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M i s e a u P o i n t 1 f o r L e C o r b u s i e r ’s B a g h d a d S t a d i u m

M I N A M A R E F A T

O n J uly 1 3 , 19 58 a r a d io telegr a m i n fo r me d L e C o r bu si e r t h at h is desi gn for an Ol ym p ic

sta diu m a n d spo r ts co m p l ex f or Bagh d a d w as ac ce p ted a s s ubmitt ed, w ith co n struc ti o n to

c ommenc e b efore th e en d o f th e year. 2

3 0

ON J U LY 1 4, I raq ’s 23 ye ar- ol d K in g F a is a l a nd h is e ntour age w ere as s as si n at ed i n a mi li t ar y c ou p led b y G ene r al Ka re em Ka s s em w h o d ec l ar ed h im s e l f Pre s id e n t

of th e Rep ubli c of I raq. 3 F or t he nex t seven ye a rs , L e C orbu si er pursu e d t he pro jec t des pit e p ra c tic a l diff i cu l t ie s of c om m u nic a t io n, p ol it ic al t u r mo i l , a nd mul ti pl e s i t e c h an g es. Th e p roj e c t li ve d on af t er L e Co rb u s i e r p a s sed aw ay i n 1 96 5, an d th e g ymn as iu m , a fr a ct io n of h i s pla n , w as co m pl et ed i n 1 9 8 0. T h e Ci ty o f S p or t d e sig n ed by L e C o rbusi er f o r B ag h dad i s th e fo cu s o f m y c u rr en t

r e s e a r c h ; t h i s b r i e f r e p o r t c o v e r s t h e f i r s t y e a r s ,

1 9 55 – 1 9 5 8 ( fi g . 1 ). 4

LE CORBUSI E R w as t h e f i rst of f i v e ren ow n ed a r c h i t ec ts in vited in t h e 1 95 0 s b y I ra q’s Dev e lop me nt Bo ard to bui ld in a mo der n izi n g Ba g hdad. 5 The n ew l y oi l -ric h I r a q se le c ted h i m b efore any o ne e l s e ow in g t o hi s my t hi c a l sta tus a s t h e wo rl d’s premi e r m od er n a r c hi tect. O nl y t hr e e of th e fi ve c om miss i o ned pro j ec t s w ere b u ilt : Wa lt er G rop ius’s Ba g hd ad U ni v ers it y, 6 Gi o Po nti ’s D e ve lo p m e n t B oard He a dqu ar te rs , a n d L e Co rb u s ie r’s Gy m na s i u m . Th e n e w m il i tar y repub li c s h el v e d f o r g oo d t he op e r a h o u s e - a n c h o r e d c u l t u r a l c e n t e r a n d t h e P o s t a n d Te le g r aph bu il di ng b y Fr an k L l o y d Wr ig h t a n d a m u s e um b y A lv ar A alt o. 7

B A G H D A D

A M N E S I A

A s L e C o r b u s i e r c o n t i n u e s t o c o m m a n d r o b u s t s c h o l a r l y a t t e n t i o n , n e w p u b l i c a t i o n s o n h i s w o r k a p p e a r r e g u l a r l y ; a n u m b e r o f p r o j e c t s L e C o r b u s i e r d e s i g n e d i n h i s f i n a l y e a r s , s o m e b u i l t a f t e r h i s d e a t h , a r e p u b l i s h e d

F

M IN A MA R E FAT R E V I E N T IC I SU R U NE ΠUV R E

L O N GT E MP S C O N TR OV E R SÉ E D E L E C O R BU SI ER :

L E S TA D E D E B AG D AD . C E D E R N IE R A VU EN EF F ET S A PAR E NT É D IS C U TÉ E , B E A UCO UP NE LE C ON S I DÉ R A NT PA S C O MME L’ ŒUVR E D U M A Î T R E .

L E S TA D E A D ON C L O NG TE M P S É T É O U B LI É D E S

L I ST E S D ES C ON S TRU CT IO NS D E L E C OR B U SI ER , ET CE N ’E S T QU ’E N 20 03 , AV E C L A G U E R RE E N IR A K, Q U ’I L E S T S O RT I DE S O N SI L E N C E . M IN A M AR E FAT R E LAT E I CI L E S R AI SO N S D E C E T T E I N D IF FÉ R E N C E A U TR AV E R S D E L’A NA LY S E D U P RO J E T – D E L A C O N CE P TIO N D U STA D E À S A R É A L I S AT I ON – , C O N ST R U CT IO N M Y ST É R IE U S E D O NT L A G E NÈ SE E S T A US SI U N E I L L U S T RATI O N D U F O NC TIO N N E ME N T D E L’AT ELI ER D E L A R UE D E S È VR E S D A N S L A S ECO N DE M O I TI É D E S A N N É E S 1 95 0.

a n d v e r y w e l l r e c e i v e d , s e c u r i n g a s o l i d p l a c e i n h i s o e u v r e . 8 B u t s u r p r i s i n g l y t h e B a g h d a d w o r k h a s r e c e i v e d v e r y l i m i t e d s c h o l a r l y a t t e n t i o n . 9 I t i s n o t l i s t e d a m o n g h i s w o r k s i n t h e m u l t i - v o l u m e Œ u v r e C o m p l è t e n o r d o e s i t a p p e a r i n t h e 1 9 8 7 L e C o r b u s i e r E n c y c l o p e d i a , t h e e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g u e f o r t h e C e n t r e P o m p i d o u c e n t e n a r y o f h i s b i r t h ; 1 0 i t w a s a b s e n t f r o m a 2 0 0 8 – 2 0 0 9 t r a v e l i n g r e t r o s p e c t i v e e x h i b i t i o n . 1 1 I t d i d , h o w e v e r, r e c e i v e p l e n t y o f p u b l i c i t y d u r i n g L e C o r b u s i e r ’s l i f e t i m e , i n c l u d i n g b y t h e a r c h i t e c t h i m s e l f . 1 2 I n a 1 9 6 1 l e t t e r t o G i o P o n t i h e e m p h a s i z e d t h e b e a u t y o f h i s B a g h d a d d r a w i n g s a s h e d i s c u s s e d h i s o w n o v e r v i e w o f c u r r e n t w o r k p u b l i s h e d , s u c h a s L’ A t e l i e r d e l a R e c h e r c h e P a t i e n t e i n 1 9 6 0 . 1 3 T h e b o o k f e a t u r e d a l a r g e i m a g e o f t h e B a g h d a d p r o j e c t a n d , o n t h e f i n a l p a g e , a p h o t o g r a p h o f C o r b u i n h i s o f f i c e w i t h t h e B a g h d a d p l a n c l e a r l y v i s i b l e o n t h e

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© Fondation L e Corbusier

3 1

F i g . 1. Le Co rb u s i er's B a gh dad O l ympi c St a di um 55 68. “I m pl an ta ti on v u e d ’a v i on . ” Sca l e 1 : 1 0 0 0; da t ed J u ne 5 , 1 9 5 8 ; d raft s ma n: Tobi to ; s i gne d:

L e Co r b usi er. A b i rd ’s ey e vi ew of t h e s i te pl a n a nd la n d s capi n g of th e f i v e com p on en ts of th e C it y o f Sp o r t e n v is a g e d by L e Corbusi e r w he n h e s en t d ra w i ngs t o B a ghd a d in J un e 1 95 8 . T h e pl ans were a pp rove d b y I ra q’s Dev e l o pm e n t B o a rd o n J u ly 1 3 , 1 9 5 8 , j u st o n e d ay be fo re a m ili t ar y c oup o v er t hr ew t h e Ha s hem i te k in gd o m ( F L C B A G 4 20 )

w a l l b e h i n d h i m . 1 4 T h e a b s e n c e o f t h e B a g h d a d p r o j e c t f r o m l a t e r r e v i e w s o f h i s w o r k m a y b e r e l a t e d t o d o u b t s a b o u t h i s a u t h o r s h i p t h a t c o n t i n u e d f o r d e c a d e s a f t e r h i s d e a t h .

1

5

T H E S TA D I U M a c t u a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d i n B a g h d a d w a s n o t b u i l t t o L e C o r b u s i e r ’s d e s i g n . 1 6 A n d c e r t a i n l y, b y t h e t i m e o f i t s c o m p l e t i o n i n 1 9 8 0 , i t r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y a f r a c t i o n o f L e C o r b u s i e r ’s o v e r a l l p l a n , w i t h i m p o r t a n t

f e a t u r e s o m i t t e d o r l e f t f o r a n i n d e f i n i t e f u t u r e . 1 7 O w i n g t o t h i s , C o r b u ’s d e a t h , a n d t h e f a c t t h a t a g o o d p a r t o f a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e s i g n o f t h e s t a d i u m c o m p l e x o c c u r r e d o u t s i d e h i s r u e d e S è v r e s o f f i c e , t h e r e m a y w e l l h a v e b e e n a d e s i r e t o r e l i n q u i s h o w n e r s h i p o f w h a t c o u l d h a v e b e e n p e r c e i v e d a s a b a s t a r d i z e d p r o j e c t . To d a y, o n l y a f e w i n v o l v e d a s s o c i a t e s a n d e m p l o y e e s a r e a l i v e a n d t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e p r o j e c t r e m a i n s u n c l e a r. A s R é m i B a u d o u ï p u t s i t , s c h o l a r l y n e g l e c t c o u l d s t e m f r o m “ a n

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

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3 2

© Fondation L e Corbusier
© Fondation L e Corbusier

Fig . 2. Le C orb usi er ’s B a gh d a d Gymn a si um b ui ld i n g . Wh en th e g y mn as i u m op en ed i n 19 8 0, thi s p h oto feat ur e d o n a pr o pa g an da boo kl et h i gh l i gh ti n g th e d es i g n f ea tu res o f t he n ewly n a me d Sadda m H us s ei n G ym na s i um

a m n e s i a c l o g i c ” t h a t s i m p l y m i r r o r s t h e w a y m a n y c l o s e

t o C o r b u a n d i n t e r e s t e d i n h i s l e g a c y k e p t t h e p r o j e c t a t

a r m ’s l e n g t h ( f i g . 2 ) .

