The "Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau" at the Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs of 1925 was a signal triumph over difficulties. No funds were available, no site was forthcoming, and the Organizing Committee of the Exhibition refused to allow the scheme I had drawn up to proceed. The program of that scheme was as follows, the rejection of decorative art as such, accompanied by an affirmation that the sphere of architecture embraces every detail of household furnishing, the street as well as the house, and a wider world still beyond both. My intention was to illustrate how, by virtue of the selective principle (standardization applied to mass-production), industry creates pure forms ; and to stress the intrinsic value of this pure form of art that is the result of it. Secondly to show the radical transformations and structural liberties reinforced concrete and steel allow us to envisage in urban housing - in other words that a dwelling tan be standardized to meet the needs of men whose lives are standardized. And thirdly to demonstrate that these comfortable and elegant units of habitation, these practical machines for living in, could be agglomerated in long, lofty blocks of villa-flats. The "Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau" was accordingly designed as a typical cell-unit in just such a block of multiple villa-flats. It consisted of a minimum dwelling with its own roof-terrace. Attached to this cell-unit was an annexe in the form of a rotunda containing detailed studies of town-planning schemes; two large dioramas, each a hundred square meters in area, one of which showed the 1922 "Plan for a Modern City of 3,000,000 Inhabitants"; and the other the "Voisin Plan" which proposed the creation of a new business centre in the heart of Paris. On the walls were methodically worked out plans for cruciform skyscrapers, housing colonies with staggered lay-outs, and a whole range of types new to architecture that were the fruit of a mind preoccupied with the problems of the future.
Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 1, 1910-1929