'William J.R Curtis is the best architectural historian writing in the English language, and that alone makes this book something of an event'. Chicago Truibune 'This is not only the best single work on Le Corbusier - a model of scholarship, erudite yet eminently readable - it is also an invaluable analysis of the creative architectural process. It should be read and re-read by every student of architecture'. Building Design 'It is as incisive narrative, informed by biography and illuminated by penetrating critical commentary, that this book excels'. T. L. S. 'An admirable introduction to Le Corbusier's life and work. It is also a record of personal observation and synthesis by an informed and shrewdly sensitive author which will remain valid and fresh long term'. Architectural Review 'The most lucid and complete chronicle yet available of Le Corbusier's achievement. This book excels'. AIA Journal
Le Corbusier's notebooks pertaining to his German travels precede those of the "Orient", spanning the period from April to May 1911. His travels in Germany, visiting Munich, Berlin, Halle, Naumburg, Ratisbon and Augsburg, enabled Le Corbusier to meet personalities who would have a profound influence on him: among others Theodore Fischer, representing the most nonconformist trend in German architecture, Baron Gunther von Pechmann, William Ritter, a critic and a man of letters, and lastly Peter Behrens. It becomes apparent in the German notebooks that the architect changed the initial purpose of his trip - to draw up a report on the overall situation of applied art in German schools on behalf of the Ecole d'Art of La Chaux-de-Fonds - becoming instead more and more absorbed in the great urbanistic programmes, the themes of working-class housing, the need to complete his own training as an architect.
In these notebooks, writings, short critical comments, travel impressions and notes accompany an impressive number of drawings, landscapes and monuments, design studies and watercolours, that show how receptive Le Corbusier became to the important ideological and urbanistic issues of the time.