Built Around a Tree: Odysseus’s Thalamos and Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau
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The paper presents some comments on Homer’s ekphrasis of Odysseus’s thalamos, as presented in Book 23 of the Odyssey, and Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau which was built for the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes and held in Paris. Both works imply a specifi c architectural situation of designing a domestic space around a growing tree. The architectural nature of Odysseus’s thalamos (his and Penelope’s nuptial bed and the bedchamber built around an olive tree in the palace of Ithaca) is revealed, for example, in the interpretation of the daidalon, i.e. the epithet that Homer uses in his ekphrasis which is associated with the name of Daedalus, the fi rst mythical architect. Le Corbusier’s pavilion, which included a tree in its garden terrace, is seen not only as a standardised unit of immeubles-villas, but also as a “paradigmatic” situation of designing a dwelling or a breathing space around a tree.
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