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Working with Le Corbusier by Jerzy Soltan in the arquia/film archive


For this week, we suggest the lecture by Jerzy Soltan (1913-2005), the Polish architect who worked in Le Corbusier's studio, given in 1987 at the COAC. Watch it in the arquia/film archive.

In the lecture, Jerzy Soltan shows Le Corbusier from a human point of view and introduces us to the projects in which he collaborated with the architect. He presents the day-to-day issues of the studio, the different techniques of expression used in designing the projects, such as models or charcoal, and Le Corbusier's relationship with his team.

The process of returning home revealed quite a lot about Le Corbusier’s character. If the work went well, if he enjoyed his own sketching and was sure of what he intended to do, then he forgot about the hour and might be home late for dinner. But if things did not go too well, if he felt uncertain of his ideas and unhappy with his drawings, then Corbu became jittery. He would fumble with his wristwatch – a small, oddly feminine contraption, far too small for his big paw – and finally say, grudgingly, “C’est difficile, l’architecture,” toss the pencil or charcoal stub on the drawing, and slink out, as if ashamed to abandon the project and me – and us – in a predicament.’ Jerzy Soltan

Mais mon cher Soltan, il faut que ce soit beau.” This remark, of course, destroyed my argument. I was demolished, demolished but also delighted; Le Corbusier had offered me, openly, aboveboard, a marvellous gift that for years I had been eyeing secretly, from a distance. “Il faut que ce soit beau” – it has to be beautiful. To have the guts not only to speak of visual quality but to put one’s thought so bluntly!’ Jerzy Soltan

It is possible to watch this documentary in the arquia/film archive thanks to the collaboration and authorisation of the College of Architects of Catalonia.



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