Paris n’est pas Moscou

«In June 1929, Le Corbusier travels to Moscow for the second time. During the train trip, he devotes a brief text to the Czech architect Karel Teige, titled “In defense of architecture”, in which he explains his bewilderment for the favour granted by the Neue Sachlichkeit to his functionalist project for the Centrosoyuz; Meanwhile, the contemporary Mundaneum pyramid is judged academicist. The master’s closest collaborators are not unfamiliar with the controversy: “Mundaneum and Centrosoyuz both came out from our heads in the same month of June”.

Essentially, the controversy doesn’t make much sense for Le Corbusier, as from one single point of view – that of the author of both projects -, each one of both, instead of opposing the other, is showing a close coherence: “In 1928, The Palace of Centrosoyuz in Moscow […]. But other drawing tables in the atelier are occupied by the Mundaneum’s plans. The same architectural germs inhabit our atmosphere”. One would therefore say that the unity between these two projects apparently so different from each other – and geographically so distant from each other – condensed in the atmosphere of the Atelier at Rue de Sèvres, similarly as some common principles most probably inhabited in the architect’s mind.»


Le Corbusier. Paris n’est pas Moscou, with Jorge Torres Cueco and Pedro Ponce Gregorio (Valencia: General de Ediciones de Arquitectura, 2015).