Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse (1930)
Exact air? Queens and Brooklyn could probably use it, seeing the tornado that just passed through here. Perhaps it’s too fantastic, pure technological messianism. Still, it’s interesting. Le Corbusier on “exact air”:
But then where is Utopia, where the temperature is 64.4º?…
…And why the devil do men insist on living in difficult or dangerous climates? I’ve no idea! But I can observe a worsening situation:
…The variety of climates had forged races, cultures, customs, dress, and work methods suited to the obtaining conditions.
…Alas, the machine age has, as it were, shuffled the cards — the age-old cards of the world. Since the machine age, the product of progress, has disturbed everything, couldn’t it also give us the means to salvation?
…Multiplicity of climates, play of seasons, a break with secular traditions — confusion, disorder, and the martyrdom of man.
…I seek the remedy, I seek the constant; I find the human lung. With adaptability and intelligence, let’s give the lung the constant which is the prerequisite of its functioning: exact air.
…Let’s manufacture exact air: filters, driers, humidifiers, disinfectors. Machines of childish simplicity.
…Send exact air into men’s lungs, at home, at the factory, at the office, at the club and the auditorium: ventilators, machines so often used, but so often used badly!
…Let’s give man the solar rays which will penetrate the all-glass facades. But will be too hot in the summer and terribly cold in the winter! Let’s create ‘neutralizing walls.’ (And ‘sun control’).
— Le Corbusier, The Radiant City: Elements of a Doctrine of Urbanism to be Used as the Basis of Our Magine-Age Civilization (1933), pg. 42.