The modernist architecture of the 1920s, often referred to by the terms "machine aesthetic" and "International Style," has been seen as antithetical to the vernacular. Focusing on Le Corbusier, this essay argues that, to the contrary, the vernacular played an essential role in the construction of modernist architecture, as conceptual model for a notion of modern vernacular-one as naturally the issue of modern industrial society, and as representative of it, as the traditional vernacular of common parlance had been of earlier societies. Le Corbusier arrived at this notion by layering on each other several discourses concerning regionalism, folklore, and the more complex concept of Sachlichkeit (factualness), developed in Vienna and Germany at the turn of the century by such figures as Adolf Loos and Hermann Muthesius.

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