This paper is concerned with the role that the process of ascent plays in the revelation of the architecture of Le Corbusier, by studing specific buildings. The emphasis that the architect gives at the spatial orginization of ascending ‘‘paths’’ – towards and through his buildings – is underlined, while the different stages of these ascending movements, are analysed.
The research starts with the presentation of the spatial and architectural images that inspired the young Le Corbusier, as they appear in his personal travel notes, during his journey to the East in 1911. The ascents are analysed, as they are described during his visits at the monastery of Ema near Florence, at mount Athos and at Acropolis. The study searches elements of ascent in the later carrer of the architect, in reletion with art (especially painting).
The study focuses on private houses of the first years of the carrer of the architect, during the decades of 20s and 30s, and culminates with the examination of the religious buildings, on which the architect worked during the last period. At these last works, the ascent is examined in association with a symbolic and metaphysic dimension, in which Le Corusier believed. The research comes to the conclusion that the symbolic dimansion of the ascent is more important in the work of Le Corbusier that the dimension which is related with the bodily experience.