During this 20-year span he also built many villas and several small apartment complexes and office buildings. In these hard-edged, smooth-surfaced, geometric volumes, he created a language of what he called "pure prisms"--rectangular blocks of concrete, steel, and glass, usually raised above the ground on stilts, or pilotis, and often endowed with roof gardens intended to compensate for the loss of usable floor area at ground level.
After World War II, Le Corbusier moved away from purism and toward the so-called new brutalism, which utilized rough-hewn forms of concrete, stone, stucco, and glass. Newly recognized in official art circles as an important 20th-century innovator, he represented (1946) France on the planning team for the United Nations Headquarters building in New York City--a particularly satisfying honor for an architect whose prize-winning design (1927) for the League of Nations headquarters had been rejected. Simultaneously, he was commissioned by the French government to plan and build his prototypical Vertical City in Marseille. The result was the Unite d'Habitation (1946-52)--a huge block of 340 "superimposed villas" raised above the ground on massive pilotis, laced with two elevated thoroughfares of shops and other services and topped by a roof-garden gymnasium that contained, among other things, a sculptured playground of concrete forms and a peripheral track for joggers.
His worldwide reputation led to a commission from the Indian government to plan the city of Chandigarh, the new capital of the Punjab, and to design and build the Government Center (1950-70) and several of the city's other structures. These poetic, handcrafted buildings represented a second, more humanistic phase in Le Corbusier's work that also was reflected in his lyrical Pilgrim Church of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (1951-55) in the Vosges Mountains of France; in his rugged monastery of La Tourette, France (1954-59); and in the structures he designed (from 1958) at Ahmedabad, in India. Le Corbusier accidentally drowned in the Mediterranean on Aug. 27, 1965.
Frank Lloyd Wright, b. Richland Center, Wis., June 8, 1867, d. Apr. 9, 1959, was one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern architecture. In his radically original designs as well as in his prolific writings he championed the virtues of what he termed organic architecture, a building style based on natural forms.
After briefly studying civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Wright moved to Chicago, where he went to work (1887) as a draftsman in the office of Adler and Sullivan. While working under Louis Sullivan--whom Wright called "Lieber Meister"--he began designing and building on his own a few private houses for some of Adler and Sullivan's clients. These "bootlegged houses," as Wright called them, soon revealed an independent talent quite distinct from that of Sullivan. Wright's houses had low, sweeping rooflines hanging over uninterrupted walls of windows; his plans were centered on massive brick or stone fireplaces at the heart of the house; his rooms became increasingly open to one another; and the overall configuration of his plans became more and more asymmetrical, reaching out toward some real or imagined prairie horizon.
In contrast to the expansive openness of those houses which inspired the prairie school, Wright's urban buildings (unlike Sullivan's, for instance) tended to be walled in, somewhat inhospitable to the city, and lit primarily through skylights. Whereas two of the finest buildings of Wright's early period--the Larkin Company Administration Building (1904; demolished 1950) in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Unity Church (1906) in Oak Park, Ill.--seemed to proclaim Wright's distaste for urban environments, houses he designed in the same period (such as Buffalo's Martin House, 1904, and Chicago's Robie House, 1909) reached out into the landscape with large, glazed walls, terraces, and low-slung roof overhangs.
Wright worked on his own after 1893, when the issue of his bootlegged houses finally caused a break with Adler and Sullivan's office. During the 20 years that followed he became one of the best-known (and, because of a tempestuous personal life, one of the most notorious) architects in the United States. Two editions of his work brought out (1910, 1911) by the Berlin publisher Wasmuth, along with a parallel exhibition that traveled throughout Europe, boosted Wright's fame in European architectural circles and influenced such key figures in contemporary architecture as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.
His reputation assured on both sides of the Atlantic, Wright began to reinforce the philosophical underpinnings of his innovative building style. In keeping with his agrarian bias, Wright proclaimed that the structural principles found in natural forms should guide modern American architecture. He praised the virtues of an organic architecture that would use reinforced concrete in the configurations found in seashells and snails and would build skyscrapers the way trees were "built"--that is, with a central "trunk" deeply rooted in the ground and floors cantilevered from that trunk like branches. Spaces within such buildings would be animated by natural light allowed to penetrate the interiors and to travel across textured surfaces as the incidence of sunlight and moonlight changed.
His view of architecture was essentially romantic. Although Wright often paid lip service to the rational systems called for by mass-produced building (modular planning and prefabrication), his efforts in those directions seemed halfhearted at best. The most spectacular buildings of his mature period--Tokyo's Imperial Hotel (1915-22; demolished 1968); Fallingwater (Kaufmann House; 1936), Mill Run, Pa.; the S. C. Johnson and Son Wax Company Administration Center (1936-50), Racine, Wis.; Taliesin West (1938-59); and New York City's Guggenheim Museum (completed 1959)--were based on forms borrowed from nature, and the intentions were clearly romantic, poetic, and intensely personal. At his death he left a rich heritage of completed buildings of almost uniform splendor; few disciples, however, could match the special genius reflected in his works. Unlike Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and other giants of modern architecture, Wright was, at heart, an essentially idiosyncratic architect whose influence was immense but whose pupils were few.
Modern architecture is a form of building design characterized by the use of unornamented industrial materials--principally steel, glass, and concrete--to make simple, geometric forms standing free in space. Such buildings, which began to appear around 1922 in Germany, the Netherlands, the USSR, and France, were first grouped together under a single stylistic heading in a 1932 exhibition titled "Modern Architecture" held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The exhibition's organizers, the critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock and the architect C.