The influence of the modernist ideal metropolis, on urban design and maestro planning


This essay I focus on the influence of Modernist Ideal City motion. At first demoing that understanding of societal, political and economic background is necessary, along with modern-day technological influences. Second, the intent, rules and consequences of the motion will be illustrated. Then utilizing the instance study-Brasilia demonstrates the influence of the modernist ideal metropolis. Finally, a critical position of historic and hereafter of the motion will be provided.


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At the age of Early 20Thursday, in most of western states, the industrial revolution was dropping towards the terminal. With the development of engineering and the addition of the societal wealth, the population of
















New York




Europe dramatically raised ( figure 1 ) . The modern-day metropoliss could non stand the force per unit area of the population roar. A series of job appeared, pandemonium, overcrowding, low efficiency, serious pollution, high denseness, narrow streets and deficiency of sunshine all threaten people ‘s life quality particularly for lower category people. ( Greed 1996, 70 ) Social struggle liked a clip bomb hanging on the sky of the metropolis. As Le Corbusier saidif we can non accommodate to the state of affairs of the new tendency, the metropoliss can non run into the demands of modern life style ( Corbusier 1987, 84 ) .

At this clip, after the World War 1 ( WW1 ) , the Europe returned to peace. A great reconstructing procedure began edifices, and whole metropoliss needed to be rebuilt. At this clip, engineering was critical to rush up this normally slow procedure. Express train and auto speeded up the travel ; telephone and wireless cut down the commutation clip and skyscrapers increased the metropolis denseness. On the other manus, the modernist rules already were put frontward. Both the existent state of affairs backed up and influenced by the theory basic gave people the chance to rethink the metropolis of tomorrow. Finally, urban utopias emerged as the clip requires, and Le Corbusier’s modernist ideal metropolis is one of the most important parts ( Hall 2011, 11-18, 28 ) .

ufs02user04HSXZHOU2Desktop7Le-Corbusier-Do-mino-diagram_dezeen_2.jpgThe signifier of the modernist ideal metropolis aimed to better wellness of citizens, cut down transposing times, create more unfastened infinite and acquire more sunshine, this manner le Corbusier wanted to work out the societal struggle ( Greed 1996, 101-102 ) .

In 1914, Le Corbusier stated the Dom-ino House ( figure 2 ) . It is made of reinforce concrete and it reject the traditional burden bearing wall. The frame construction frees the internal infinite which can be divided freely. low-cost, convenient, uniformity and standardization all those figures show why He believed the Dom-ino system can run into the people’s demands after WW1 ( Frampton 2001, 21-22 ) .

In 1922, Le Corbusier published a design of a modern-day metropolis with 3,000,000 occupants. And it was the first clip for Le Corbusier to depict a whole ideal metropolis. He searched a pure mechanism order. In his eyes, humanity would lost from pandemonium but revive from the pure order. In order to show the order, pure signifiers was used by le Corbusier. All the elements of metropolis such as houses, roads, industries, offices even human were classified by map ( Corbusier 1987, 15 ) . The whole metropolis was planned by clear hierarchy of category ; people were divided into three parts, citizens, suburban inhabitants and the assorted kind people. Approximately 400,000 to 600,000 citizens who were treated as urban elites lived in the 24 60-storey skyscrapers in the metropolis Centre. In Corbusier’s sentiment these skyscrapers were perpendicular streets, which contain stores, hotels, etc. Furthermore, they merely covered about 15 % country of the full metropolis, which dramatically increase the denseness. At the same clip, considered the environment pollution and human demands, the remainder 85 % of land should be free for green lands. The working category ( about 2,000,000 ) was planned to populate in the garden metropolis, which was influence by the garden metropolis motion ( Corbusier 1987, 163-176 ) . On the other manus, fast traffic played an of import function in the metropolis. He ( Corbusier 1987, 191 ) pointed out “that the metropolis which can accomplish velocity will accomplish success-and this is an obvious truth.” The whole metropolis was connected by transit system. And contriver used symmetrical grid of streets to replace traditional “corridor street” . Two great arterial main roads ran north and south, and E and west crossing at the exact Centre of the metropolis ( Corbusier 1987, 163-176 ) . In general, the whole metropolis worked as a immense machine.

In 1932, Le Corbusier showed a more audacious blueprint-The Radiant City that was more autocratic and more libertarian than the Plan Voisin. The rule of design is existenzminimum ( Corbusier 1976, 6-7 ) . Every edifice would be purely designed on the human graduated table. Furthermore, the beaming metropolis has no category divisions. All of the people live in high-rise flat blocks “Unites” . Each block intended for 2,700 people and included single service and public installations such as stores, eating house, swimming pools and secondary schools ( Corbusier 1967, 162 ) . In order to avoid waste of infinite, the size of the flat was decided by the family’s needs non category. Buildings raised on pilotis free the land land and would be benefit to fast traffic and green land. Symmetrical grid of main road connected the whole anti-street metropolis ( Frampton 2001, 51 ) . Same as the Dom-ino house, the beaming metropolis from a individual room to an full metropolis applies low cost and mass production techniques. In add-on, these blocks merely covered about 12 % land. The remainder country 100 % land country plus 12 % top country of edifices were made up the green metropolis. South confronting glass wall, roof patios and large unfastened infinite made the metropolis more beaming ( Corbusier 1976, 44, 163 ) . At the undermentioned old ages, Four Unite d’Habitations were built in UK including Park Hill, Sheffield, Alton West, Roehampton, Barbican, London, and South Acton Estate, London. In general, the modernist ideal metropolis could be described an order metropolis ; a functional metropolis ; a machine metropolis ; a high-rise metropolis ; a green metropolis ; a beaming metropolis and a fast-traffic metropolis.

