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Inhabiting Language, Constructing Language / Habiter la langue, construire la langue


Edited By Rémi Digonnet

The juxtaposition of habitat, a product of architecture, and speech, a product of language, enables us to envisage a dual orientation for what could be called "architexture". The architectural text focuses on the analysis of architects’ discourse, architectural metaphors or spatial markers and prepositions. Textual architecture, meanwhile, explores composition, syntactic ordering, text structure or "construction" grammars. Through verbalisation or spatialization, through verbal or architectural communication, the speaker and the architect are subjected to numerous constraints despite a certain freedom of speech and freedom of construction. Both this constructed speech and this spoken construction summon the architect-speaker to his or her language domus. It is this dual position that the articles in this collection aim to occupy.


La mise en regard de l’habitat, produit de l’architecture, et du discours, produit de la langue, permet d’envisager une double orientation de ce que l’on pourrait nommer l’« architexture ». Le texte de l’architecture traite de l’analyse de discours d’architectes, de métaphores architecturales ou de marqueurs spatiaux et prépositions spatiales, tandis que l’architecture du texte investit la composition, l’agencement syntaxique, la structure d’un texte ou encore les grammaires dites « de construction ». D’une mise en discours ou en espace, à travers une communication verbale ou architecturale, l’énonciateur et l’architecte sont soumis à de nombreuses contraintes en dépit d’une liberté de parole et de construction. Cette parole construite autant que cette construction parlée convoquent l’énonciateur-architecte dans sa domus langagière. C’est cette double posture qui fait l’objet des contributions de cet ouvrage collectif.

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The Language of the Architect. Le Corbusier’s “Archilect” (Rémi Digonnet)


The Language of the Architect 

Le Corbusier’s “Archilect”

Rémi Digonnet

Université Jean Monnet – Saint-Étienne

Through the linguistic study of Le Corbusier’s well-known manifesto entitled When the Cathedrals Were White (1937), this article aims to define what could be named an “archilect”. With the description of New York as a background, Le Corbusier implicitly imposes his own vision of modern architecture and urbanism.1 The specificity of his architectural language (architecture is language) will be shown thanks to lexicon, semantics, and a syntax particular to the architect. His speech will then be analysed (language is architecture) for a better understanding of the strategies at work (plurality of viewpoints, recycling, architectural metaphors) to promote his perception of a city, his perception of the city.

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