1 8

THE D ESTRU CTION in Ba g hdad since t h e be ginn i ng o f

t he Ir aq w ar i n 2 0 03 ha s, ho w e ve r, r e t ur n ed a t te nt ion to

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s c h o l a r s h i p ,

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th e J u n e 1 9 55 l e t t e r of i n v i t a t io n f ro m t h e D eve l o pm en t

Boa rd, w he re i n he sti p u l a te d s t ric t c ond i t io n s : h e w o ul d

no t c om m e n ce t he p roj ec t o r g o to Ba g hd a d wi th o u t a

si gn e d c o nt ract an d p re p ai d f i rst c l as s tic ke t a nd p e r

di em f e e . 23 In m ult ipl e l e t t e rs ov e r the c o u rse of th e n ex t

tw

o ye ars, he di s cu s s e d f ee s t ru c t u re s w ith p e op l e h e

kn

ew or me t . W h e n t he y o u ng I ra q i a rc h ite ct Me d h a t

M

adlh oo m vi si t e d h i m i n P a ri s i n J a nu a r y 1 95 6 e n r ou t e

t o L o ndo n, Cor bu s pe c i fi c a l ly as ke d h im t o e n q uir e ho w

Bri tish fi r m s c harg e d f e e s . 24 H e al so c om m un i c at e d

fr eque nt l y ab o ut fi na nc i a l tra ns a c tio ns w ith his t r u st e d

fr ie nd, Sw iss ban k er J e a n- Pi e rre M o nt m ol l i n. 25

TH ROUGH a lo ng s e ries o f d el a y s and c om m un ic a t io n

gaffe s i n vol vi ng b o t h p ar ti es , t h e b u r ea u c r at ic p r o c es s an d e xc h an ge o f l e t t e rs a nd a c c us a t i ons d ra gged o u t

w e l l i nt o th e en d of 19 5 7 . 26 Th e Ira qi s insiste d th at all

c o rre spo n de n c e b e i n E n gl ish , l e s s t h a n i dea l f o r L e

C orbusi e r, an d th a t h e prov id e not on l y a rch ite c t u ral

de si g n but al so e ng i n e e ri ng s e r vi ce s. To m eet t h i s fi na l

st i pu l ati on , i n t h e su m m e r o f 1 9 5 7 L e C orb u s ie r in it i at ed

a c o l l aborat i on w it h t h e e n gi ne er ing fi r m of G e or ge M arc Pré se n t é , w hom he m os t li ke l y knew th r ough h is w o r k on t h e Un e sc o bui ldin g in Pa ris. 27

0 08 – 2 0 0 9 e xhi bi t i on at L o n don ’s Vict o ria and A l b e r t Muse um o f Corbu s i er’s dr aw i ng s rel a t ed t o th e 195 8

2

P RÉSE NTÉ w as an as t ut e b us i ne s sm a n w it h int e r na t i o n a l e xpe ri e nce wh o a rra n ge d t o b e pa id s e p ar a t ely b y t h e

pr

oje ct, as w el l as a 20 0 8 Bar cel o na e x hibit i o n fo c u s i n g

Iraqis w h ile w o r kin g u n de r L e Co rb u si e r ’s di r e cti o n . H e

on al l t he archit ec ts w o rki n g i n Ba g hd a d , h a s s t ar te d to

t rave le d to Bagh da d t o d e l i v er h is p ro po sal in p er son to

fil

l t he g a p. 19 As Wi ll i am C u r ti s as t ut e l y rem ark e d in h is

t h e D e ve l o pme nt B o a rd i m m e d i at e ly a f t e r L e C or bu s i er

se

m inal v ol u m e on L e Corbu s i er, “ wi t hou t fr e s h i ns i g ht s ,

i n vi te d hi m ; h e r e ce i v e d a s i g ne d c o nt r a c t ea r l ier t h a n t h e

hi

stor y de ge ner at es i nt o a n a rid s c ho l a st ic is m o r, s ti l l

archi te c t. Usin g his k no wl e d g e of b u r e a uc ra tic a n d l eg a l

w

or se , int o a sh ad o w o f pa s s i ng f a d s . ” 20 In t he i nt e re st

proce sse s, he al so o rc he strat e d pa y m e nt th r ou g h a S w i s s

of fr esh i n sig h t , I t ake t hi s oppo r t uni t y to l oo k a t t h e Le C or bu si e r arc hi ve o f t he C it y of Spo r t h e e nv i si o ne d for Bag hdad. Co n trar y t o t h e i dea t ha t h e le t e m pl oy e e s

ban k, w h e re as L e C orbu s i e r use d a F r e nc h b a nk , w h ic h t u r n e d ou t t o be a prob l em w h e ne ve r e x c h an g e r a t e s c h an g e d and w h e n t he p oli ti c a l re lat ion ship b e tw een t h e

an

d ass o c iat es t ake ch a rg e o f t h e des i g n, a bun da n t

t w o co u nt rie s di si n te g ra t e d . 28 L e Co rbusi e r’s r ela t io n s hip

doc um e n t at ion h el ps u s t o u nde rs t an d how a n d w hy t h e

w

i th P ré se n t é w as t o be com e a si g n i f i ca nt on e a s t h e

B

ag hd ad p roj ec t m a t te red t o L e C orb usie r a n d t hu s, w hy

pol iti c s o f w o rkin g on t h e B a g hd a d p ro je c t u n f o lde d an d

it

m i g ht mat t er to u s . M an y l et t ers and t h e s he e r n u m b er

i m pact e d t h e o rg a ni za t i on o f h i s of f ic e at 35 r ue d e

of

dr awin gs alo ne — c l os e t o 1 ,5 0 0 , ma ny of w h ic h b e a r

vre s. In t he fi rs t fe w y ea rs of t h e i r c ol la b o ra ti o n,

Le Co rbusie r ’s si g natu re — mak e i t c le a r t ha t t he w or k

P ré se n t é w as c o n ti nu ous ly p ros p e ct i ng f o r L e C or b u s i er

w a s fir m l y i n hi s han ds . 21 L i ke w i se, t he d o cu m e nt s s ho w

a gr e a t arc h i t ec t i n t h e la s t de c ade o f h i s li f e i n v ol v e d in t h e m in ute s t of de t a i ls of t h e p roj ec t . H e c on t i nu e d in th e fac e of p ol iti cal o bs t ac le s, w h il e wo rk i ng o n

ot he r m ajo r p ro je c t s , c o pi n g wi th t he d ea t hs of hi s w i f e

an d h i s mo t he r, and maki n g adm i ni st ra t iv e s hi ft s i n h is ow n of fi c e.

B A G H D A D

I N V I T A T I O N

Wr it i n g t o h is frie nd and admi re r Jo s é L u i s S e r t i n 19 5 6 ,

Le Co rb usi e r u n de rs c or e d hi s ag e (6 8 ) and e xp l a i n e d : “ I

will n ot ac cep t w o rk u nl es s I a m p ai d we l l. ” 22 H is

B ag hd ad c or re spo nd enc e r ev eal s a n i n s is ten c e u p o n

ma tte r s of c o mp en sat i on . It b eg a n wi t h hi s r e sp on s e to

n a t i o n a l

c o nn e c t ion s. 29 L e Co rbu si e r in cr e as i n g ly re l ied o n hi m

n o t o n l y f o r e n g i n e e r i n g b u t a l s o f o r a r c h i t e c t u r a l draft i ng se r vi ce s, an d n o t on ly f or B ag h d a d b ut a l so

fo r oth er pro je c t s. 30

t h r o u g h

h i s

v a r i o u s

i n t e r n a t i o n a l

a n d

IN TH E FAL L O F 1 957 , sh or tl y a ft e r h i s w if e Yv on ne d i e d , L e C orbu sie r fin al l y tra v e l e d t o B ag h d a d a r m e d w it h a pre ci se paym e nt proc e d ure g ua ra n t e e in g h i m o ne - t h i r d o f h i s fe e s at se t i nt e r v al s, a d ra f t c o nt ra c t (i n E n gl ish ) an d an i n vo i c e. 31 U pon h i s arri val o n No ve m b e r 9, he no t e d on th e marg i ns o f t he d o cu m e nt i t se l f t ha t he r e ce i v e d t h e bu i l di ng ’s bri e f fro m J . D o u gl a s , t he B ri t is h c h ie f a r c h i t ec t of t h e De ve lo pm e n t B o a rd ’s s ec o nd t e c hn ical s ec t i o n .

32

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F i g . 3 . Le Cor b us i er n ot e s fr o m t h e l ec tu re h e ga ve i n Bag h d a d to th e So ci e ty of En g i n eer s , w h i ch i n cl u de d arch i t ec t s . H is c a r ne t no t es c onfi r m th a t h e de l i v er e d the l ectur e in Ba gh d a d (F LC C 3 ( 11 ) 7 5 )

He al so p r es ente d an in vo ice f or t he f i rs t i nst a l l men t of h is

fee s , i ncl ud ing a di rec t i v e t o depo s it 1 5,00 0 I ra q i D i na r s

to h is P ari s ban k, a n ot e h e s i g n ed in t he pr es enc e of J e an

Gou ta il , t h en dir ecto r o f t h e Dev elopm ent Bo a rd ’s th i rd

tec hn ica l se ctio n an d w ho had v olu nte er ed t o smoo th o u t

c

om m uni cat ion s. 33

A S RE CORD E D in h i s n ot ebo ok , ag enda and ho te l no t e s , i n hi s thr e e-da y sta y, L e Co rb usie r met wit h J . D ou gl a s a nd hi s a ss is ta n t, t he Fren c h -s peak i n g Be lg i a n a r ch i te ct I.G. P lato u no ff , w it h A kram Fahm y, I raq’s d i re c to r o f P hysi ca l Ed uc a t i o n an d min ist e r o f S oc i a l Af f air s , a nd h ad di nner w it h G ou t a il , w ho pr e s u mab ly ga v e h i m t he st ructur al hi erarch y of t h e bo ard. 3 4 H e vi si te d Bag hd a d ’s a rc h ae o lo g ic al m us e u m an d del iv e red a l ectu r e t o Ira q ’s

so ci e ty o f eng i ne e rs — o f w h i ch a rc hit ec t s w er e d e f a ct o m e mbe r s. 35 H is perso n al i m pre ss io ns o f Bagh d a d r e m a i n

a myster y; sa ve f o r c are f ul l y nami n g a nd ch ar t i ng th e

h i e r a r c h y o f t h e D e v e l o p m e n t B o a r d ’s l e a d e r s h i p

st ructur e , h e co m m u n ic at ed few opi ni on s a bo u t t he c ou n tr y (f ig . 3).

