International: Pyramidal Peace

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Perhaps the most remarkable document in the annals of U.N. was submitted to the Assembly last week. It was part of a report by the U.N. Headquarters Commission on a permanent U.N. site, and was written by the French commission member, one of the world's most-touted architects, Le Corbusier.*The mind which produced the dictum—"An artist who paints a dog to look like a dog is himself a dog of the lowest kind"—came to several revolutionary conclusions about U.N.'s permanent home. Samples:

"The word 'World Capital' is nothing but ambiguity . . . bloated with false deductions. . . . Confronting such a menace, the inhabitants of Connecticut, terror-stricken, took the bit between their teeth and flatly voted against the invasion of their domain. ... If the word 'Headquarters' brings to mind 'LIFE,' 'World Capital' brings to mind 'ACADEMISM.' And here we come to ... the very basis of the debate: ACADEMISM OR LIFE?"

Looking Down. "By academism we mean: to evaluate things by ingrained custom. . . . But life is different, unbridled, without respect. . . . The U.N., spontaneous creation in the fading hour of a society outmoded by the elan of a new life, must take heed! Bad shepherds are not lacking! . . .

"Let us weigh the sites: New York is a terrifying city. ... A great spectacle of power but also of disorder. Flushing .Meadows: the practical goals are seemingly attained. But that is not enough.. . . Feeling, in the last analysis, leads man by the nose. . . . Ridge field, Amawalk, Blue Mountain: seen from an airplane these desolate territories strike one with anguish, foretelling a fatal adventure marked with the sign of death. . . . White Plains, Greenwich, Round Hills: ... a privileged region . . . polished and policed. . . . The region 'breathes.' Here one feels is a place where one can camp. . . ."

Walking Up. Le Corbusier suggests a "vertical garden city" consisting of tall, compact buildings surrounded by nature. He plans for everything, from freeing "the housewife from her daily servitude" to the Assembly's "Hall of Lost Footsteps" (lobby) to his favorite project: a world museum, shaped like a pyramid. "One can go up on foot outside following the roof arranged as a road, the spiral mounting to the top. ... I have never been considered a great romanticist. However, I can well imagine two opponents of Assembly or Council room starting the road leading to the top . . . they discuss and argue . . . they are unyielding, irreconcilable . . . they know no common denominator. . . . But now they are on top, before the door. They enter. They go down the road, but this time take it on the inside. These two men will part differently than when they met." -Real name: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret.