The planetary garden. Where natural and human intertwine

    Ramón Pico Affiliation


Spring 1935. After twenty-five years of fascination for heights and six of flying, stimulating experiences, Le Corbusier published Aircraft, a real “Manifesto for a New Era”, according to his own words. Even though Vers une architecture had limited the aeronaoutic model validity to the framework of housing and easthetics ten years before, the reference then was expanded to the city and its fitting within the natural framework, to the definition of a new global habitat in which public space became the focus.The flying experience allowed him to look into the past and find the subtle balance of man and nature. Revelation and rebellion at the same time. Thanks to the new visual as well as mental perspective provided by height, he would drive his reflec-tions towards “geoarchitecture”, a definitive, Humboldtian approach to Earth.His aerial observation of the Algerian M’Zab valley or the layout of the settlements along the Paraná crystallised both into texts such as Sur les quattro routes, Aircraft or Les trois établissements humains, and a series of proposals for Rio, São Paulo, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Algiers. Epic adventures through which, and connecting with the interest of those geographers worried about reclaiming human action on the writing on the Earth through his “establishments”, Le Corbusier tackled the configuration of a new public space beyond the limits of the traditional city, claiming for a new planetary order.

First published online 11 December 2016 

Keyword : contemporary architecture, geoarchitecture, Le Corbusier, public space, heritage, historical landscape

How to Cite
Pico, R. (2018). The planetary garden. Where natural and human intertwine. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, 42(1), 70-79.
Published in Issue
May 28, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Boyer, M. C. 2003. Aviation and the aerial view: Le Corbusier’s spatial transformations in the 1930s and 1940s’, Diacritics 33 (3/4): 93–116.

Brenner, N; Schmid, C. 2015. Towards a new epistemology of the urban?, City 19 (2–3): 151–182.

Brunhes, J. 1910. La géographie humaine. Essai de classification positive. Principes et exemples. Paris: Alcan.

Bunkse, E. 1990. Saint-Exupéry’s geographic lesson: art and science in the creation and cultivation of landscape values, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers 80(1): 96–108.–8306.1990.tb00005.x

Cohen, J. L. 1993. De l’oral à l’écrit:PRÉCISIONS et les conferences latinoaméricaines de 1929, in Le Corbusier, écritures. Fondation Le Corbusier, París, 30–41.

Collins, C. 1995. Urban interchange in the Southern Cone: Le Corbusier (1929) and Werner Hegemann (1931) in Argentina, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (June).

Colomina, B. 1994. Privacy and publicity: modern architecture as mass media. Cambridge: MIT Press.

De Maria, L. (Ed). 1968. Teoria e invenzione futurista, Fillipo Tomaso Marinetti. Milan: Mondadori.

Duempelmann, S. 2010. Between science and aesthetics. Aspects of “Air-minded” landscape architecture, Landscape Journal 29: 161–178.

Duempelmann, S. 2014. Flights of imagination: aviation, landscape, design. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Framptom, K. 1980. Modern architecture; a critical history. London: Thames and Hudson.

Gerber, A. 1992. L’Algérie de Le Corbusier: les voyages de 1931. Thèse Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, No. 1077 (1992).

Gutiérrez, R.; (Ed), 2009. Le Corbusier en el Río de la Plata, 1929. Buenos Aires: CEDODAL.

Gutiérrez, R.; González, N. 2009. Hace 80 años, Le Corbusier en Asunción. abc (Asunción, Paraguay) August 2th.Humboldt, A. 1845–1862. Cosmos. New York.

Kafka, F. 1909. Die aeroplano in Brescia. Praga: Bohemia.

Le Corbusier. 1930. Précisions sur un état présent de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme. París: G. Cres.

Le Corbusier. 1931. Détours…o l’enseignement du voyage. Coupe en travers: Espagne, Maroc, Algérie, Territoires du Sud, Plans 8: 92.

Le Corbusier. 1935. Aircraft. London: Studio Publications.Le Corbusier. 1941. Sur les quatro routes. Paris: Gallimard.

Le Corbusier. 1945. Urbanisme des trois établissements humains. Paris: Forces Vives aux Éditions de Minuit.

Le Corbusier. 1947. Urbanisme et aéronautique, Techniques et Architecture VII (9–12): 463–467.

Liernur, P. 2008. La red austral: obras y proyectos de Le Corbusier y sus discípulos en la Argentina (1924–1965). Bernal: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes.

Maderuelo, J. 2008. La Construcción del Paisaje Contemporáneo. Huesca: CDAN.

Marinetti, Filippo T. 1968. Teoria e invenzione futurista, Milan: Mondadori, p. 136.

Monteys, X. (Ed). 2004. Le Corbusier y el paisaje, Massilia 2004 bis. Barcelona: UPC

Morshed, A. 2015. Impossible heights: skyscrapers, flight, and the master builder. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Pedretti. B. 1987. Il volo dell’etica, Casabella 531–532: 74–80Rojo de Castro, L. 2008. [Ideogramas] Precisiones sobre Precisiones, Revista de Arquitectura 10: 35–48.

Sachs, A. 1995. Humboldt’s legacy and the restoration of science, World Watch 8: 28.

Sequeira, M. 2012. Para um espaço público. Le Corbusier e a tradiçao greco-latina na cidade moderna. Fundaçao Calouste Gulbekian Fundaçao para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Lisboa.

Tsiomis, Y. 1998. Le Corbusier, Rio de Janeiro 1929–1936. Centro de Arquitectura e Urbanismo do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro.

Waldheim, Ch, Duempelmann, S. (Eds.) 2016. Airport landscape: urban ecologies in the aerial age. Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA.