In 1946 Le Corbusier returned to the United States in conjunction with a French mission to study American architecture, public works, and planning. He traveled with Eugène Claudius-Petit, who would become minister of reconstruction in France. Their principal objective was to visit the Tennessee Valley Authority, considered a model for postwar reconstruction. In Le Corbusier and Postwar America: The TVA and Béton Brut, Mardges Bacon argues that the TVA’s regional planning and societal synthesis served as a model for Le Corbusier’s second-machine-age civilization. The TVA’s reinforced concrete dams employed industrial piping and a new formwork technique. Examining Le Corbusier’s postwar agenda through the prism of the TVA and a collaborative practice, Bacon contends that his work showed greater monumentality and plasticity, the integration of architecture and infrastructure, and an aesthetic treatment of béton brut, which situates his Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles (1945–52) within a transatlantic as well as a Mediterranean culture.

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