On Diagonal Time in Le Corbusier’s Visual Arts Center

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


This paper introduces the concept of diagonal time as an interpretive category for understanding composition strategies and spatial effects in certain projects of Le Corbusier. It is organized around two propositions: first, there is a largely untheorised temporality created in certain works of modernist architecture and those of Le Corbusier in particular; second, this temporality can be characterized as one not bound to a vision in motion nor does it require a body’s movement to gain presence. In order to test these propositions the paper undertakes a formal analysis of Le Corbusier’s Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1960-1964). The Visual Arts Center’s apparent reliance on movement for its coming into being is interrogated by focusing on other devices and strategies. Four such strategies are explored: oblique and transverse form relationships, expressive volumes, figure/ground ambiguities, and voided centres
Period18 Nov 2015
Event titleLe Corbusier 50 Years Later International Congress
Event typeConference
LocationValència, SpainShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational