“I am attracted to every kind of natural organisation” - Le Corbusier, 1935

Many associate the architect Le Corbusier with the idea of the house as a machine for living – or with radical urban plans involving high-rise housing blocks and efficient traffic systems. He was obsessed with the machine. And yet his fascination with nature had a significant impact on his work, as both an architect and a painter.

This exhibition focuses on the years 1926–36, when Le Corbusier visited the Bassin d’Arcachon, a bay on the southwest coast of France, each summer. It was a place for recreation, far from the urban distractions of Paris. The architect tirelessly sketched whatever he found on the beach: boats, shells, cones, driftwood and stones. Later, back home, he abstracted this subject matter in his paintings. He wrote with fascination about how the fishermen built their cabins as a natural response to their daily routines and the climate: “These houses are palaces!”

With reproductions of sketches, written notes, photographs and paintings, the exhibition presents a less well-known aspect of Le Corbusier, as a dreamy and humorous person.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Professor Emeritus Tim Benton and the artist Bruno Hubert.