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Le Corbusier: Poésie sur Alger, by Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier: Poésie sur Alger, by Le Corbusier

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"We are in Africa. This sun, this space of azure and water, these verdures have surrounded the remains of Salobo, the deeds of Scipio and Hannibal as well as of Kheir-ed-dinn the Barbary. The sea, the Atlas Mountains and the mountains of Kabylia display their blue splendour. The earth is red. The vegetation is made of palm trees..." One would gladly continue to copy Le Corbusier's lyrical prose in this way.


Le Corbusier’s (1887–1965) Poésie sur Alger, written in 1942 and first published in 1950, is a self-mocking examination of 13 intensive years of ultimately abortive work, during which Le Corbusier devoted himself to the drawing up of extensive urban plans for Algiers.

Numerous additional plans followed on his first trip to Algeria in 1931. The architect dreamed of installing Algiers as the southernmost point of the cultural connection between the littoral states of the Mediterranean, between Paris, Barcelona and Rome - as an "Islamic pole," as he called it.

The decision to publish his very personal and self-illustrated thoughts on a "plan directeur" for Algiers marks an important point in Le Corbusier’s development. The publication provides many insights into the inner life and world of thought of the pioneer of architectural modernism.