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25.5.05

Le Corbusier on DVD

Now we know what to get Fred and David for their birthdays. For them and others who think that Le Corbusier is not all he is cracked up to be (and, before you send that hate-mail, I don't necessarily disagree), I mention the article (Tout Le Corbusier en seize DVD pour 5 800 euros, May 26) by Frédéric Edelmann for Le Monde (my translation and links added):

Echelle-1 and Codex Images International, two Japanese companies specializing in digitalization and visualization processes for high-resolution images, have put their skills at the service of the Fondation Le Corbusier by editing the complete set of plans, sketches, and studies of the Swiss architect. Until now, these plans could only be consulted in microfilms preserved by the foundation at the Square du Docteur-Blanche, in Paris, the only source of documentation for researchers as for the general public. Thirty-four thousand color documents have been digitalized from the originals (recto and verso, as needed), to be compiled in four sets of four DVDs each. The first set, which has just been published, brings together the projects and completed buildings dating from 1905 to 1930, from the Villa Fallet in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland, to the Soviet Palace imagined for Moscow and the Radiant City, which remained a utopian dream. The collection will be completed by the projects from 1953 to 1964 (the Venice hospital and the French Embassy in Brasilia), with a fourth set expected at the end of 2006.
The outrageous price for 4 DVDs—5,800 € [US$7,287.68] (only 5,000 € [US$6,282.50] if ordered before June 30)—seems to indicate that the intended audience is limited to libraries and research institutions. The only question is: will the Library of Congress receive a copy?

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