M O S T IM PORTA NT, L e Co rb us i er, br ief i n h a n d , j o i ne d

b y D o uglas , P lat o u nof f an d A kram Fahmy, vi s i te d t h e s i t e t he Ir a qis h ad se l ec t ed f or t h e Ol y m p i c st ad i u m . 36 H is sk e tchb oo k n o te s r e v eal hi s e ng ag em ent wi th t he c l i e n t t o c la ri fy th e pro g ram, do c u m en t i ng i n t he p r oc es s t h e g e n e s i s o f h i s d e s i g n c o n c e p t s . H e e n v i s i o n e d a gym n asium re qu ir i ng ai r c on di t i on i ng t o a c c om mo d a t e n ot o n ly sp o r t s, i n c lu d in g ba sk e tba ll , v oll ey b a ll a nd t en n is, bu t al so op e ra and orch e st ra pe r f o r m a n ce s . H e m a de n o te s on an o ut d o or poo l o f Ol y mpi c d im ens io n f or h igh d iv in g, su g g es tin g t ha t i t w oul d b e les s ex p e ns i v e

i f it w e re o u t do ors. H e n ot e d t ha t t he m i nis t e r w a n te d t h e st adi um c om ple x t o i n c l u d e a p la yi ng fi e l d a n d s w i mm i ng po ol s for y oun g p e op l e , no t u nl ik e t h e po ol s i n F ren ch sc h ool s. Le C orbusie r’s p e rs o na l p a ss i on fo r s wimm i ng di splaye d itse lf in hi s B a g hd a d c a r n et s i t e n ot e s as we ll

(

pu t t in g t o re st an y not i on th a t hi s t a le n t e d d ra f t sm a n an d c hi ef archi t e ct , Ia nn is X e n a ki s , o ri g i na t ed t he id ea of a w ave pool . 38 Fu r th e r, just day s b e f ore e m b a rki n g on h is t ri p t o Bag h dad, L e C orb u s i e r v is it e d t he ne w s w imm i ng po ol in hi s ho me t o wn of L a Ch a u x- d e -F o n ds, S w i tz er la n d . H e w as fam i l i ar w i t h, an d m a y w e ll h a v e b e en in s pi re d by, t he m any t he r m al b at h s in t h e S w i s s m ou n t a ins . It m a y al so be t hat t he p ri m a r y so u rc e o f h i s i nn ov at ion s f or sw i m m i n g poo l s w a s hi s ow n p as s io n f o r b a t h ing in t h e M e di te rrane an Se a , a n ac t i vi ty he mo st e nj o y e d e v er y sum m e r at hi s c aba no n in Cap - Mar t i n.

“ LC : a sw i m mi n g p o ol wi t h w av e s?

H

e s a id : y es . ”) ,

37

IN BA GH D A D, L e C orb u si er a l s o c ons i d e re d q u es ti on s about bu ildin g u s e, p on d e ri ng n ig h t li gh t i ng fo r t h e st adiu m . It w as n ot s u rp ri si ng t ha t he m e nt i on ed “ Lu mi er P hi l ip s” i n hi s c ar ne t; i n t hi s new c om m i ss i on fo r t he P hi l ip s P avi l i on fo r t he 19 5 8 Bru ss e l s Wor l ds Fa i r, h e a nd h i s a s s i s t a n t I a n n i s X e n a k i s w o u l d e x p e r i m e n t w i t h i nno vat i ve e le c t ron ics . 39 Le C orbu sie r rec o rde d a d d it io nal pro vo c at i ve i de as, s u c h a s o p e n i n g t h e s t a d iu m tow a r d s t he r i ve r to al l ow w a t e r fr o m t he Ti g ris to f l o w in t o t he sw i m m i n g po ol s. 40 H e also e nt e r t ai ne d t h e i d e a of an o u t d o o r a m p h i t h e a t e r a s a l e s s e x p e n s i v e w a y o f ac c om mo dat in g a n a dd i t i on al 3 ,0 0 0 s pe ct at or s . H e a d d r e s s e d l a n d s c a p i n g b o t h o u t s i d e a n d i n s i d e . Im pre ss e d w it h t he na ti v e “ Ira q i g re e n er y ” (“ tou t e v er t e h e rbe iraki e nn e ”) , he li s t e d m a n y na t i v e p l a n t s a nd t r ee s

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

3

3

3 4

© Fondation Le Corbusier
© Fondation Le Corbusier

Fig . 4. Le Corb us i er, Ca r n et L 50 , p . en ti tl ed “12 Oct Ph i l i p s , 8 – 1 2 N o v. B ag h d ad. ” C a r n e t p ag es d a ted N ov e m ber 1 2 , t wo o f mor e th a n te n pages de dic a ted to Cor bu’s 1 95 8 t ri p t o B agh dad . T he s ke t ch s h ow s t h e l oca t i on o f t h e s tad i u m si te wi t h r es pe c t t o t h e ri v er Tigr is . Hi s not e, “a t t en ti on l e pl a n d’ur b Mi no pri o en co ule ur n ’es t pa s exact, ” ref e rs to t h e 1 9 56 B a g hdad m ast er pl an by th e B ri t i s h f i r m , M i n o pr i o, Spen c ely a nd M a c Fa rla n e . He al s o

r

g en e rate d wa ves a n d t he i d e a of t h e s ta di um op e ni ng on t o th e r i v e r s o t h at wate r w ou l d f l ow i n to s w im mi n g p ool s (FLC W1 (3 ) 1 0 6 2 an d W1 ( 3) 1072)

e co rd s the na mes a n d t i tl es of v ari o us co nt a ct s i n Ba g h dad an d o u tl i n e s hi s earli e s t co n ce p t s , i n c l u di n g a n i n n o v ati ve sw i mming poo l wi th ar t i f i c ia l ly

a b l e t o w i t h s t a n d t h e r e g i o n ’s f i e r c e s u n l i g h t a n d c on si de r ed h o w t o i ncorp o rat e i rri g a t io n i nt o t he de s ig n of th re e fo o tball fi eld s on t he g reen . Th at C or bu w o uld c on c eiv e t he en t i re co mple x a s a p a rk , noting th at e nt r y sh o ul d be free, ref lects hi s e mp h a s is o n t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f u r b a n p a r k l a n d a s w e l l a s t h e acc e ss ib il i ty of sp or t s f o r a ll , no t j u st a t hl e te s . H e pr opo s ed pa rk i n g a c ces s f o r t h e t h ree en tr y p oin t s he se e ms to h av e h a d i n m i nd. Th e s u p rem e im p o r t a nc e of c li mate ap pe ared i n hi s ca r ne t , i n his w e ll -k no w n s u n dia gra m of t h e t w en ty -f o u r ho ur s p ec t r um a nd in ho t el sta ti o n ar y do od les o f w i nd a n d s un (f ig . 4 ) .

4

1

FRO M THE START an d t hro ug h ou t th e d ev e lo pm e n t o f t h e p r o j e c t , L e C o r b u s i e r d e m a n d e d p r e c i s e c l i m a t i c in for m at io n from h is c l i en t and e x p ec te d h is as s is ta nt s to a ct on i t as he d e v e lo p e d t h e de s i g n c on ce p t. T hu s , C or bu l ef t Ir aq on No v em be r 1 2 w i th a d i re c t iv e t o D o ug la s a n d P la t ou n of f t o s end him sp e c if ic i nf or ma t io n

abo ut si te t o po g r ap hy, w at e r le v e ls in t he Tig r is , n a ti v e

pl an ts, and o t he r m at t ers . H e i nt en d ed t o r ec ipro ca t e b y

se n din g th em h i s t re a t i s e s o n u rb a n is m . 42 I t i s w o r t h

n ot i n g th at hi s car ne t i n cl ud e s n ot e s on s t a d ium p r o je c ts by o t he r arc hi t e c t s : a ne w J ap a n e s e st a d ium and “ t h e

st adiu m in Bayre u t h d e s ig ne d b y t he Fre nch — not b a d. ” 43

In t y pica l Le C o rbu si e r s t y l e , he a d d e d t h a t hi s Ba g h d ad

w o rk w o u l d i n vol ve “c o m p l e te ly n e w p r o pos al s ” ( “ t o u t e s

propo si t i ons n ouve l l e s ”). 44 C l e arl y, t he sit e visit was

pro du ct i ve for L e C o rb u si e r.

B A G H D A D

D E S I G N ,

1 9 5 7 – 1 9 5 8

In t h e t w o ye ars be t w e e n t he i nv it a t io n a n d his Ba g hda d t r i p , C o r b u s i e r h a d r e c e i v e d t w o m o r e s t a d i u m

c o m m issi o ns— on e in C ha n dig a rh, I nd i a , th e o t h er i n

Fir m i ny, F ran ce . Tha t u p o n h is re t ur n f r o m Bag hd a d , h e

w as anxi ou s t o m ov e f o r wa rd w it h al l hi s s t ad i u m p r o je c t s

is i n di c ate d i n hi s No v e m b e r 1 4, 195 7 n ote t o h is assist ant Xe n akis: “M u s t p roc e e d f o r w a rd! I ha ve t h ree

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

rgen t th in g s th at m us t be d on e at onc e. D o n ot p r ot e s t !

u

If

a

Ian ni s Xe na kis h ad jo in ed C o rbu ’s o ffic e t en y e ar s ea rl i e r

a nd had wo rke d on s ome i mpor t ant proj ec t s . He w a s

a lso t o be a key de s i g n a s s o c i at e on the Ph i li ps Pa vi l io n.

In fac t, Xe na kis i n si s t ed t hat L e Co rbu s ie r a c k now l e d g e

his c on trib ut io n o n th a t p roj ec t , w hi c h he e v en tu a l l y

d id , a lbe it re lu c tan tl y ; i t w a s a ra re a d miss i on o f a n

e mpl oye e ’s a uth o rsh i p. I t i s po ss i ble that t hi s c ont rete m p s

b o ss . B ut it is c l ear y o u c an do i t e x tr emel y w e l l .

