Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965) came from La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland).
He was at the same time an architect, a painter, a town-planner, a writer, and a humanist. Le Corbusier was a great theorist and he appeared as the leading light in the modern movement. He gave a visual definition of the modern movement with “five points of architecture”, which are a set of architectural principles: the free designing of the ground plan, the free design of the façade, the column principle, the horizontal window, and roof gardens. He pleaded for rationalizing building techniques and for using new materials, particularly concrete as he liked its neat aspect. In June 1955, the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut was inaugurated. Its construction had been carried out by André Maisonnier, an architect, and a faithful collaborator of Le Corbusier’s.
A skilled metalworker, an architect and an engineer, Jean Prouvé (1901-1984), was very keen on the questions about work and multi-unit buildings. He took part in the greater use of metal and more specifically of steel, which he used to give an impression of weightlessness, particularly on façades. Jean Prouvé’s work was influenced by his contemporary comrade: Le Corbusier.
Renzo Piano was born in Genoa in 1937. Born into a family of builders, he has always given great importance to materials and building techniques. To him, the work of an architect is a long maturing process, from the design to the end of a project. Renzo Piano takes great account of the context of his buildings. Thanks to architecture, such immaterial elements as transparency, weightlessness and light are materialized.
Among Renzo Piano’s main projects, one can mention the “Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou” in Paris (1971-1977), the Jean-Marie Tjibaou cultural Centre in Nouméa or the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, which were created in the 1990’s.
Michel Corajoud was born in Annecy in 1937. He died in Paris in 2014. Before he became a landscape architect, he studied decorative arts and worked for Bernard Rousseau, a former collaborator of Le Corbusier’s.
In the 1970’s, Michel Corajoud set up a team of urban landscape architects with the “Atelier d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture”. He studied town- planning in Africa and took part in many competitions for the creation of parks.
His work is characterized by the links which associate elements to the surrounding landscape and by showcasing the plants.
In 2003, Michel Corajoud was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme, thus proving the importance of landscape in towns.