Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital and the Mat Building Revival

Hashim Sarkis, Pablo Allard, Timothy Hyde
Prestel, 2001 - 131 pages
This volume explores an unbuilt yet iconic project by Le Corbusier and its visual representation. The Venice Hospital is the uncontested epitome of the 'mat', or carpet, building type - a low sprawling structure developed in the late fifties and sixties that is making a strong comeback in contemporary architecture. Planned in 1965 for the arsenal area at the edge of the city, the hospital was designed to extend the city's roads and canal networks, while simultanously turning in on itself to create flexible, quasi- urban interior environments in the form of endlessly repeating courtyards. Upon Le Corbusier's death in 1965, Guillermo Jullian de la Fuente was commissioned to complete the building. However, due to changes in city government, the project was eventually abandoned. This book reinvestigates this canonic example of Le Corbusier's late work and includes an account of de la Fuente's involvement in the project, previously unpublished drawings from his archive, and a reprint of Alison Smithson's seminal essay on 'mat' buildings.

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Assistant Professor of Architecture at Harvard University.

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