45

you can not do i t, t he n y o u are n e it he r a n a rc h i t ec t n o r

w o u l d c r i t i q u e a n d c o r r e c t t h e s k e t c h e s , o f t e n s i g n i n g h i s n a m e a n d d a t i n g t h e m . 4 8 T h i s c o u l d m i s t a k e n l y g i v e

c r e d e n c e t o t h e i d e a t h a t X e n a k i s , n o t L e C o r b u s i e r, a u t h o r e d t h e B a g h d a d p r o j e c t . T h a t m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g m a y c o m e f r o m m i s t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e w o r d “ d e s s i n ” a s “ d e s i g n . ” H o w e v e r, “ d e s s i n ” m e a n s d r a w i n g o r d r a f t i n g r a t h e r t h a n d e s i g n . L e C o r b u s i e r g a v e h i s a s s o c i a t e s f r e e d o m t o d e v e l o p s o m e c o n c e p t s , a f t e r w h i c h h e c r i t i q u e d a n d a d j u s t e d t h i n g s t o r e f l e c t h i s v i s i o n .

r e i n f o r c e d t h e t e n s i o n s t h a t s u r f a c e d i n t h e i r l a t e r

TH IS WAS h is t ypi ca l p ro c es s n ot ju st f or B ag h d ad b ut f or

c

om m uni cat ion s an d in ter ac t i o ns . Th at L e Cor b us ie r w a s

al l proj e c ts and, e x ce pt f or t h e ra re c a s e of t h e P hili p s

often d e m an din g i s ev id ent w hen h e a d mon i sh ed Xe n a k is for d raw ing t he Fi r m i ny stadi u m i nc or rec tly : “I r e ca l l t ha t

Pavil io n w i th X e n a kis , L e C orbu s ie r t oo k f u l l a u t ho rship. M ore o ver, fo r Bag hda d i t was Le C o rbu s i e r w h o kn ew t he

t h e s t a d i u m i n F i r m i n y w a s d r a f t e d w i t h i n c o r r e c t

c li ent n ee ds an d loca l c on d it i o ns , a nd it w as h e w h o

(

Ol ymp ic) d im e n si o ns , a m i s t ak e t ha t w ould qu a l if y a s

de te r mi n ed t he fe a s i b i l it y o f a n y s ol u t io ns h is a s s oc i a te s

u

np ar do n able. ” 4 6 ( fi g . 5 )

pro posed . H avi ng al re a dy prod u c ed a s t a d i u m d e si gn

I N A D D I T I O N t o X e n a k i s , t h e o r i g i n a l t e a m f o r

tw e nt y ye ars e arli er, L e C orb u si er als o h a d a f a mi li a r it y w it h t h e b ui l din g t y p e t h at n one of h i s a s soc i a te s ha d . Th e

B

a g h d a d i n c l u d e d C o r b u ’s v e t e r a n a s s i s t a n t s A u g u s t o

B a g h d a d s t a d i u m , i n f a c t , b e a r s s o m e i m p o r t a n t

To

b i t o a n d A n d r é M a i s o n n i e r. A l l o f t h e m a l s o h a d o t h e r

simil ari ti e s with hi s u n re a l iz e d 1 9 3 7 de s ign fo r a s ta d iu m

a

s s i g n m e n t s a n d a l l w e r e g i v e n m o r e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

seat ing 1 00 ,0 0 0 fo r t h e c it y o f Pa ri s , no t o n l y a s a c e n t er

d

u r i n g C o r b u ’s f r e q u e n t t r a v e l s t o I n d i a t h r o u g h o u t t h e

fo r spo r t s bu t al s o fo r s oc i a l/ p o l it i c a l ra ll i e s . M os t

1 9 5 0 s . I t w a s a n e s t a b l i s h e d o f f i c e p r a c t i c e t h a t o n e o r t w o a s s o c i a t e s w o u l d t a k e t h e l e a d o n a p r o j e c t . F o r

c om pe l l i ng , th e arc h iv e s in clu de ea rl y B ag h da d s por t s c o m pl e x draw in g s s i g ne d b y L e C orb u s i e r, w i t h th e n ot e

a g h d a d , i t w o u l d b e X e n a k i s a n d To b i t o . I t i s a p p a r e n t t h a t t h e y b e g a n t h e p r o j e c t w i t h L e C o r b u s i e r ’s

B

“ de ssi n ,” c on fi r ming hi s h an ds - on i nv ol v e m en t not j us t w i t h c on ce pt s bu t a ls o w it h d ra w i n g s of th e pr oj ect f ro m

g

u i d a n c e a n d h i s n o t e s f r o m B a g h d a d . 4 7 F r o m t h e r e ,

i ts in c e pti on ( fig . 6 ).

X

e n a k i s d e v e l o p e d t h e p a r t i a n d t h e n p r o d u c e d t h e

d e s s i n f o r t h e s t a d i u m , f i r s t s h o w i n g t h e b u t t r e s s e s o r v o i l e s t h a t d e f i n e d t h e c u r v e d b o w l o f t h e s t a d i u m a n d t h e f i r s t s k e t c h e s o f t h e g y m n a s i u m . T h e n , L e C o r b u s i e r

L E C O RBUSIER w as c on s ta ntly co nc e r ne d w i th a n d dic tat e d spe c ifi c pri nc ip le s a n d d et a i l s be f o re c a re f ul ly re vi e w i n g drawi ng s pre s e nt ed t o h i m. A w ri tt e n no t e to

© Fondat i on L e Cor bu si er - phot o Jean-L ou
© Fondat i on L e Cor bu si er - phot o Jean-L ou p Char met

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

Fi g. 5 . L e C orb us i er and hi s a t el ier at 35 r ue d e S èv res , ci r ca

1 9 5 7 . F i rs t ro w, f r om

le ft : Ia nn is X en a kis ,

O l ek Kuj a ws ki ,

Jea n nette Ga bil lar d

( se c re tar y), J eani n e

Da rg en t ( s ec retar y ) , Ba lkr is hna D os h i , Jea nne Hei lbuth (L e Corbus i e r’s s ec ret ar y ) , Le Co rbu s ier. Sec on d

r

ow, fr om lef t : J ac ques Mi c hel, S ac h i ni deis , Merlot , Ki m- c h un- U p , Aug usto Tobi t o, He nr i Braux , Ro gg i o Andre i n i, J ac ques Mass o n , A n dré Mai s o n ni er, an d Fer nand G ardi en . I n

th e s u m mer of 1 95 9,

X en ak i s , To bi t o an d Mai so nnie r w ere poli t ely d i smis s ed

( FL C L 4 (1 3) 8 )

3 5

3 6

© Fondation L e Corbusier
© Fondation L e Corbusier

Fi g . 6. Le Corb us i er, d r awi n g of Baghda d s ta di um , da te d A p ri l 1 9 , 1 9 5 8 . A c ol ored s ke tc h of th e st a dium s ho ws an e arl y de s i gn con c ept in L e C orb usi er’s

h a n d wi th notes on t h e lef t ma rg i n ab o ut p ub li c a cc e ss and p ar ki n g . T h e d r awi ng i s al s o a rec ord o f L e C o rb u s i er’s meet i ng wi th hi s eng i n e e r, G e o r ge M a r c Pr ése nt é, a n d J ean Gout ai l , a F renc h a rc h i t ec t wo r ki n g fo r I ra q ’s D eve lop ment B oard ( FL C BA G 1 55 )

Xe n akis, fo r i nst an ce, t ell s h i m f or ce ful l y t o im m e d ia t el y ( “de s ui te , san s pl us d e ret a rd”) pro d uce d r a wi n gs a n d a tec hn ic al di a g ram t o c har t t he p at h o f t h e s u n as i t w o u l d affe ct dif fere nt se c t i on s o f t he bui l di n g a t ea ch h ou r. T hi s w a s Le C o rbus ier, t h e su pr em e re s ea rc h e r, me ti c ul ou sl y c on side r in g h o w t o co n tr ol t he hars h sun f or a bu i ld in g w i th p ro lo n g e d ho urs of u s e . 49 H e asked X en akis to c o r r ec t t h e d e s i g n o f t h e b u t t r e ss f o r t h e s t a d i u m , s uggesti ng th at t hey no t p ro p o se t oo so ph ist ic a t e d a soluti on in s o far a s la rg e b u il di n g ent e r pri s es h a d l e f t B ag hd ad aft er t h e r ev o lut i on , le a v in g b eh in d a p i t i f ul ( “ p i t o y a b l e ” ) l o c a l l a b o r f o r c e . 5 0 H e r e a s s e r t e d t h e r e sp on si bi l it y he fel t : “B ag h da d, he wr ot e, i s a t th e e n d of the wo rl d. M y r espons i bi l i t y as a n a r ch i t e c t i s to b e c ar e fu l an d no t t o embar k t he c l ien t o n a d ve n tu r e s o r mi sa dven t u re s.” 5 1

“ M Y M E THOD OF W ORK p rev ent s me f r om m ak in g

pr el im in ar y d raw in g s of no great s o un d n e s s w h o se pur p ose i s g e n era ll y to cur b th e c l i ent ’s im pa ti en c e , ” h e wrot e t o Mahm ou d H a s an , di rec t or g ene ra l a t t h e Min i st r y of D ev el o p m en t , w h o an x io u sly a w a it e d hi s solut i on s. “I st u dy t he p ro bl em s i n th ei r b io lo gi c a l r e a l it y

and th i s i n vo l ve s e x t rem el y lo ng a nd d e li c a te ap p ro a ch es o n u rbani sti c an d arc hi t e ct u ra l p l a n s a s w el l as o n a n e n g i n e e r i a l [ s i c ] o n e s . ” R e a s s u r i n g H a s a n t h a t “ t h e e n g i n e e r s a r e a l r e a d y m a k i n g r e s e a r c h e s f o r t h e c a l c u l a t i o n s o f s e v e r a l a c c e p t a b l e s o l u t i o n s f o r t h e st adi u m ” h e add e d , “ p l e a se be rea ssu r e d a n d d o n o t w o rr y; t h e st u dy is no w r e gu la rly pu rs u e d. ” 52 This w as on e of m any le t t e rs , te l e gra m s, a nd p o l it e or i m p ol it e i nte r nal a nd e xte r n a l e x ch a ng e s b e fo re M a y 31 , 1 9 58 , w h e n Le Co rbu sie r fi na l ize d a c o m p le t e d e si gn ( f i g. 7 ).

