Renault Coupé Corbusier concept pays tribute to famous architect

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The Corbusier concept car pays tribute both to France's most famous 20th Century architect(Credit: Renault Design)

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Designers at French automotive manufacturer, Renault, have created a concept car to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of France’s best-known 20th century architect Le Corbusier, dubbed the Coupé Corbusier. With a long, high-level hood, a low glasshouse cockpit, and dihedral doors hinged at the rear, the Coupé Corbusier is a melange of geometric shapes and rounded angles that reflect the signature style of the great architect.

Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in Switzerland on October 6, 1887, and more famously known as Le Corbusier (a pseudonym adopted when he moved to France and made it his home), the man to whom this concept car pays tribute was an architect, designer, painter, and one of the foremost pioneers of modern architecture. In a career spanning five decades, his building designs were constructed across Europe, India, and the Americas. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his death in August, 1965.

"The Design teams at Groupe Renault are proud to pay homage to the visionary architect and designer who reinvented architecture and made it more broadly accessible," said Renault. "His thought and value structure is one that we share... The ideas of simplicity, a visually- and aesthetically-pleasing structure, geometric elegance and mastery of light guided the designers in the creation of the Coupé Corbusier concept car."

Beginning two years ago, design teams at Groupe Renault have been regularly tasked with working on forward-looking subjects that may predict possible future vehicles completely unrelated to Renault range renewals. These exercises are said to provide staff with the opportunity to explore new ideas and provide their creatives with a break from standard design tasks so that they can participate in recreational, free-range vehicle art. This year, the teams chose to draw on the topic of "French cultural objects" to which they referred to the 1930s; the so-called golden age of French automobiles.

"The influence of Le Corbusier asserted itself as the obvious source of reflection, as a sort of conceptual prequel to the modern automobile," said Renault in regard to the design.

Having said this, though evidence may be found in the use of swooping guards as found in automobiles of the period, and the geometric shapes of Le Corbusier are peppered throughout the body, the concept also includes some design cues discernible from other Renault Concepts – such as the 2014 KWID – particularly noticeable in the use of dihedral doors and the large and prominent radiator grill.

As to the specifications for the vehicle, however, Renault has not proffered any clue to its dimensions or the powertrain driving it, if there is one at all. Seemingly a static display, the vehicle is being shown at a modernist villa in Poissy on the outskirts of Paris, in an exhibition entitled Cars for living: the automobile and modernism in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Along with a range of other automobile creations and artwork, France’s Centre des Monuments Nationaux has organized the exhibition to celebrate French automobile design and manufacturing heritage, which runs from October 22, 2015 to March 20, 2016.

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