Ineffable Space (L'Espace bidicible): The City According to Le Corbusier

Senturk L.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY-SOSYOLOJI DERGISI, vol.3, no.22, pp.383-393, 2011 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 3 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.383-393
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


This essay problematizes the imfamous XXth century architect Le Corbusier's understandings on space, self and city through his concept of ineffable space (L'Espace lndicible). Le Corbusier represents a contradictory role: He is both a symbol of a radical shift in XXth century architecture and is also subject to a radical criticism. Very few actors of this kind within the oeuvre can be identified. The concept L'Espace lndicible is one of the major concepts of his universalist measure, the Modulor. However this very concept is heavily citicized due to its essentialist visuality denies the complexities of the city. In this essay, L'Espace Jndicible is countered by Jung's concept of 'temenos'. Le Corbusier's argument on creation, mystifying it as a closed process, meets Agamen's critic about the world considered as a camp and becoming a camp, an open-air, global jailhouse. Agamben's pessimistic claim that within this global camp the body's closure can not be reversed seems to be the realization of Le Corbusier's moduloric ideals.