ON JUNE 6, h e e n t ru s t e d G e o rg e M ar c Pr és en t é wi t h d e l i v e r i n g t h e d r a w i n g s a n d r e l a t e d n a r r a t i v e t o Bag hdad. Th e doc u m e nts s ug g e st t ha t w i th h is lo ng abse nce s to In di a, t e n s io ns i nt e n s if i ed w i t h in Co r bu si e r’s fi r m and he i ncr e a s i ng l y rel i e d o n P ré s e n t é. A lt h o u g h C orbusi e r had hire d hi m on l y b ec a u se h e w a s obl ig ed t o , Pré se nt é and h is st a f f e v ent u al l y s u b st i t ut e d fo r so m e o f L e C orbusi e r’s o w n pe op l e . 53 H e tu r n e d o u t to be so me th in g o f a po w erbro ker wh o s ee m s t o h a v e c a p ture d L e C o r b u s i e r ’s p u l s e , i m p r e s s e d h i m w i t h h i s f i n a n c i a l ac u m e n, and w o n h is c o nf i de nce f or a nu mb e r of y ea rs . By mi d- 195 8 , t he L e C o rb u s i e r-P ré s en t é c oll a b or a t i on

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

w as in full sw ing an d P rés en t é hi ms el f deliv ere d th e p l a n s

i n Bag hda d. In h i s a cc o mp any i ng s e ven- pa g e des cr i pt i on L e Co rb usie r m ad e the f oll ow i ng s t a tem ent t o h is Ira qi c li ents, “ Dec larati o n: t h i s is n ot a ro ug h dr a ft of t he

p roj e ct . It i s t h e pro jec t i t s elf

h av e gi ve n an i m m ens e a t ten t io n t o t he pr ob le m

I can her e af f i r m t ha t I

In

fa ct, m y m et h o d o f w ork i s t o t hin k thi ng s o v e r, b y

ana lysis, a lo n g ti m e, u s ef u lly and de fi ni t ely; a t a c e r t a in

m ome nt th e syn t hes i s t a ke s plac e, th at is to s a y t he c ompo s it ion . It is not a f an c y, it i s a b i r th.” 54

l a t e r t h e M i n i s t r y o f H o u s i n g a n d P u b l i c Wo r k s ) , r e m a i n e d o n b o a r d , a l b e i t u n d e r n e w a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s . O n e m e a s u r e o f L e C o r b u s i e r ’s c o m m i t m e n t t o t h e B a g h d a d p r o j e c t w a s h i s a c t i v e r e s p o n s e t o t h e p r a c t i c a l a n d f i n a n c i a l o b s t a c l e s t h a t f o l l o w e d e a c h c h a n g e o f g o v e r n m e n t , i n c l u d i n g h i s r e t u r n t o B a g h d a d i n M a y 1 9 5 9 t o a d a p t h i s d e s i g n t o a s i t e c h a n g e . T h i s w a s t h e f i r s t o f f o u r s i t e c h a n g e s t h e p r o j e c t w a s t o u n d e r g o i n t h e n e x t t h r e e y e a r s . O v e r t h e c o u r s e o f f o u r m o r e c o u p s a n d t w i c e a s m a n y c h a n g e s o f d i r e c t o r s h e a d i n g t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t h i r e d h i m , L e C o r b u s i e r p a t i e n t l y c o n t i n u e d w o r k i n g o n t h e p r o j e c t , s e n d i n g m a n y p l e a s f o r f e e s t o h i s c l i e n t , a s w e l l a s l e t t e r s t o F r e n c h a n d S w i s s e m b a s s i e s a n d M i n i s t r i e s o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s i n h o p e o f r e c e i v i n g p a y m e n t s .

© Development Board pamphlet published in M arch 1957, Baghdad
© Development Board pamphlet published in M arch 1957, Baghdad

L E CORB USIE R div i ded t he c o mponen ts o f t he s p o r t s

com pl e x i nto fi v e g ro u ps : (1 ) t h e st ad i u m f or 5 0, 0 0 0

sp e ctators , a pe r fe c t ci r cl e w i t h f o ur ent rance ra mp s on

c ar din al po i n t s gi vi ng di r ect ac c es s t o u pp er s ea t s ; ( 2 ) t he gym n a sium f o r 3 , 5 0 0 s p ect a t o rs and a n ope n a i r a mphit he a t er f o r bas k et bal l, te nn is, a nd v o lley b a l l fo r a not he r 3 ,0 0 0 spec t a t o rs; ( 3 ) a sw i m mi ng pool wi t h

se ating fo r 5 ,0 0 0 s pec t a to rs , as w ell a s aq u a t i c g am e

si te s that in c lude d ri ve rs , l akes an d a w at er- b a s i n w it h

w aves; (4 ) pat h s f o r f oo t pass en g er s, m ot o rb u s es , c a rs

a nd b ic yc les, w h ich he c al l ed t h e “ hy dr au li c o f c row d s; ” a nd ( 5) lan dsc ap in g , i ncl u di ng p ar k s a n d g a r d e ns .

55

T hr ou gh fi v e key drawin g s , h e man ag ed t o c on v ey t h e

i de a o f a c o m plex se t o f bu i l di ng s and l an ds c ap in g t ha t e mbo di e d t h e to t ali t y o f hi s v is ion f or an u np r ec e d en t ed a nd ae st h e tica lly i n no v at iv e ur ban c u l tu ra l c en t e r f or

sp or t. He f el t h e h ad p ro v i de d al l t hat ha d be e n a s k ed o f

h im and m or e (fig . 8 ).

T HE MA STE R PLA N f or t he C i t y of S por t e nc a psu l a t e d i de as L e Co r busi e r had dev e lope d f or y ear s ab ou t s por ts a s an i n te g ra l par t of da il y l if e, ori g i na ll y th ro ug h hi s

p rop osa ls t o in c lude ex e rc i se f i eld s a nd s por ts fa ci li t i e s

ithi n apa r t m en t hous es or read i ly a c c es s i b l e t o t he m .

Bag h da d h e we n t f u r t h er, w ea vin g s p or t i nt o t he l if e o f

t h e c i t y, m a k i n g i t a c c e s s i b l e b y e v e r y m e a n s o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g w a l k i n g . H i s f a c i l i t i e s m e t

O lym pi c stan d ards b u t he w an te d t hem to be e n jo y e d b y

a ll c it ize n s; he n ce t h e n on -Ol y mpic sw immin g p oo ls , t h e gard e ns an d rest au ra nt f a ci li ti es . I n m any wa y s the s po r ts c om pl e x h e p ro po s ed ant i ci pated t he mu l ti - f u nc ti o na l a re n as th at wou l d bec o me h al l m ar k s of majo r ci t ie s a roun d the wo r ld (f i g. 9 ).

In

w

Fi g. 7 . Member s o f t h e D ev el op men t B o a rd a t t hei r M a rc h 1 9 5 7 m eeti ng. I n cl ud e d a re th e mi n i st er o f D evel o p me nt M ah mo ud H a s a n, pri me m i nis t er N u ri Sa id , a nd m e mb e rs

56 of t h e s eco n d tec h ni c a l s ect i on . Acco rd ing t o J ean Goutai l, Ab da l Ra h ma n Jal i li , f a r le f t, c ha mpi o n ed Le C o rb usi er

TH E D OC UM ENTS l ea v e l it t l e d ou b t t ha t L e C or bu s i er w as t he au tho r of th e B a g h d a d C it y o f Sp o r t a n d t h at i t w as i m por t an t to hi m i n m an y w a y s. H e c ont in ued t h e p r o j e c t d e s p i t e p o l i t i c a l t r a u m a s i n B a g h d a d a n d di ffi cu l ti e s w i t hi n th e fir m at ru e d e S è v r es. B a g h d ad wa s t o be a par t of L e Co rb us ie r’s l eg a c y : he m i nd e d h ow i t w oul d co mpare t o oth er w ork i n t he c it y b y m a j or arc h i t ec t s, wh e t he r it w o u ld b e t e c hn ic a l l y p e r f ec t a n d w or t hy o f hi s n am e . T he v er y f ac t t h a t h e t ur n ed an Ol ym pi c st adiu m i nt o a n e xp a nsi v e p la n f or a C it y o f Spo r t as an urban hub i s te s t i m o ny to h is in ves t m e nt in t h e pro je ct . Gi ve n it s i m p o r t ance t o hi m , t h e B a gh da d s p or t s c o m ple x c l e arl y w arrant s a cl o s e re a di ng i n ter m s of h ow i t put i n to prac ti c e h i s c on ce pt s o f u rba ni s m an d th e r ol e of spor ts i n urban l i f e . T h a t i s t he ult i m a t e g oa l o f t he pre se nt re se arch a s pa r t of a b ro a de r i n v es t i g at ion of a hi dde n st or y o f a rc hi te c t ura l m o d e r n is m i n t he M iddl e East . “Ever yth in g,” d e c l are d L e C o rb u s ie r i n Ju ly 1 96 5 , “ i s a qu e st i on o f p e r s e v e ra nc e , of w o r k , of c ou r ag e. ” 57

B A G H D A D

I N

P E R S P E C T I V E

A c o n f i d e n t L e C o r b u s i e r w a s p l e a s e d b u t n o t s u r p r i s e d

t o r e c e i v e t h e J u l y 1 3 , 1 9 5 8 t e l e g r a m i n f o r m i n g h i m t h a t h i s d e s i g n h a d b e e n a p p r o v e d . T h e f a t e o f t h e B a g h d a d p r o j e c t , h o w e v e r, w a s t o b e i n t i m a t e l y t i e d t o t h e p o l i t i c a l d e s t i n y o f I r a q . W h i l e t h e n e w r e p u b l i c c o n t i n u e d t h e p r o j e c t , c h a n g e s i n g o v e r n m e n t m e a n t c h a n g e s i n d e c i s i o n — c h a n g e s i n e v i t a b l y t r a n s l a t e d i n t o n e w d e m a n d s u p o n t h e a r c h i t e c t . R e m a r k a b l y, a f e w o f t h e t e c h n i c a l s t a f f , n o t a b l y P l a t o u n o f f o f t h e D e v e l o p m e n t B o a r d ( w h i c h b e c a m e t h e M i n i s t r y o f D e v e l o p m e n t a n d

