Day 265/365 of Steel – Pavillon Le Corbusier

A steel pavillon designed by one of the most famous concrete architects.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 1: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: © Visit Zürich

The Pavillon Le Corbusier is a Swiss art museum in Zürich dedicated to the work of Le Corbusier. In 1960 Le Corbusier was mandated by Heidi Weber to conceive a public exhibition building.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 2: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: Roland zh

One year later, the first drawings for a building to be constructed in concrete were presented, in 1962 the concept was changed to a steel building. Two years later the construction was started. In 1965 Le Corbusier died, and on 15 July 1967, the Centre Le Corbusier was officially inaugurated.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 3: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: Roland zh

It is the last building designed by Le Corbusier, framed in steel and glass, thus marking a radical change of his achievement of using concrete and stone. It was created in the 1960s as a signpost for the future.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 4: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: Roland zh

Le Corbusier made intensive use of prefabricated steel elements combined with multi-colored enamelled plates fitted to the central core, and above the complex he designed a ‘free-floating’ roof to keep the house protected from the rain and the sun.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 5: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: © Georg Aerni

The most prominent architectural element, the roof, consists of two square parts, each side having a surface of 12 x 12 m. The total ground surface measures 12 x 26.3 m, consisting of welded metal sheets and having a weight of 40 tons. The roof was prefabricated and thereafter, in the biggest possible units, transported to the building site, where it was assembled on the ground.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 6: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: © Georg Aerni

The two welded parts of the roof were then lifted to their final height by a crane and fixed on the pillars. Walls, windows, ceilings and floors were screwed onto the steel frame. The walls consist of enamelled panels. When constructing the building, more than 20,000 bolts were used.

The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Fig 7: The Pavillon Le Corbusier
Photo: Courtesy of ZHdK

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

You May Also Like

Day 2/365 of Steel – Roy Hofheinz

Roy Hofheinz was born on the 10th of april 1912. As co-owner of HSA (Houston Sports Association) he was the driving force behind the construction of the famous Astrodome. The…
Read More

Day 19/365 of Steel – The Gherkin

On the 28th of April 2004, The Gherkin was officially inaugurated. Norman Foster (architect) and Ove Arup (engineering) created a true masterpiece in skyscraper engineering. The Gherkin is an example…
Read More

Day 29/365 of Steel – Menashe Kadishman

Menashe Kadishman (21/8/1932 – 8/5/2015) I discovered Kadishman’s work during our visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.The Memory Void, one of the symbolic spaces on the ground level of…
Read More