Case survey

There is no other metropoliss can wholly demo Corbusier’s thoughts liked Brasilia, although he wasn’t involved in the design ( Hall 2002, 230 ) .From 1956 to 1960, in order to contract the spread between rich and hapless and beef up the development of interior country, a new capital-Brasilia that was designed by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyerhas been built. ( Epstein 1973, 9 ) Brasilia as a wholly new capital, without historical context, embodies a symbol of the modern motion ( Hall 2002, 232 ) . It means that costa got the best opportunity to seek to a pure order liked Corbusier. This order can be shown that the whole program was axisymmetric and was divided different country by its map and residential country, working country and leisure country was linked by fast traffic ( Evenson 1973, 146-153 ) . In inside informations darning needle, bird, aeroplane, organic structure and fuselage ever are used to depict and be after the Brasilia. Approximately 10 kilometers monumental axis nexus E and West. From east to west, severally, were governmental edifices, unvarying office blocks and train station. The uniformrectangle residential districtthat included stores, flats etc. were located at both sides of the air current form north-south axis. And the connexion of the two axes was called rodoviaria that was designed as a Centre of commercialism, civilization and amusement. In add-on, unreal lakes were encircled North, E and South, menagerie and consecutive little mills were near to develop station ( Issitt 2014 ) . In general we can state, under the influence of modernist ideal metropolis, Brasilia is an order, functional, green jet really motorized metropolis.

However, same as the theory of modernist ideal metropolis, critics of Brasilia ne’er stop from the first twenty-four hours of it built. With the development of metropolis, a great trade of jobs emerges. In fact, people are non willing to populate in Brasilia. In 2000, the population of Brasilia was above stupefying 2,000,000 citizens which was 4 times more than beginning program. Yet about 75 % lived in exterior of be aftering country, which, implement low denseness of population. Because of Brasilia being so motorised, and extensively big, it is about impossible to go the metropolis by pes. In add-on due to the stiff functional zone, human behavior was strongly ruled ( Evenson 1973, 118 ) .


In my sentiment, the modernist ideal metropolis motion was the merchandise of epoch. And the design of Brasilia was a great experiment, which successfully proved that the theory of modernist ideal metropolis can non wholly suit to a existent universe. The fact proved that the modernist ideal metropolis is good-looking but non practical. Personally, Le Corbusier was contradictory, he rationally planned the whole metropolis but perceptually wanted to destruct the original metropolis ; he rationally ruled behaviors of human but perceptually thought that everyone has the same demands ; he rationally treated house as a machine but perceptually treated homo as a machine excessively. Furthermore, the most controversial point is that the modernist ideal metropolis is an bossy metropolis that does non go forth any infinite to other possibilities. It is a alone reply for lupus erythematosus Corbusier ( Marshall 2009, 38 ) . However, no 1 can disregard the world-wide influence of the motion particularly in post-war clip, we can still happen the shadow of Le Corbusier in many modern metropoliss such as London, Canberra, Shanghai, etc. With clip goes by, assorted motions of urban deign emerged. Peoples, presents, reach a consensus that we need to happen a balance point between economic system, environment and societal wellbeing and construct a sustainable metropolis.


Clara H. Greed, Introducing town planning ( Harlow: Longman, 1996 ) , 70.

David G. Epstein, Brasilia, Plan and Reality ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973 ) , 9.

Kenneth Frampton, Le Corbusier ( London: Thames & A ; Hudson, 2001 ) , 21-22, 51.

Le Corbusier, The metropolis of to-morrow and its planning ( New York: Capital of delaware, 1987 ) , 15, 84, 163-176, 191.

Le Corbusier, The beaming metropolis: elements of a philosophy of urbanism to be used as the footing of our machine-age civilisation ( New York: Orion Press, 1967 ) , 6-7, 44, 162-163.

Micah L. Issitt, “Brasilia, Brazil, ” Salem Press Encyclopedia, January, 2014.

Norma Evenson, Two Brazilian capitals: architecture and urbanism in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973 ) , 118, 146-153.

Peter Hall, Cities of tomorrow: an rational history of urban planning and design in the 20th century ( Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002 ) , 230, 232.

Peter Hall, Urban and regional planning ( London: Routledge, 2011 ) , 11-18, 28.

Stephen Marshall, Cities, Design & A ; Evolution ( Routledge, 2009 ) , 38.


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