As a modern architect, Le Corbusier doesn’t surrender to the common thoughts of his age and in the articles “Mass” and “Surface” from the book Towards an Architecture again he doesn’t hesitate to defend plastic art with his strict sentences. Let’s have a look at both the articles “Mass” and “Surface”.
It is a well known truth by the enthusiasts of Le Corbusier’s that the book Towards an Architecture is full of comparisons of architecture and engineering and the section Mass also experiences this analogy.
He continuously underlines the impact of primary forms as an object which can be clearly figured out. Gathering all the masterly produced direct and spectacular masses in light what defines architecture. Light and shade reveals the direct line of good art hidden in the geometry of the (great) primary forms (cubes, cones,spheres…). Additionally he criticizes the complexity of Gothic styles. Architecture has nothing to do with diverse “styles” and Gothic architecture includes all the complication of subjective character outside plastic art.
What I grasped from the article is that the duty of an architect must be to detect and remove the surfaces which closes the features of masses and revise them to make it in such a way that the surface and mass becomes a whole, creates a harmonious combination and they should not be absorbing each other.
A successful companionship of surface and mass together must arouse the sense of tranquility, and shouldn’t be irritating our eyes.