Looking to support the local Harley Gallery with their ‘Brick Wonders’ exhibition by Warren Elsmore, we agreed to take part in their ‘Beat the Architect’ challenge once again. It’s a great opportunity to be able to talk to the keen, eager, excited, animated, enthusiastic children (and their parents and grandparents!) about the route into architecture and the different jobs that relate to the role. I think many have this image of me sitting at my drawing board all day and are very surprised at the different tasks that I undertake.
In the last few years Lego have certainly looked to appeal to the ‘more mature’ generation, or AFoL as we are known (Adult Fan of Lego – look it up, it’s a real acronym) – so no more looking for excuses to play with the children or nieces and nephews, Lego have designed Lego Architecture Studio for the more mature user!
This year we based our design on the eminent Villa Savoye, by Swiss born architect Le Corbusier, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. The Savoye family took possession once it was complete in 1931, but abandoned it during World War II. Used by the armies it fell into disrepair and at the end of the war the Savoye family were in no financial position to maintain it so it was left to the town of Poissy to look after. In 1958 they expressed a view to demolish it, and it was only a campaign by a group of architects, that included Le Corbusier himself that stopped it.
In 1964 the building was added to the French register of Historic Monuments, the first example of modern architecture to be included. Between 1963 and 1997 various restoration projects were carried out, which re-instated many original features and I was delighted to see that in July 2016 the building was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s impossible to ignore the impact that Villa Savoye and Le Corbusier has had on modern architecture. However, not to everyone’s taste, I think it is easy to miss the beauty in the simplistic design and Le Corbusier’s thought process behind it.