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

3 7

3 8

© Fondation L e Corbusier
© Fondation L e Corbusier

Fig . 8. Le Corb us i er ’s Bag hd ad O l ymp i c S ta d iu m 5 56 7 . “I mp l a n t ati on ba s du s o l . ” Sc ale 1 : 1 00 0 , d ate d J u n e 5 , 1 9 58 ; draftsm a n: Tobi to ; si g n e d: Le Corb us ier ( FL C BA G 4 1 9 )

MINA MA REFAT is a n arc hite c t , hi st o r ian a nd F ulb rig ht s c h o la r

( in Franc e, 2009), wh o s er v e d a s c ur a t o r ial ad v is or to t he 20 09 – 20 1 0

Fra nk L loy d Wri ght e x h ibi t ion at t h e G u gg e n heim in N e w Yo r k an d

B ilb a o, speci a li zes in m od e r n a rc hit ect ur e a nd ur b an is m a nd t e a c he s at Geo r getown U niv e r s ity.

BI BL IOG RAPHY

BA U DO UÏ, RÉ MI. “ Bât ir un S tade: le P r ojet de Le C or b us ier p o u r B agda d ,

19 55– 19 73,” lec tur e pre se nt ed t o t he Cent re Cul t ur e l d e B a gd a d ,

J an uar y 2002, pu blishe d in Az ara, Ciu da d d el Ex p ej i sm o s : B a gd a d, de Wri ght a Vent ur i. B ar c elon a, 2008. 91 – 102 .

Fo ndat i on Le C o rb usi er a nd t h e Ar chit ec t ural Hi stor y F o un d at i o n .

L e C or bu sie r C a r net s. P a r is: Gar la nd , 1 98 1.

L E CORB USIE R. L’At e lie r de la R ec he r che P at i ent e. St u t t g ar t: H a t je, 1 9 6 0 .

Al so pub li s he d i n Ger man a s M ei n We rk ( St utt g a r t : H a t je , 1 9 6 0 ), i n E n gli sh as My Wo rk ( Lo nd on: Th e Arc hit ec tur a l Pr es s , 1 9 6 0 );

an d i n I tal ia n as Mi a Oper a ( Turi n : B ori ngh ier i, 19 61 ) . M ARE FAT, M I NA. “ 1950s Ba ghd ad, M od er n a nd I nt er n at io n al , ” TA A R II Ne w sl et t er 2– 2. F all 200 7. 1– 7. TA J-E LDI N, S USAN. “Bag hda d: Box o f Mira cl es ,” The Ar c h it ec t u ra l R e vi ew

10 79. J anua r y 198 7. 78– 8 3.

N OTES

1 I u s e m i se au point , which rough ly t ra ns la t es a s “ i n fo c us , ” a s h om age t o Le C or b usi er ’s us e of t his phr a se t o g i ve a t it le t o h i s l as t wr it t en te xt , auto biog rap hi ca l m ed it a t io ns pe nn ed w ee ks b e f o r e h i s

de at h at C ap- M ar t in on Au gu s t 1 7, 1965. It w as p ublis hed

pos th um ou s ly i n 19 66 and h as b een tr anslate d a nd ann ot ate d in Ivan

Z ah ni c , Le C or bus i er: Th e F ina l Te st ame nt o f P è r e Cor bu; A Tran s lation

and Int e r pr e t at ion of M is e Au Poin t (N ew H av e n: Yale U ni ve rs it y P re s s ,

1 997). I dedic ate t hi s ar t icl e t o my p r of essor an d m en t or J e rz y Soltan

wh o f i r s t t au g ht m e t o ‘ see ’ Le Cor b usie r.

2 F on dat i on Le Cor busi er P 4 ( 1) 4 8. Her eafte r, r e f e renc es t o mat er ials

f rom t h e ar c h ive at Fondat i on Le Co rbusier w ill be headed wit h FLC.

3 Kass em ove r thre w th e 3 5- y ear old Ha shemite k ingdom .

The f asc i nat i ng poli t ic al hi s t or y of Ira q has be e n w ell dis c us s ed

in

r e c en t y ea r s. See, fo r e xam pl e E r ic D avis , Memor i es of Stat e Polit i cs ,

H

is tor y an d C ollec t iv e Ident it y in M oder n I r aq (B e r k eley : U ni ve r s i t y

o f Cal if or nia Pr e ss , 2005) . F or cul tur al tr ansf or mation s i n t he e ar ly

t we nt i e t h cen tu r y, s ee M agnu s Ber n har dsson, R eclaimi n g a P lunder e d

Pas t : Ar chae olog y and N at ion Buildin g in M o der n Iraq (Au s t in :

Un

iver s i t y of Te x as P re s s , 2005).

4

I am gr ate f u l t o t he F r anco- Am er ic an C om mi ssion w i t hout w hose

Fulbrig ht s uppor t t h is r e s ea r ch w ould not have taken place an d w h os e

mi s sion t o pr o mo te unde r st an ding be tw e e n Fr an ce an d the US I fu lly

su ppor t . Th e Fu lbr ig ht en able d my r e se ar ch for th e p as t s ix mont hs at

t

h e ear ly 1 980s w h en s t udy ing th e A lgier s p r oje ct , pro vidi ng m e w it h an appr ec ia tion of t he ri ch ness of Cor bu’s ha nd -pr o du ce d doc um en ts . Many o f Le Cor bu s i e r ’s dr aw i ngs ar e n ow digitaliz ed bu t as w it h

th e w r i tin g of t h is ar t i cle, di g ital ve r sions o f the B a ghdad draw i n gs

we r e u n availabl e. I am also thank f ul for e nlight e ning talk s an d

int er v ie w s w ith in di vi du als wh o w or ke d o n t he B ag hd ad proj e ct:

t

h e F on dat i on Le Cor bu si e r, w ith w h ich I fi rst be ca me f ami li ar i n

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

© Fondation L e Corbusier
© Fondation L e Corbusier

Fi g. 9. L e Cor bus i e r' s Ba gh da d O ly mp i c St a di um s ec t i on . S cal e 1: 1 0 0 0 ; da te d J u n e 5 , 1 9 5 8 ; d ra ft s ma n : X en a k is ; s ig ned : Le C or bu s i er ( F L C BA G 4 2 2)

Rifa t Ch ad irji, Rob er t R eb ut at o, an d A l a in Taves. Tha n ks , a s w ell, t o my co ll e ag ue s Ca e ci li a Pie r i a nd es pecial l y J ea n-L o uis C ohe n, fo r many yea rs of inspi r ing dis c ussi ons.

5 Fo r an int roduc ti on to t his imp or ta nt c hap t er o f in t er na t i o n a l

mo d er n ism in ar c hi t ec t ur e, see M ar ef a t , “ 1950 s Ba ghd a d , Mo d e r n a n d I nte r na ti onal, ” TAARII N ews let t er 2– 2 (Fa ll 2 00 7): 1 – 7 ; a lso s e e Ca ec il ia P ie r i, Bag dad Ar ts Dec o: Ar c hit ect ur es d e Briqu e 1 920– 1 9 5 0

(Pa ris : L’A rchange M i no ta ur, 200 8); f or B ag hd ad ’s ar ch it ec tur a l h is to r y i n t he fir st h alf of the t wen ti eth cen tur y in a richl y il l ustr a te d vo lu m e t hat inco rp or at es p ar t o f her d oc to r al r esea rc h o n th e c i ty.

6 For a more det ail ed d iscus sio n o f t his pr o jec t, see M a refa t ,

“Bauha us in Baghdad: Wal ter Gr opius ’s Mast e r P ro j ec t f o r B a ghd ad , ” Do c o mo mo Jour na l 35 (S ep tem be r 2006): 78 – 86; a nd M ar efa t , “The U n iv er s al Un i ver si ty : ho w B au ha us ca me t o B ag hda d ” in P edr o A z a ra (e d. ), C iu dad d el E x pe jismos: Ba gda d , d e Wrig h t a Vent u r i (Bar c e lo na , 2 008 ), 157– 166.

7 Fr ank Lloy d Wr ight tra nsf or me d h is co mmi ss io n f o r a n o pe r a hou s e

1 965); Le Cor bus i er, Une E n cy clopéd ie (P a ris : Ce ntr e G eorges- Pomp id ou , 1987). Volum e 8 o f t he Œ uv r e C om plète, de dica ted to proj ec t s on t he dr awi ng boar ds i n 196 5 – 19 6 9, o mi tt ed Ba ghdad . Toge th er wi t h th e F ondat ion Le Cor bu sie r, G a rla nd publis he d

t h e m ulti -volu m e s e t t h at include d s ome 32 ,000 dr awings of over

3 00 bu ildi ng s an d pr oje c t s. Volu m e 27 w as de dica te d to “ P r oj e t pour

u n St ade Oly m pique , Ba gh dad,” an d r e fe r enc ed othe r buildings

and pr oj e ct s, 1953, and m y s t e r iously incl ud e s fe w e r than h alf th e

proj ec t dr awi ngs n ow he ld at F ondat io n Le Cor bus ier. I ha ve f oun d no e videnc e f or any da te ear l ie r than 19 55 for t he Ba ghdad proj ec t . Volu me s 3 and 4 of t he four -v olum e s e t of Le Corbusier ’s ca r n ets publish ed in Par is i n 19 81 by t he Fonda tion Le Corbusier a nd t h e

A r chi t e c tu ral Hi st or y Foun dation i nclud es h is B ag hd ad no te s.

