The publication of Volumes 3 and 4 of the Le Corbusier Sketchbooks brings to completion a major undertaking by the Architectural History Foundation. After more than a decade of searching, the Fondation Le Corbusier found a suitable partner in publication to aid in the practical difficulties of producing the last and most elusive of Le Corbusier's unpublished works. André Wogenscky, President of the Fondation Le Corbusier, has stated that the sketchbooks vividly reproduced in these four volumes "are the most private of Le Corbusier's work, the most spontaneous, perhaps the most significant, encompassing all the others - the work of an entire lifetime."
Volume 1, 1914-1948 and Volume 2, 1950-1954 were published in 1981. All the volumes are included in the Architectural History Foundation/MIT Press series.
Volume 4 1957-1964
This final volume contains the personal reflections, criticisms of other's work, and self-criticisms of Le Corbusier's maturity. He reassesses many of his works and projects with brutal honesty and his evaluation of Dutch functionalism and American architecture are equally forthright.
For all this, however, his creative energies appear undiminished. Drawings reveal the inception of the Philips Pavilion at Brussels, showing an unusual engineering device for the walls; a new art form, the "Electronic Poem," suggested by Le Corbusier for the interior of the pavilion; and the first sketches for his only building in the United States, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard.
Volume 4 closes with sketches of Roquebrune, on the Mediterranean, where Le Corbusier lost his life a year after making them.
"A unique record of the mental processes of the most influential architect of the twentieth century."
- Vincent Scully
"In the sketchbooks, Le Corbusier's drawings run the gamut from the coldly analytical to the warmly romantic.... [They] not only provide clues as to what he was about as an architect and as a painter, they also reveal and comment on a more gentle, receptive side of his personality - a side that he generally sought to hide under the guise of Le Corbusier, the architect."
- David Gebhard, The New York Times Magazine
"Overwhelming-both as an outstanding scholarly achievement and as a visually and intellectually stimulating compendium of thoughts and notations of Le Corbusier."
- Richard Meier
"The publication of Le Corbusier's sketchbooks is, perhaps, the most important documentation to date of anything to do with the Modern Movement."
- Philip Johnson