voiture minimum book
Le Corbusier himself with his private car, a 7 Voisin C1927 "Lumineuse"

From the CSIC: Le Corbusier and the Automobile

The book that we present today is a recent work by a Spanish author, but the curious thing is that neither the author is dedicated to the automotive subject, nor is it about a car manufactured in Spain. Antonio Amado Lorenzo is a Coruña born in 1956, doctor of architect and professor in this field at the University of La Coruña ... and of course, he is a fan of the classics.

And these two hobbies in common are what must have led him to the work of the famous architect Charles Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known from the 1920s as "Le Corbusier" who incidentally also had a real passion for the cars of his weather.

Antonio Amado had already done several doctorates and articles on the work of this revolutionary XNUMXth century French architect; and precisely about the relationship between Le Corbusier and automobiles is this interesting work, entitled «Voiture Minimun. Le Corbusier and the automobile ».

voiture minimum book
The cover is dedicated to the «Voiture Minimum», but inside there is more

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Architecture and Automobile

The book is divided into different chapters, with diverse themes: The first half deals with Le Corbusier's personal relationship with various car brands, mainly with Avions Voisin, whose patron was his godfather and of which he owned various units during the 20s and 30s, undoubtedly attracted by the angular art-deco lines that they wore.

Also try this first half about the various "famous" architects of the last century who, guided by their love of the automobile, dared to propose their own designs, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius or Amadeé Ozenfant, among others. Finally, this block studies the first designs that at the end of the 30s dealt with aerodynamics in the series-produced car, such as the Volkswagen, Tatra or Lincoln.

The second half of the book focuses on the car "Voiture Minimun" that Le Corbusier conceived based on concepts such as utility and habitability. All of this began with a competition called by the SIA (Societe des Ingenieurs de L´automobile) in 1935.

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corbusier automobile book
One of the many illustrations in the book: 1927 Mercedes and Weussenhof Houses, by the architect Mies Van der Rohe

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This contest had a strict regulation based on certain premises of reduced consumption, low production costs and minimum measures for two occupants. Several SIA partners attended this meeting, and one of the strengths of this book is that it reproduces the plans of several of the outlandish proposals presented in large size and quality.

The book concludes dedicated solely to the "Voiture Minimun" by Le Corbusier: its development, its relationship with the SIA competition, computer modulations that simulate the car "in reality" and the comparison of various concepts of the "Minimun" with the large series vehicles that succeeded in the years that followed. And it is surprising how many ideas the creation of Le Corbusier shares with the famous Beetle, 2CV or Fiat 500.

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From college to heaven

In conclusion, we must say that this book has very pleasantly surprised us. The structure makes it enjoyable and its design is pleasant –it would be more necessary-, and it is dotted with an enormous number of photographs, in black and white or in color, which visually explain everything commented on in the text. Wow, any classic car buff would enjoy reading it.

To acquire it -for a price of 43,27 euros- you have to go to the CSIC website, since this work has had the collaboration for its edition of estates such as the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, among others.

What do you think?

Francisco Carrion

Written by Francisco Carrion

My name is Francisco Carrión and I was born in Ciudad Real in 1988, a place that was not at first akin to vintage cars. Fortunately my grandfather, dedicated to the automotive sector, had friends who owned veteran cars and participated in the annual rally that was held (and continues to be held) in my hometown ... View all


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