and 4 and bus line 33 to stops Höschgasse or Fröhlichstrasse, or bus lines 912 and 916 from Bellevue to Chinagarten.
It is the last building designed by Le Corbusier marking a radical change of his achievement of using concrete and stone, framed in steel and glass, in the 1960s created as a signpost for the future. Le Corbusier made intensive use of prefabricated steel elements combined with multi-coloured enamelled plates fitted to the central core, and above the complex he designed a 'free-floating' roof to keep the house protected from the rain and the sun.
The most prominent architectural element, the roof, consists of two square parts, each side having a surface of 12 x 12 metres (39 ft). The total ground surface measures 12 x 26.3 metres (86 ft), consisting of welded metal sheets and having a weight of 40 tons. The roof was prefabricated and thereafter, in the biggest possible units, transported to the building site, where it was assembled on the ground. The two finally welded parts of the roof were then lifted to their final height (9 metres (30 ft)) by a crane and fixed on the pillars. With the frame thus completed, the construction process benefited from the independent roof protection which was at that time already in its proper place. It consists of cubes 2.26 x 2.26 metres (7.4 ft) which were assembled on the site. Walls, windows, ceilings and floors were then screwed onto the steel frame. The walls consist of enamelled panels measuring 1.13 metres (3.7 ft) x 2.26 metres (7.4 ft). The placing of these enamel panels was planned according to a particular rhythmic system. Finally, the entire building complex was placed on a concrete ground floor. The building has two floors – five single-storied and one double-storied rooms. When constructing the building complex, more than 20,000 bolts were used.
The Centre Le Corbusier can be considered a Gesamtkunstwerk, i.e. a total work of art, and reflects the harmonic unity of Le Corbusier's architecture, sculptures, paintings, furniture designs and his writings which is unique and possibly the only one such existing structure in the world.
- Heidi Weber – 50 Years Ambassador for Le Corbusier 1958–2008. Birckhäuser Publisher, 2009, ISBN 978-3-7643-8963-5
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