The main hypothesis argues that Le Corbusier's exchanges with the artistic network in the twenties inspired and affected his ideas of travel, as well as his understanding of Brazil. By looking at the relationships, notions and expectations that Le Corbusier previously built over Brazil, and later confronted on site, are revealed through other lenses. And, the dialogues with several protagonists, in particular with those of the avant-garde milieu in Paris, may have strongly contributed to it. The network that the architect had built in the twenties within this milieu, and the numerous readings which may have contributed to his ideas of the ‘Americas’ become relevant here, in the investigation of Le Corbusier’s voyage to Brazil. Le Corbusier’s achievements are thus not considered in an isolated manner, but as a multifaceted approach.
By evaluating materials – which are held in several Institutions in Switzerland, France and Brazil – as well as new approaches concerning Le Corbusier’s trip to Brazil and his relationship with the artistic milieu; this work shall bring a significant contribution to the current architectural historiographic discourse with respect to Le Corbusier’s concept of travel at the end of the twenties. Consequently, it shall introduce relevant analyses and results to debates on architects’ voyages, as well as to the construction of the notion of travel for the architect in modernity.
Such a theme of the architects’ voyages has indeed become central in the scholarly agenda, as traveling has been not only a constitutive part of the architects’ formative experience since Brunelleschi or Alberti, but also one of our most widespread practices in the present era of globalization.
It is thus not the aim to study a singular figure within the history of architecture, but to grant an attention to fragments that point to a moment of tensions and exchanges between the artistic and the architectural fields in the late twenties; examining, in particular, how the issue of travel is discussed and presented through these exchanges. Through such a study, it is not only possible to ‘re-draw’ Le Corbusier’s trajectory in one of the most critical moments of rupture in the architect’s written production, but also to work across the architectural discussions at that time, placing Le Corbusier in a wider web of reciprocal influences and circulation of ideas; as well as to construct a sense for the fragmented, or even silenced, discourses within the artistic and architectural debates in the late twenties.