Le Corbusier colour guide up for auction

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An extremely rare first edition of Le Corbusier’s 1931 interactive design guide Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen is up for auction in New York.

It is expected to reach up to $3,500 and goes under the hammer on Thursday.

The book – which was created for Swiss wallpaper manufacturer Salubra – features pop-up and pull-out sections, based on his approach to colour.

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To be auctioned by New York’s Swann Auction Galleries, the guide includes pockets with wallpaper samples and 12 pages dedicated to colouring. Le Corbusier started developing colour systems in the 1920s, creating a “colour keyboard” intended to help users find and match colours for use in interiors.

He believed that specific shades could affect rooms and their inhabitants, creating a welcoming atmosphere or altering their perception of space.

He identified paler colours as creating warmth and light, while deeper shades could enhance or camouflage elements in a room. He believed synthetic pigments had a more invigorating effect, and would have a dramatic influence on architecture.

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