Page C1.2 . 30 January 2013   
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    Corbu's Maison Ternisien


    The initial scheme for Maison Ternisien accounted for future expansion on top of the single-story volume. However, the clients experienced financial difficulties, causing legal disputes over building repair costs and unpaid design fees. This eventually led to the partial demolition of the house, and now a five-story apartment building designed by another architect stands on top of what remains of Corbu's project.

    Communicating with Section Perspectives

    Section perspectives — as opposed to pure orthogonal drawings of a building or an architectural idea — possess unique representational advantages.

    As pictorial projections, they allow one to easily visualize the three-dimensional shapes of exterior forms and interior spaces. Shade and shadows added to the outline perspectives facilitate this three-dimensional reading by emphasizing a structure's spatial depth, while the absence of color and texture highlight the basic form of spatial enclosures.

    By depicting in a single view multiple spaces within the building envelope, sectional perspectives create a sense of movement through a sequence of spaces and reveal their interrelationships within the overall spatial hierarchy.

    Based on the original drawings from the Le Corbusier Foundation's archives, new plans, sections, and elevations for Corbu's house projects were drawn at a 1:200 scale with a uniform graphic standard to accompany sectional perspectives (which vary in scale) as dimensional references.

    Presented in the book, Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses, consistency in scale and graphic representation underscores a thematic focus and chronological organization, which highlight the evolutionary development of Le Corbusier's changing philosophy about an ideal dwelling and facilitate a comparative analysis among different houses.

    This enables viewers to trace how Le Corbusier adapted design features or planning principles — such as the ramp or the concept of free plan — to different contexts and for various clients.

    The illustrations are not intended to re-create or replace the actual experience of a place. Walking through a building, measuring its dimensions with hands and arms, and observing how its forms and spaces are delineated by the changing shades and colors of light will all help to experience in reality what you have learned through study and to understand better the relationship between the representation and reality.

    That understanding, in turn, will be useful in visualizing, developing, and refining your own architectural ideas and in bringing them to fruition.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    Steven Park is an architect at Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architecture (SCB), in Chicago, Illinois. He studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and the University of Pennsylvania.

    This article is excerpted from Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses by Steven Park, copyright © 2012, with permission of the publisher, PA Press.

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    ArchWeek Image

    A rooftop terrace above the music wing, and an adjacent shaded patio are accessible from the second floor library of Maison Ternisien.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    A stair runs along the rear wall of Maison Ternisien's art wing, leading to a sleeping loft that overlooks the double-height room.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Site plan and floor plan drawings of Maison Ternisien.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The rear wall of Maison Ternisien faces an adjacent street. Strategically placed glazing admits needed light while maintaining the relative privacy of the studio and bedroom spaces.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Maison Ternisien elevation drawings and section drawing looking southwest.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Although Maison Ternisien no longer exists in its original form, a portion of the music wing (shown in section) appears to survive on the site, as part of a newer five-story apartment building designed by another architect.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    A stair leads from the music studio up to the library and full bathroom of Maison Ternisien.
    Image: Soo Jin Park Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses by Steven Park.
    Image: Princeton Architectural Press Extra Large Image


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