Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (alias Le Corbusier) was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1887. In 1900 Le Corbusier began to study at the École d'Art in his hometown. He trained as an engraver and goldsmith but, from 1904, also studied architecture.
Le Corbusier made history as one of the leading 20th-century architects. The foundations of his aesthetics were laid on his numerous travels and the work he did at leading architecture practices, including working for the respected German architect Peter Behrens in Berlin in 1910. Le Corbusier concentrated on building with steel and reinforced concrete.
The "Domino House" (1914/1915) represented an emergence of the free-flowing interior plan that would dominate his architectural style. The structural frame of this building was made of reinforced concrete supported by steel pillars. The lack of supporting walls turned the domestic space into an open, industrially elegant environment.
In 1917 he moved to Paris. Together with painter Amédée Ozenfant he wrote the manifesto, "Après le Cubisme" championing a new post-cubist purism. Le Corbusier designed Ozenfant's home in 1922.
In "L'Esprit Nouveau", the journal he founded in 1919, he formulated his ideas of modern architecture.
In addition to individual buildings - such as the Weißenhof Settlement in Stuttgart (1927) and Villa Savoye in Poissy (1928-1931) - Le Corbusier was interested in mass-produced urban housing and town planning. One of Le Corbusier's most important postwar housing complexes was "Unité d'Habitation" in Marseilles and his "pilgrimage chapel", Notre-Dame-du-Haut, in Ronchamps is probably his most radical work.
In 1928 together with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand he began designing furnishings for his buildings. They created a series of tubular steel furniture that they exhibited at the Salon d'Automne (1929) in Paris and from which emerged some of the most lasting icons of the international style. The furniture, entitled as a group, "Equipment for Living," was designed in rich leather or cowhide upholstery and featured the "B 302" swivel chair, the "B301" armchair and the "B 306" chaise longue. Many of them have been reissued in recent years by Cassina as part of their line of classics.
One of the most important and influential architects of the 20th century, Le Corbusier died in Roquebrune-Cap Martin, France in 1965.