In celebration of the 75th anniversary we invited the Finnish architect Vesa Honkonen to create a suite of colours for a limited anniversary collection of L-1. He has chosen to go back in history. Here he explains why.
Industrialization and the legacy of Le Corbusier
European industrialization started to show the way for the future in the
18th century, particularly in the United Kingdom. Progress takes time.
Form finds its new expression slowly. By the early 20th century, design
and architecture was getting a lot of inspiration from the new age of
machines and industry. L-1 is a successful industrial product, but also a
proud and self-reliant representative of the design ideals of its time.
It still catches the eye, it still works.
When I started looking
for new colors for L-1, it did not feel right just to make do with the
industrialized colours we use today. I felt that the new L-1 colours
should have the same depth as the L-1. So I went back to the 1930ies and
the colour palette created by Le Corbusier in 1931: polychromie
architecturale. As an architect, painter and artist, he had created his
own palette for use in architecture.
Le Corbusier used natural
pigments. His colors have depth, they shine. His palette is based on his
interpretation of how people feel about colours, how they perceive
space with their senses.
Luckily there are people who still work
with these colors. L-1 now has a new skin from the 1930ies, based on a
system that creates harmony by combining colours that work well
together. It is my hope that the colour qualities of the anniversary
collection of L-1 will help create a new awareness of the possibilities
that lie in using the colours of Le Corbusier in today’s architecture
and design projects. Because these are qualities that will still be
fresh after 75 years. Like the quality of Luxo L-1.