Modern Architecture and Fascism

The first study in this project explores Le Corbusier’s engagement with French fascism in the birth of the city industrial complex. Le Corbusier participated in an urban dialogue with the first group in France to call itself fascist Le Faisceau, via his friendship with the eugenicist biologist Docteur Pierre Winter. In 2013, I travelled to the Fondation le Corbusier archive in Paris in search of French-language documents on Le Corbusier’s relationship with his doctor. In 2015 three new French-language books were published on Le Corbusier’s fascism by the historian Francois Chaslin, journalist Xavier De Jarcy, and architect and writer Marc Perelman, that erupted in a scandal I later became involved in. In April 2016 an open letter by Perelman was printed in Le Monde here, claiming that Le Corbusier was a fascist and that the French academy had whitewashed this from architectural history, adducing the 2015 exhibition on Le Corbusier’s life The Measure of Man held at the Centre Georges Pompidou gallery as evidence which did not mention Le Corbusier’s politics in the major retrospective of the architect, despite the synchronous appearance of the French books. The letter was signed by myself, the fascism scholar Zeev Sternhell, Jarcy, Perelman, and Daniel de Roulet; and reappeared in English on Verso’s website in 2017 here. The Fondation le Corbusier wrote to me asking me why I signed the letter. In response, I produced an essay ‘Was Le Corbusier a Fascist?’ currently under peer review. The project has assembled an international team including writers from France, Australia and the US.

Selected Writings

Refereed Journal Articles

Brott, Simone. “The Le Corbusier Scandal: Was Le Corbusier a Fascist?” (Under Peer Review 2017).

Simone Brott, Zeev Sternhell, Xavier de Jarcy, Daniel de Roulet, Marc Perelman. “Le Corbusier’s Ideal Is the Barracks.” Verso Books, 6 January 2017 here.

Simone Brott, Zeev Sternhell, Xavier de Jarcy, Daniel de Roulet, Marc Perelman. “L’idéal De Le Corbusier C’est La Caserne.” Le Monde, 22 November 2016 here.

Brott, Simone. “The Ghost in the City Industrial Complex: Le Corbusier and the Fascist Theory of Urbanisme.” Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 40, no. 2 (2016) download pdf.

Brott, Simone. “Architecture et révolution : Le Corbusier and the Fascist Revolution.” Thresholds: Journal of the MIT Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 41, (Spring 2013) download pdf.

Brott, Simone. “Esprit Futur” Log: Observations on Architecture and the City 23, New York: Anycorp (Fall 2011): 84-96 here.

Team

  • Dr Simone Brott

Other Team Members

Professor Mark Antliff, Duke University, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Francois Chaslin, architect, professor, and writer for Le Monde and Nouvel Observateur

Xavier De Jarcy, journalist at Télérama

Associate Professor Antony Moulis, The University of Queensland Toby Douglas Mackay postgraduate candidate

Funding / Grants

  • Queensland University of Technology, Professional Development Leave Award, to fund Archive Study at Fondation le Corbusier ($10,000), 2013.
  • Queensland University of Technology, Early Career Academic Recruitment Development Award for Le Corbusier Research Project, June, 2013, $5000AUD
  • Society of Architectural Historians, The Scott Opler Emerging Scholar Fellowship 2014, $1000USD.