3 9

1 1 Spon s ore d by t he Vi t r a Mu s e u m a nd t he Ro yal In stitute of Br i t i s h

A r chi t ec ts , gue s t c u r at ed by St an i s lau s vo n M oos and Ar thur Ru eg g ,

t h e e x h ibi tion has trave le d to ve n ues in cl ud in g Live r poo l, London ’s

B ar bica n and m ost r ec ent ly Be r li n.

i nto an e labora te plan f or a c ivic ce n te r a nd univ er sit y, fr om w hi c h

1 2 Pr e s s cove r ag e be gan e ar ly. F r anc e Soir (August 19, 1 957) ,

sel e c te d d ra w in gs have b een ex h ibit ed fo r t he fir s t t ime in

Le Cor b us ie r Con s tr ui r a un S ta de de 5 0 0 00 P lace s à Bagdad, ”

t he Gu gge nhe im M u seu m’s f if t ieth a nn iversa r y exhi bi t io n of Wr i g ht ’s

F

LC P 4 (2): 1 45; G az e t t e de Laus an ne ( August 2 4– 2 5, 19 57):

w o rk . Se e M ar ef a t, “ Wr ig ht i n B agh dad : Urb a n Life mo r e B e a ut iful , ”

Le Corb usi er, Ar ch i tect e du Sole i l;” “ Le Cor b usie r va const r ui r e

i n Fr ank L lo y d Wri g ht : Fr om W i t hi n O ut war d (R izz o l i, 20 09 ) , 74 – 9 2 , 3 34– 343 , c atalogu e of t he 200 9 Gug genheim exh ibit ion ; als o s e e

Bagdad un St ade de 55 000, ” La Co n st ruction Mode r ne (J uly 3, 1 963) . Le F i gar o, La Li be r t é, Au x É c oute s and Ir a q Ti mes, among

à

Ma r ef at , “ Wr igh t ’s Ba g hdad: z igg ur at s a nd g reen visio ns” i n Az a r a ,

o

th er s , gave it pr ess cove rag e. Le C or busi er w a s n ot a s k ee n t o

C iu da d d e l E xp ej ism o: 145 – 156 ; and M a ref at , “Wri gh t ’s B a gh da d , ” i n A nt ho n y Alofs i n (ed . ), F r an k Lloy d Wright E u ro pe a nd B e yon d

prom ot e t he pr oj e ct in the pre ss as wa s hi s engineer, G e or g e M arc

Pré s e nté who , i n lat e r y e ar s, caus ed fr i ctio n w hen he use d m edia

(

Ber k e le y: U ni vers i t y o f Ca li fo r ni a P re ss , 19 99) , 18 4– 213 .

cov er ag e t o prom ote hi s bus in e ss an d play up his own rol e i n

8 T here a re ma ny n ew books pu blished o r in pr o d ucti o n o n h is

p o s th umo us ly bu i lt pr oj ec t s, i ncluding t he S wiss Pa v il io n in

S w itze rland, La Tou r et t e Monas t er y a nd Fir miny Gr een in Fr a nc e,

a s well as Chandigar h . T he r ece nt 750-p a ge Le Co rbu s ie r L e Gr a n d

( Phai do n, 200 8) , w i th nu mer ou s im a ge s never publ is h ed b ef o r e, a n exc e lle nt intr odu cti on by J ea n-Louis Co hen, an d ess ay s b y Ti m Be nto n de d ic a tes tw o p ag es t o t he B ag hd ad pro jec t .

9 E x ce pt i ons ar e Su san Ta j- eld in , “ B aghdad: B o x o f Mir a cl es ,”

The A rchi tec tu r al R evie w 1079 ( J a nu a r y 198 7): 78 – 83 ; an d Rém i B a ud o uï , “ Bâ ti r un Stade: le Pr o jet d e L e C o rb us ier p ou r B a gd a d, 1 955 – 19 73,” le c tur e p r es ent ed at t he Ce nt re Cul t ure l d e B a gd a d , J a nuar y 200 2, p u bli s he d in Az a r a, Ciud ad de l E x p ejis mo, 91– 1 0 2 . 1 0 Le Co rbu sier e t s on At elier 35 r ue de Sèvr es, Œ uvr e C o mp l è t e 1 957 – 19 65, Vo l. 7 ( Z ur ic h : W. B oes inge r, Le s É d it ion s d ’ A r chi t e c t ur e,

t he pr o jec t .

1 3

FLC G 1 ( 19) : 30 7. I n a le tte r t o G io P on ti d at e d A pr il 11, 1961

Le C or bus ie r co m me n ts : “c e s ont de t rès be a ux des sin s. ” 1 4 The book w as pu bli s he d i n E ng lis h, G e r m an and Italia n as

My Wor k , Me in We r k, an d M ia Ope r a, respe ctiv ely. P a ge 191 in ea c h

o f t h em fe at ur e s th e Baghdad spor ts s t adium co mplex .

1 5 The lac k of i nf or m at ion i s m y s tif y ing but no do ub t no t u nre lat ed t o

t he fac t s t h at m an y of t h e dr aw in gs ha ve neve r be e n pu bl ished and

t h at many w e r e dr aw n in the Pr é s en té of fice s b y p e op l e w ho w or k ed wit h L e C or bus ie r but s t ar t ed w it h P r ése nté or w or ke d in h is of f ice . The fa ct tha t P r és en t é an d his par tn er, Ph il ip pe Roul ie r, co nt i nued

t he pr o jec t i n th e 1970s m ay h ave con tr ibute d t o a not io n that Pr é s e nté rath e r th an Corbu w as th e aut hor of t h e pr oject . 1 6 Acc or din g to Rif at Ch adi r ji , t h e stadi um de si gn w as final ize d

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

an

d bui lt by P or t ug u ese a r chi te cts, princi pal l y to c ut co s t s. I n t er v iew

3

the joi ner y of th e mus e um door.

wit h au thor, Apr il 200 9.

6 F LC 4 (1) 8– 10 : 1– 3.

1

7 Ca lle d t he S add am H us sein Gy mna sium, it w as i mm ed ia t e l y

3

7 F LC W 1 (3) 1072. “LC : pis cine à v ag ues ?

Il dit : oui . ” “H e”

pu bl ici ze d and ad opt e d n ot o nly a s a sp o r t s cen t e r b u t a l so as a v e n u e

he re r ef er s to t he I r aqi m in ist e r, F ahmy.

from w hi c h h e d elive red sp eec he s.

3

8 F LC W 1 (3) 1056 t o 1073 in C ar ne t L 50. T he s e pag es per tain to

1 8 Baudouï , “ Bât ir un st ad e, ” in A za ra , Ci ud ad del E x p e jis m o, 1 0 0 .

th

e Bagh dad t r ip, N ove m be r 9 – 12, 1 95 7, and w er e als o publi sh e d

1 9 The s ho w a t t h e Vi ct or ia an d Alb er t Muse um w a s or ganiz ed by

in

t he Le Co r busi e r Car ne t Vol. 3.

Ir en a M ur r a y, direc to r of th e R o y al Ins t it ut e o f Br it i sh A r ch i t ec ts

3

9 Cor bu s ier c alle d it P oè m e É le ctr onique and p ublis h ed a bo ok w it h

Ar

c hi ve s , w ith P et er Car l, c u rator. T he exhibit ion i nclud ed d r a w in gs

th

at t it le . X e nak is de vel oped t h e co ncep t and g eomet r y un de r t h e

from t he C anadi an C en t er f or Ar ch it ec ture, a cq ui re d f ro m J ul l i a n d e

di

r e c tion of Le Co r bu si e r f or th e “ f ir s t e le ct r on ic- spati al e nvir onme nt t o

la Fu en te, who w o rked o n t he B agh d ad pr o jec t as o n e o f

com bi ne ar c hit ec ture , f ilm, li g h t and m usic t o a t ot al ex perie nce m ade

L e C or bu sie r’s la st e mplo y ees.

t o f un ct ion i n t im e an d sp ace” a nd “pr e se n te d a col lage li t urg y f or

2

0 Wil lia m C ur tis , Le Cor bu sier : I deas and Fo r ms ( R i z z ol i , 19 8 6 ) : 1 1.

twe nti e t h centu r y h umankin d, de pe nde nt o n e le ctr icity i ns te ad of

2

1 As note d ab ove, Garla nd Pr e ss ha s p ub l ished so me 6 00 o f t hes e

daylig ht . ” Mar k Tr e ib, Spac e C alculat e d in Se cond s ( Pr in c et on :

dr

aw in gs. Th es e and almost 900 mo re unp ub li sh ed d ra w i n g s a re n o t

Pri

nc et on U ni ve r si ty P r e ss , 199 6) : 3.

in

chr onol ogic al or der. N ever t h el es s, t he d ra wi n gs re v ea l Corb usie r ’s

4

0 F LC P 4 ( 1) 11: 4.

per s ona l i nv olve men t in all ph ases of t he p ro jec t. D V D v ers i o ns o f t he

4

1 F LC W 1 (3) 1063.

dr

aw in gs c omm i ss ioned by the Fond at i o n L e Co r b usi er h a v e n o t b e e n

4

2 F LC P 4 (1) 11: 4. He m ade a no te to s e nd t hem: “ Char t e

ma d e av ai la ble in ti m e fo r t his ar ti cle.

d’

Ath è nes + M an iè r e de pe n s e r ? + 3 E ts . Humains. ” Hi s n ot e als o

2 2 LFLC I – 1 (1): 130– 131 . “ Moi je n’a c cept e d e t r av a il l er q u’ à

co n diti on d’ê t r e pa y é t r è s b ien. ” F eb ruar y 29 , 19 5 6 l et t e r d i sc u s si ng

a p ot enti a l proj ect for a new capit al in Pa k ist a n. Co r b u p ro p os ed t o wor k w ith Se r t an d P aul W ien er, who w as go o d a t f ee ne got i a t io n. “Il s’a gi rai t donc d e t r ou ver à ce sujet des voies et mo y en s ut il es ,

et c’es t ici qu ’ap par aît é ven t uellem en t la s il houett e t y ro l ie nne de P a u l

Wi ener.” U nle ss ot he r w i se n ot ed , tra ns la t io n s i n t hi s a r t ic l e a re b y

t he au th or.

