Redesigning the White House According to Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier’s Five Points of design are composed of stilt structure supports for a main building, roof terraces that act as gardens, open-floor-plan layouts, “open” facades wherein the facades act as skins to non-load-bearing walls, and long, horizontal ribbon windows. A famous example of these five points can be seen in his most famous work, the Villa Savoye, an iconic piece of architecture in the wildly popular International Style. These five tenets were highly influential on the International Style as a whole, as can be seen in the long windows, practical concrete usage, and pragmatic rectangular prism shape.

The American White House is one of the iconic and immediately recognizable pieces of architecture in the United States. It was constructed in the early 1790s in the Neoclassical and Palladian styles, which we think of today as “traditional.” The heavy pillars and triangular and semi-circular shapes have been emulated in countless banal buildings such as banks, libraries, and schools. As such, the White House is one of the most spiritually “American” architectural designs.

However, in order to push the White House into today’s modern world, we can apply Le Corbusier’s Five Points to create an International Style White House. While keeping the building’s iconic front triangular shape, the back semi-circular shape, as well as the strong pillars, added thinner pillars lift the building up off the ground, allowing space for foliage and vegetation, highly necessary considering climate change. Along each facade is a set of long ribbon windows, allowing sunlight to flood an open floor plan in the building’s interior. This design allows the facade to be more free form. Additionally, the roof acts as a garden, unifying the lush landscape with the artificiality of the building. American flags and deciduous trees flank the new White House, proudly defending freedom.

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