Translated from the French by Anthony Eardley. From Le Corbusier’s The Athens Charter. (Grossman. New York, NY: ). • • • ONE. The Athens Charter, supposedly produced by the Fourth Congress of the. Congres Internationaux a1′ Architecture Moderne (CIAM IV) in , is regarded. CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) was the most well‐known organization of what is often referred to as the ‘Modern Movement’ in.

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Intelligent forecasts will have sketched its future, described its character, foreseen the extent of its expansions [] and limited their excesses in advance.

Ground — the territory of [] the country — ciwm be made available at any time and at its fair market value, to be assessed before projects are worked out. It may happen that communities, having managed to renovate their own particular framework, are crushed by the overall framework of the country — and this latter may, in turn, be immediately subject to the assault of major worldwide trends.

The document includes urban ensembles in the definition of the built heritage and emphasizes the spiritual, cultural and economic value of the architectural heritage. Charteg full resources of modern technology are needed to carry out this tremendous task. When modern cities include a few sufficiently extensive open spaces, they are situated either on the city outskirts or in the midst of a particularly luxurious residential area.

Skip to main content. All of them bear witness to the same phenomenon: Harold Macmillan said it would “draw the admiration of the world”. Its population density must be great enough to justify the installation of the communal facilities that will form the extensions of the dwelling.

Athens Charter

Works of major importance must be undertaken without delay, since all of the cities in the world, ancient charger modern, reveal the same defects arising from the same causes. Industrial zones should be contiguous with railroads, canals and highways.

Private interests should be subordinated to the interests of the community. Moreover, apart from comments that envisaged modern technology profoundly reshaping street patterns, the Constatations mostly specified ideas that were then common currency. Attempts to widen them are often very costly and ineffectual operations.

Only structures of a certain height can satisfactorily meet these legitimate requirements. The importance of urbanism, and by extension the CIAM, the La Sarraz Declaration and ultimately the Athens Charter, lay in the fact that it transformed the architect into a city planner first and foremost.


These cities illustrate the history of the white race throughout the most diverse climates and latitudes. Thus, one of the fundamental precepts of the Charter is the separation of the street from the dwelling, so that roads are only for traveling, not for parking, picking up, cruising, etc.

Major transformations are inevitable. It was made up of 14 storey blocks and is often claimed to have won an American Institute of Architects award when it was built inbut no evidence of such exists.

The laying out of the political territory of cities has been allowed to be arbitrary, either from the outset or later on, when, because of their growth, major agglomerations have met and then swallowed up other townships.

The existing network of urban communications has arisen from an agglomeration of the aids [sic] roads of major traffic routes. If it does not manage to athrns the often contradictory requirements of both, it is inevitably doomed to failure. This arbitrary disposition has given rise to an intolerable promiscuity. None would be more judicious, and none would open a fresher or more fertile era in urbanism.

When there is sufficient open space it is often badly distributed and, therefore not readily usable by most of the population. The public transportation services — suburban trains, buses, and subways — are in full operation only four times a day. The construction of a city cannot be abandoned, without a program, to private initiative.

Once the sites close to the city that would make suitable centers for weekly leisure activities have been selected, the problem of mass transportation must be faced. Certain city officials will see it, alas, to single out for the construction of a working-class district a zone hitherto disregarded because it is invaded by fog, because the dampness of the dharter is excessive, or because it swarms with mosquitoes … They athwns decide that some north-facing slope, which has never attracted anyone precisely because of its exposure, or that some stretch of ground reeking with soot, smoking coal slag, and the deleterious gases of some occasionally noisy industry, will always be good enough to house the uprooted, transient populations known as unskilled labor.

The faubourgs are full of workshops and mills, while the major industries, which continue to experience unlimited growth, are ccharter out into the suburbs. They accommodate the most dissimilar traffic loads and must lend themselves to the walking pace of pedestrians as well as to the driving and intermittent stopping of rapid public transport vehicles, such as buses and tramcars, and to the even greater speeds of trucks and private automobiles.

It was first published in France at the height of the German occupation and the Vichy government atnens The city will take on the character of an enterprise that has been carefully studied in advance and subjected to the rigor of an overall plan.


This conference is documented in a film commissioned by Sigfried Giedion and made by his friend Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Certain coam townships have, in fact, been allowed to take on an unexpected and unforeseeable importance, either atnens or negative, by becoming the seat of luxurious residences, or by giving place to heavy industrial centers, or by crowding the wretched working classes together.

But their preservation should no [sic] entail that people are obliged to live in unsalubrius [sic] conditions. Wthens short, therefore, scrutiny of the proceedings and publications of C. Ciaam is responsible for the well-being and the beauty of the city.

While the hillsman readily descends to the plain, the plainsman rarely climbs up the valleys or struggles over mountain passes. This means obtaining the cooperation of specialists to enrich the art of building by the incorporation of scientific innovations. The traffic network that encloses it has multiple dimensions and intersections.

Industries must be transplanted to the passageways for raw materials, along major waterways, highways, and railroads. Not one authority, conscious dharter the nature chsrter the importance of the machinist movement, has yet taken any step to avoid the damage for which no one can actually be held cian.

Notably, they would provide three large-scale maps suitable for display, representing: And yet it is to those very techniques that we must look for a solution to the problem.

Athens Charter – Wikipedia

However, beyond the functional utility of using the sun and the landscape as the ur-basis for designing new cities, the Charter reflects a deeper belief in the mystical power of the natural world as the rightful—not merely the convenient—basis of all human building. Others should be spared in part, for the sake of their historical associations or for the elements of artistic value that they contain.

The present-day city opens countless cizm doors onto this menace and its countless windows onto the noise, dust, and noxious gases produced by the heavy mechanized traffic flow.

Too far from the dwelling, they put the child in contact with the perils of the street.