2 3 FL C P4 ( 3): 32. Le tte r of invit a tion fro m D e vel opm ent B o a r d’s

Ma hm oud Ali M ahm ou d, da ted J u ne 2 2, 1955. C or bu s ier an s w er e d i n a l et ter of J uly 5, 1 955. F LC G2 (19 ) 155.

2 4 Se e F LC P 4 (2 ) 19– 23. M ed ha t Mad l ho om w a s a ri sin g y o ung

ar chite ct in Ir aq w h o, like R if at Chadir ji, wa s ed u ca t ed i n E ng l an d an d invo lve d i n I raq ’s r eco nst r uc tion pr ojec t s. H e ca me to see Cor bu f o r

sh ow s t h at h e c on sider e d havi ng J ean P et it a r r ange for tran s lati on o f

his r ecen t book, Tr o is Ét at s H u m ains, fo r I nd ia as w e ll as an I r aqi

edit io n.

4 3 F LC W 1 ( 3) 1057. He m ade a note o n the s ame page t o as k hi s

for me r as s oc iat e , Sak ak ur a, about To ky o.

4 4 F LC P 4 (1) 8: 1 Sk et ch book O ctob e r 1 2, 57 P hilip s N ovem ber

8– 13 Bag dad. Le Corbus i er w rote to Xe nakis t ha t in B ag h dad they had attr ibut e d th e Be i r ut s tadiu m t o Le Co rbusi er by m is tak e. FLC P 4

( 2) 42.

4 5 FLC P4 (2) 42. LC: “ I l f au t avance r ! J ’ ai t r ois chos es urge nt e s qui

doi ve nt ê t re c on dui t es en mê m e t em ps. N e pr ote ste z p as ! Si vous ne pou ve z pas le f ai re , c ’ e st que vous n’ êtes ni un arc hit ec te , ni

u n c h ef. Or v ou s pouve z f or t b ie n l e fair e .” Type d not e t o the attent ion

of X e n ak is , sign ed i n P ar is and dat ed N ov emb e r 1 4, 1957.

a

re lat e d Oly mpi c p ro jec t h e w a s w orking o n w it h a Br it is h fi r m. R i fa t

6 F LC P 4 (2) 42. Le Cor bu s i er’s te nd ency to be d em and ing of

4

X

en

enak is and hi s o the r a ss ociat e s is quite c le ar from thi s me mo, w hic h

Cha di rji and H isham Mun ir h av e g iven me inf o r ma tio n a b ou t

Ma dhl oom .

2

5 Se e, f or ins ta nce, F LC E 2 ( 16) 97– 1 57 .

ds wi t h add it ion al as sign m e nts give n t o X enaki s, in c ludi n g t h e Ch an dig ar h as semb ly h all and the am phitheat e r.

2

6 App are nt ly, eac h si de bla med t he o t her as l et t ers were l os t i n

4

7 FLC P 4 (1) 276 . I n a hand w r it te n l e tter to Le Cor busi er, X enaki s

4 0

t ra nsi t a nd c omm unic at ion s b ecame st r ained. T he I r a q is ’ com mi tm e nt, h ow ever, w a s r eflect e d w he n J ean Gout ail, Fr en c h c iv il s e r v a nt f r o m t he De velop men t Bo ar d, vi sit ed Le Cor bus ier ’s of f ic e i n 1 95 6 a nd m et wit h the f i r m ’s a dmin ist r at or, A.P. Duc ret .

2 7 FLC G1 (12) 40 – 41. Le Cor bu sier ’s June 13, 19 5 7 let t er t o Jean

Gou tai l, D ev el opm ent B oa r d, inf or m s him t ha t in r es p o n s e t o t h e c a l l

fo r t ende r’s r equ ire m en t h e propo ses Burea u Tec h n iq u e P r ése nt é a s

wr ot e t h at C orbu had n ot g iven him the not e s fr o m B ag h dad, and t ha t

t h ey nee ded to be t y pe d.

4 8 For a di sc uss i on of Le C orbu sier ’s w or k met hodolog y s ee J udi

L oac h , “St udio as Lab orat or y,” A r chite ctur al R evie w 1079 ( London:

J an uar y 1987) : 73– 7.

4 9 FLC P 4 (1) 275 . Le Cor bu sier, “ No te à l’ at te nt ion de X enak is ,”

M arc h 2, 1959, P ari s .

pr

o je ct e ng i ne ers.

5

0 F LC P 4 (1) 275. H e t old Xe nak is it w o uld not be pos s ible to c hoose

2

8 By th e m id- 1960s an d a fte r mu ch disc us sio n wit h hi s S w is s l ega l

a

ma nu f ac t u r er, as t he c h oic e w a s to b e made by th e g over nme n t.

co

u ns e l and m any exch an ges w it h b ot h t he Fr enc h an d t h e S wi s s

5

1 F LC P 4 (1) 275. Le C or busie r, “ B a gd ad est au bout du mon de.

emb ass ie s , Le Cor bus ie r, t oo , t r an sferr ed h is co mmi ssi o n t o a S w iss

M

on devoir d’ ar c hi tec t e e s t de v e il le r à ne p as e mba rque r le c li e nt

ac cou nt .

2 9 I a m gr a te ful t o Ro be r t R ebutat o who, lik e a numb er of o th e r

as soci at es at r ue de Sèvr e s, f ir st w o rk ed fo r P rés ent é. H e p r o v ided

much fi rs t-h an d k now le dge of th e r elat io ns hip bet w ee n P rése nt é a nd

L e C or bu sie r, confir m ing t ha t t he pr ojec t fo r t he Un it é d’ Ha b i ta t i on i n M ea ux was one of the Pr és enté p ro spect s t ha t c ame t o f r u it io n.

3 0 The pr o je ct files on th e U nit é d’ H abit at ion in M e au x a n d

i n M ar sei ll es, an d t he M ai son de J euness e a t t he Fo nd a t ion L e C or bu sie r c or robor at e P ré sen t é’s c o ll a b o ra ti o n.

3 1 FL C P4 ( 3) 1– 4. Th e let t er da ted Ja nuar y 1 6, 1 957 e st a bl i s h e d

t he el eme nt s of t h e con t r ac t (in Fr enc h) fo llo w ed b y a t h r ee - p a ge

do cu m ent in E n gl ish en ti t le d “ Arc h it ec t ’s C o nt ra ct sub mit t e d b y

Mr. Le C or b usier co nc er ni ng t he cons t ruc ti o n of Oly mp ic S t a di um i n Ba ghda d,” d at ed Feb ruar y 5, 1 957.

dans l es ave ntu r e s ou de s m és av e nt ur es.” in “ N ot e à l’at ten t ion

de X en ak is , ” M arc h 2, 1959, P ar is.

5 2 F LC P 4 (3) 98. Le Cor bus ier signe d lette r, May 9, 1958, to

M ahm ou d Ha san, De vel opm en t Boar d.

5 3 Rober t Re bu tat o, A lai n Tav es and Fe r nan d G ar dien, i ni tially

employ e d in P rés e nt é’s r ue Kle be r of fice , e ve ntually s h if te d t o 35 r u e de Sèvr e s a ft er L e Cor bu s ie r fir e d his lead a ss ocia te s X en ak i s , Tob ito

an d M ai s onni e r aft e r t he s umme r holid ay s in 19 5 9. Th e ne w t eam

wh om C or b usie r h ad inst r uc t e d to wor k initia lly w it h P ré sen t é bec am e t he core t e am f or Bag hdad and ot he r int e r na tion al com m i s s ions .

I nter vie ws w it h Robe r t Rebut at o and Alain Tav e s, S prin g 2009,

an d Roge r Au jam e , J un e 19, 20 09 , confir m ed that the y all pr odu c e d

archi t ec t u r al dr awi n gs under Le C or b usie r ’s p er s on al s u per vi si on, f i r s t

wit h in the of f ice of G eor ge Mar c P r ése nté.

3

2 App are nt ly, L e C orb us ie r ne ve r r ec eived t he si gn ed co n t r a ct

5

4 F LC P 4 ( 1) 192, 198. Le Co r busier ’s own English t r an s lat ion.

an

d let ter t he Boa rd all egedly se nt him in t h e sum mer o f 1 9 5 7 .

5

5 F LC P 4 (1) 192.

3

3 Co r bu si e r would lat er exp ress di sma y w he n h is i n vo ic e w as

5

6 F or i ns ight in to h ow e ar ly Cor b u po nde r e d th e im por tanc e of

de la y ed . G o ut ai l re sp onded w it h an e qu al l y a c er b ic n ot e re m ind ing

h im tha t b ur e aucr a cy has a b uilt -in t i me l a g, a nd t h at on e m o nt h w a s by n o m ea ns a r eal d el ay.

3 4 FLC W 1 ( 3) 1061. See a ls o Le Co rb us ier Ca r n et, Vol . 3 ,

19 54– 19 57 ( New Yor k: Ar c hit ec t ur a l Hi st o r y F o un d a t io n , 1 9 8 2 ) .

Of Fahmy h e w r ot e: “ he is a spo r t sm a n a nd he t a lks sp o r t. ” (“i l e st spo r tif e t i l p ar le sp or t.”)

3 5 Appare nt ly, h e m u st h ave see n a f ew s ights in a n d n e a r B agh d a d,

as h is pe r so na l no tes co nt ain un dat ed ph o t o s of t h e mi n ar et o f

Sa mar r a a nd objec t s i n t he B a g hd ad m us eum as w e ll a s sk e t che s o f

spor ts f aci lit i es in t h e cit y, s ee his ico nic mani fe st o, Ve rs une

A r ch i tec t u r e, f ir s t pu bli s he d in Engl is h a s Tow a r ds a N e w Ar ch it ec tur e

an d r epu blish e d r ec e n tly as Tow ar d s a n Ar chite ct ure ( Los Ang eles :

G et ty P ubli cat ions , 2007) w ith an intr o d uct or y e ssay by Je an -Loui s

Cohe n.

5 7 Le Cor bus i e r, M is e au P oi nt , re p r inted in Ivan Z ahnic ( e d. ) ,

L e Cor bus ie r: Th e F inal Tes tamen t o f P è re Cor b u ( Ne w Haven: Ya le Uni vers it y P r es s , 19 97), 7.

D o c o m o m o N ° 4 1

S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9

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