A Parti: Design Concept for a building

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building design

The Parisian building was designed to be efficient in every area and it shows, especially in its façade. Essentially a giant cube of white bricks, the building has no windows or doors and is primarily used for office purposes.

 The symmetry of the façade is symmetrical with simple geometric shapes added – rectangles and triangles on the perimeter, squares at each level of three windows on the sides, another set of squares at each level with a small triangle-shaped window that protrudes from between them. The tinted glass windows project shadow shapes through their color, which are used in the transportation of light inside the building.http://eworldexternal.com

During the design process, Le Corbusier observed that “the façade of a building separates it from the private interior; it is quite apart from the interior”. The façade is a way of designating a building type, conveying its use and defining its value. It even further defines an interior’s function and comments on its use.

 Architectural details such as these show industry’s innovative ways to modernize and reinterpret architectural principles before the 1950s when architects like Le Corbusier began to ponder more on concrete, more on technology and more on patterns.

A Parti: Design Concept for a building :

1. DEFINITION:

“A Parti: Design Concept for a building” is a conceptual design of an office building. Designed by Le Corbusier, it is a very simple and clear division of space and function. The simple geometric shapes are used to separate different functions as well as to define the building’s use. 

As stated by Le Corbusier, the division of space was “quite apart from the interior”. The name is derived from the expression “parti”, which means that each part is separated from another by a clear dividing line (similar to an ax slicing through wood).

2. FUNCTION:

The main purpose of this office building was to define how one would design their office space for efficiency and privacy. The office space was very clearly separated from the rest of the building to preserve privacy.

3. CONSTRUCTION:

The building uses white cement and bricks to create a clear division between interior and exterior. The glass is used as a form of symbolism, to cast light onto the interior. In addition, Le Corbusier’s concept considers that at night, lights would make the whole façade glow whites and cast shadows through them as they move in a glassed second floor structure. 

This design feature makes this design unique since most buildings in France are windows facing north so it would have been difficult for sunlight to go through the glass ceiling of each workspace (and for it to illuminate).

4. THE FORM:

It is similar to most office buildings designed during the late nineteenth century (when Le Corbusier was born). It was very simple in design and unadorned, with a clear floor plan for each space. There were no doors or windows to enter the different spaces. 

Although those functional barriers were there, it was near impossible for an office worker to do anything else but work and eat at his desk (with minimal interaction with others). Although that may be true, Le Corbusier’s intention was to preserve privacy by giving them clearly defined spaces.

5. THE SPACE:

The building had five floors with a total of eleven offices. The floor plan included an L-shaped space in the middle and vertical partitions at the bottom to create smaller spaces. Although the concept of private offices was very new during this time, Le Corbusier believed that it was vital for privacy. 

In other words, even though there were no doors to enter or windows to view anyone else, there was still room for each office worker to have his own space within the building which contained his desk as well as a complete set of office equipment (writing set, telephone, and all).

6. QUALITY OF THE SPACE:

Although this design is from the early 1900s, it remains very similar in structure to most office buildings of today. Because of that, there were minimal updates needed to improve this space, such as creating an open space floor plan (to create interaction between workers) and adding privacy doors for increased privacy. It was a clear sign that office buildings were about to change for the better since these changes were extremely innovative during that time period and Le Corbusier had tried to achieve a perfect balance of modern space and privacy simultaneously.

7.  RECOMMENDATIONS:

The recommendations were to make small changes in the floor plan (by creating open space among employees) and to add doors to preserve privacy at the same time. Although that was the only advice I could think of, Le Corbusier had tried not only to conserve space but also to make sure everyone had access to it.

8. CONCLUSION:

The conclusion is that this office building is very similar today which means it will be difficult for an architect of today to create new concepts for office spaces. However, since this building was created in 1950, offices in 2014 are very different from what they used to be and thus require more design innovation.

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