Lira Nikolovska | lira@mit.edu

 

4.203 Geometric Modelling
Le Corbusier's Philips Pavilion
Brussels Expo 1958

Philips International, Dutch Electronics Company, commissioned Le Corbusier in 1956 to build a pavilion that would exhibit the achievements of the company for the first post-WW2 EXPO in Brussels in 1958. The building, imagined by Philips as "... a spectacular demonstration of a synthesis of light, music and color, all of this using the most advanced technical means" inspired Le Corbusier to create together with his collaborators the first ever multimedia performance: 480 seconds of light, images, color and sound.

In the pavilion publication Poème Électronique from 1958 LC wrote:

I will not make a façade . . . but an electronic poem. Everything will happen inside: sound, light, color, rhythm. Perhaps, a scaffolding will be the pavilion's only exterior aspect. . . . The reason behind my design is not to add yet another
building to my career, but to create . . . a first "electric game", electronic, synchronic, in which light, line, color, volume, movement, and idea comprise whole, surprising and accessible to the general public.

For this task, the Philips Art Director Louis Kalf and Le Corbusier assembled a team of giants. Le Corbusier and Xenakis were responsible for the architecture and the sculptures (Mathematical Object), HC Duister developed the pre-stressed hyperbolic paraboloid structure, Agostini together with Jean Petit were responible for the cinematography and graphic design, and Edgar Varese composed the music.

The tent-like structure welcomed approximately 20 000 visitors per day. Despite the efforts of LC to preserve it, it torn down on 30 January 1959. The Mathematical Object (the sculpture below) that was located in front of the pavilion, was in the open space in front of the Philips Lighting building in Eindhoven until Philips loaned it to the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e).

Several organizations in Eindhoven have expresed interest in rebuilding the pavilion, but no public commitments nor announcements have been made (last I heard was in the Summer 2003).


4.203 Deliverables and Final Project

Below you will find the 2 images from the first Analitique exercise. The plan and rough 3D modeling for the pavilion is completed. The sculpture Mathematical Object (one was in front of the pavilion and another, smaller one was hanging inside the building) is modeled in great and accurate detail in AutoCAD 2000; two initial 3D Studio Max renderings are below.

For the final project I developed a detailed 3D model of the pavilion. A fixed-point animation sequence was rendered in 3D Studio Max. I also created several 3D Studio Max renderings that best illustrate the interesting visual qualities of the building.