Le Corbusier (1887-1965) has been one of the dominant forces in twentieth-century architecture and a legendary pioneering figure. Many of the forms he created have become archetypes of modernism. Yet he was also a social visionary and a writer of powerful polemics whose ideas have generated intense and partisan controversy. Now available for the first time in paperback, Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms provides a comprehensive and objective survey that exposes Le Corbusier through a more balanced perspective than ever before. Making full use of the 'Le Corbusier Archive', the author documents individual projects in detail, while linking the imaginative activities of the artist to his philosophy of life, his urban visions, his art and the cultural predicaments of his times. He analyses Le Corbusier's phenomenal powers of abstraction and synthesis, to illustrate how he created a potent architectural vocabulary based on a limited range of types and elements, and how he used it to generate architectural forms of compelling force. This intimate and meticulous study of all Le Corbusier's major buildings - from first sketches to final achievement - reveals the artist's struggle to reconcile the ideal and the practical and to give institutions and ideologies a suitable symbolic form. It shows, in turn, how this most 'modern' of architects constantly found profound inspiration in both nature and architectural tradition.