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Modern Makeover

For a good proportion of his professional life, Hernán Marchant has felt a special connection to the renowned French modernist Le Corbusier. Over a career spanning more than four decades, Marchant has studied Le Corbusier’s design philosophy, translated his works from French to Spanish, and traced his influence across Latin America. While researching a dissertation for his Ph.D. in art history at the Sorbonne, Marchant even lived in the late designer’s Paris apartment for three months.

“It was like living in a museum,” he said. “It was amazing; sleeping in his bed, eating in his kitchen, working in his studio.”

Modern Influence

Marchant used Le Corbusier's color palette for the Allred Gallery project.

The work is now paying dividends. Marchant, the associate dean of undergraduate and interdisciplinary studies in the College of Design, recently designed a new floor for the Allred Gallery in Kamphoefner Hall with colors and patterns inspired by Le Corbusier’s groundbreaking work, The Modulor. In the book, published in 1950, Le Corbusier developed the concept of using the proportions of the human body to design buildings and mechanical things.

“The design is pure,” Marchant said during a tour of the gallery. “It’s a timeless composition. Pure abstraction.”

The beautiful terrazzo flooring was donated by the David Allen Company.

Read Marchant’s explanation of the project, “Standing on Le Corbusier,” in DesignLife. The feature includes a fascinating video of Marchant discussing Le Corbusier’s ideas.

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