Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge, United States, 1961
The Visual Arts Center for Harvard University is located on an extremely small site surrounded by buildings in the Geor­gian style. The supervision of the project was in the hands of José Luis Sert and his associates in Cambridge, Mass. The program was a program of complete creation based on new data: to establish a place where the students of the University could, while crossing this main path, look-infrom the outside, eventually enter and register to work: two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, models, sculpture, etc., modelling, cut-outs in paper and cardboard, etc.

The Visual Arts Center is placed at the disposal of all students of the University, independently of their courses of study, with the sole objective to bring to the present generation the taste and the desire to combine the work of the hands with that of the mind, which is Le Corbusier's most important social vow. The problem consisted of creating the circulation, places of work, to find surfaces and lighting and, the most difficult of all, it consisted of inserting all of this in so little space. The problem was not easy.

The structure of concrete and glass is a demonstration of Le Corbusier's theories and contains a wealth of his lifelong basic ideas: the mutual interpenetration of exterior and interior space, the use of rough concrete, a ramp which connects two streets above the third floor, free-standing structural columns on each of the five floors and brise-soleil.

The inaugural exhibition comprised ten oil paintings, twelve water colors and drawings, 55 lithographs, a tapestry and a selection of Le Corbusier's publications, all from American collections, as well as a collection of photomurals designed by Le Corbusier and executed by the Colegio Official de Arquitectos in Barcelona.

Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 7, 1957-1965
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Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge
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Photo : Lucien Hervé
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