A new type of social organization, such as the League of

ations, could not acquire a meaningful physical setting by incorporating elements borrowed from Le Corbusier's project in a formally academic architectural complex. the Palace of the League of In consequence ations has proved almost un­

usable. This principle holds good for architecture, and per­ haps also for politics. In 1927 the following comment appeared under my name in the Berlin journal Bauwelt (p. 1096): "A League of Nations building that ties itself to the ghosts of history is likely to become a haunt of ghosts. " We have paid particular attention to the League of ations Palace because it served as the general public's first introduc­ tion to contemporary architecture. The same year also marked its introduction to modern solutions of the housing problem. It was in 1927 that the Deutsche Werkbund put Mies van der Rohe in complete charge of the Weissenhof settlement at Stutt­ gart. Mies van der Rohe entrusted the design of the houses to The elimination of Le Corbusier's ations was one of the reasons for those architects from all over Europe who had been most active in the new developments. project for the League of

founding the ClAM in 1928.
The Cenlrosoyus.

Moscow

Le Corbusier's Geneva plan remained a project, but the prin­ ciples embodied in it were partially realized in the Centrosoyus at Moscow (1928-34). The erection of the Centrosoyus­ now the Ministry of Light Industry - was retarded partly by the requirements of the Five-Year Plan and partly by the emergence of an architectural reaction. It was one of the last modern structures erected in Russia. Le Corbusier's design for the Palace of the Soviets (1931) feU within the period of Stalinist reaction. With the ceiling of the great hall suspended on wire cables from a parabolic curve (jig. 433), it was Le Corbusier's boldest accompljshment up to that time. In 1931 the realjzation of this project or any of the other contemporary schemes, such as those by Gropius and
the ollly pos.�ible solutiou was to Collo", Le Corbusier'. general layout. less academic shapes to prnduce 8 formal exterior appearance. typists to diplomats. agreed that it was 0 failure. This geuer.1

arrangemenl lhe architects treated in 8 spirit of routine that shows in their use or color· In 1937. ten )'eo,rg after Everyone. from the competition was held. tho building \\'8S opened and put into service.

538

Breuer and by the sculptor Gabo, was no longer conceivable in the U.S.S.R.

Large Constructions and Architectural Aims
In Paris, at about the same time, two large constructions by
Le Corbusier appeared in quick succession: the Salvation Army

hospice (1929-33) and the Swiss Pavilion of the University City (1931-33). Both show additions to Le Corbusier's equip­ ment .of aesthetic means. The pavilion of the Swiss dormitory is one of Le Corbusier's freest and most imaginative creations. The whole building is supported by immense ferroconcrete pillars which run deep into the soil to the underlying rock. One side of the building consists of the glass curtain wall of the studios; the other is modeled carefully in a curved wall of rugged stone. . To the best of our knowledge this was the first time that the curved wall again came into use in modern architecture (fig. 322).11 But what strikes one from the very [ust as extraordinary is the molding of volumes and space in the entrance hall. Although the room at his disposal was relatively limited, the imagina­ tion of the architect has created a space that is living, free, and vast.
J n the inventiveness it displays it is comparable

to the work of the great periods.

It is significant that the

means employed are apparently very simple: the exact place­ ment of the staircase and the unexpected undulations in the walls (the principle of the plan libre). Le Corbusier's writings - ranging in subject from painting to city planning - have had as much influence as rus buildings, not only in Europe and the United States but in Latin Amer­ ica as well. Le Corbusier's literary connections were not even restricled to the arts. The articles in the periodical L'Esprit nouveau which Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) and Ozenfant pub­ lished during the years 1919-25 deal with developments in ev­ ery field which had a formative influence upon the thought of the period.
" For further illustratiolls see u CorblUlier, a;u.re compWe, 1931). wilh introduction hy Sigrried Gicdion.

Le Corbusier as a wriLer

1929-1934,

vol. II (Zurich.

539