Paimio Sanatorium

Topics: Modernism, Le Corbusier, Paimio Sanatorium Pages: 3 (744 words) Published: May 19, 2014
As I mentioned earlier in Tuberculosis and Solar Architecture (part 1), I had written a chapter on sun-responsive architecture of the 1920s and 30s, but it needed to be cut from the book during editing for length. Here's another excerpt. I argue that the 20th-century solar house, defined by experimental attention to space heating and energy savings, occupies a different historical space than a strain of sun-responsive architecture in the 1920s and 30s which accommodated sunlight for reasons of health and hygiene (heliotherapy). This genre, which may be known as heliotherapeutic architecture, emerged in concert with the sanatorium movement in late-19th century Europe, prompted by the idea that sunlight and fresh air contributed to a ‘cure’ for tuberculosis. Les Frênes (Leysin, Switzerland, 1911) was probably the first large purpose-built heliotherapy clinic to be constructed. It featured south-facing rooms with terraces and large windows. (These early sanatoriums are sometimes called the ‘Davos-type’, as that city was another center of activity.) The director of Les Frênes, Dr. Auguste Rollier, published La Cure de Soleil in 1914 and L’Heliotherapie in 1923. The latter became a best-selling book and may have influenced architects such as Le Corbusier. The sun played a central but underreported role in some canonical works of early modernism. Tony Garnier’s Une Cité Industrielle (1901-17) project is well-known for its functional planning innovations and its aesthetic of repetitive concrete cubes, but it may also be interpreted as a “solar utopia.” Garnier’s plan included a centre d’héliothérapie, a long building consisting primarily of repetitive rooms with balconies and glass walls behind. It became a strong influence for the sanatorium architecture that followed. Garnier’s larger vision included houses that were “planned with equal solar access and … spaced to prevent shading of adjacent buildings during the winter months.” Public buildings were also designed...
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