Planning and construction
In his 1928 proposal for the Soviet Central Union building, Le Corbusier invoked his much-vaunted principle of pilotis. As a postscript to his 1930 Precisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning:
Since we no longer have to lay foundations in the ground for the carrying walls; since on the contrary all we need is posts covering only .5% of the surface built upon and furthermore, since it is our duty to make the house more healthful by raising its bottom-most floor above the ground, we will take advantage of this situation by adopting the principle of “pilotis” or stilts.
What is the point of using pilotis? To make houses more healthful and at the same time allow the use of insulating materials which are often fragile or liable to decay and so should be placed far from the ground and possible shocks.
But most of all: behold, they are available to work a thorough transformation in the system of traffic on the ground. This is as true of the skyscraper as of the office building, of the minimum houses as of the streets. One will no longer be “in front of” a house or “in back of” it, but “underneath” it.
We have to reckon with cars, which we will strive to channel into a sort of river with regular banks; we need to park these cars without, at the same time, blocking up the river bed. When we leave our cars we must not paralyze traffic all along the river and when we come out of our buildings, we must not obstruct the areas reserved for movement. Continue reading