Le Corbusier. The duality “Architecture Mâle” and “Architecture Femelle”

Andrea García González


In the 50´s, Le Corbusier publishes two books, Le Modulor (1950) and Le Poème de l´Angle Droit (1955). They are extremely important given that they represent the synthesis of his architectural thought at the height of his career. In both, references can be observed to the duality of male-female, which do not seem to have been previously part of the architect´s consistent theoretical body. One decade later, duality imbues the architectural critics, who interpret it as the opposition between two residential projects from early 1920´s, the Maisons Monol and the Maisons Citrohan. Both projects are proclaimed as a germ of two genealogical lines which come to an end with the Villas Sarabhai and Shodhan in the 50´s. They are related respectively with two concepts "architecture femelle" and "architecture mâle", cited by Le Corbusier in Le Modulor. However, the exhaustive analysis of the paradigm of both architectures through different periods, a complete reading of both texts and its relationship with Le Corbusier´s  pictorial production, brings to light the importance of ambiguity and polysemy in the architect's work, which is difficult to divide in hermetic categories.


Le Corbusier; Architecture; Painting; Writings; Ambiguity

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Universitat Politècnica de València

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