header Notes Collection

10 Franken 1997, Switzerland

in Krause book Number: 66
Years of issue: 08.04.1997
Signatures: Der Präsident des Bankrates: Dr. Jakob Schönenberger, Ein Mitglied des Direktoriums: Jean Zwahlen
Serie: Eighth series
Specimen of: 1995
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 126 х 74
Printer: Orell Füssli, Zürich

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

10 Franken 1997




Le Corbusier.


10 Franken 1997

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who was better known as Le Corbusier (French: [lə kɔʁbyzje]; October 6, 1887 - August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout Europe, India, and America.

Dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, Le Corbusier was influential in urban planning, and was a founding member of the Congrès international d'architecture moderne (CIAM). Corbusier prepared the master plan for the planned city of Chandigarh in India, and contributed specific designs for several buildings there. Le Corbusier was at his most influential in the sphere of urban planning, and was a founding member of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). One of the first to realize how the automobile would change human agglomerations, Le Corbusier described the city of the future as consisting of large apartment buildings isolated in a park-like setting on pilotis. Le Corbusier's theories were adopted by the builders of public housing in Europe and the United States. In Great Britain urban planners turned to Le Corbusier's "Cities in the Sky" as a cheaper method of providing public housing from the late 1950s. For the design of the buildings themselves, Le Corbusier criticized any effort at ornamentation. The large spartan structures in cities, but not "of" cities, have been widely criticized for being boring and unfriendly to pedestrians.

Throughout the years, many architects worked for Le Corbusier in his studio, and a number of them became notable in their own right, including painter-architect Nadir Afonso, who absorbed Le Corbusier's ideas into his own aesthetics theory. Lúcio Costa's city plan of Brasília and the industrial city of Zlín planned by František Lydie Gahura in the Czech Republic are notable plans based on his ideas, while the architect himself produced the plan for Chandigarh in India. Le Corbusier's thinking also had profound effects on the philosophy of city planning and architecture in the Soviet Union, particularly in the Constructivist era.

Le Corbusier was heavily influenced by problems he saw in industrial cities at the turn of the 20th century. He thought that industrial housing techniques led to crowding, dirtiness, and a lack of a moral landscape. He was a leader of the modernist movement to create better living conditions and a better society through housing concepts. Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities of Tomorrow heavily influenced Le Corbusier and his contemporaries.

He also harmonized and lent credence to the idea of space as a set of destinations which mankind moved between, more or less continuously. He was therefore able to give credence and credibility to the automobile (as a transporter); and most importantly to freeways in urban spaces. His philosophies were useful to urban real estate development interests in the American Post World War II period because they justified and lent architectural and intellectual support to the desire to destroy traditional urban space for high density high profit urban concentration, both commercial and residential. Le Corbusier's ideas also sanctioned further destruction of traditional urban spaces to build freeways that connected this new urbanism to low density, low cost (and highly profitable), suburban and rural locales which were free to be developed as middle class single-family (dormitory) housing.

Notably missing from this scheme of movement were connectivity between isolated urban villages created for lower-middle and working classes and other destination points in Le Corbusier's plan: suburban and rural areas, and urban commercial centers. This was because, as designed, the freeways traveled over, at, or beneath grade levels of the living spaces of the urban poor (one modern example: the Cabrini-Green housing project in Chicago). Such projects and their areas, having no freeway exit ramps, cut off by freeway rights-of-way, became isolated from jobs and services concentrated at Le Corbusier's nodal transportation end points. As jobs increasingly moved to the suburban end points of the freeways, urban village dwellers found themselves without convenient freeway access points in their communities and without public mass transit connectivity that could economically reach suburban job centers. Very late in the Post-War period, suburban job centers found this to be such a critical problem (labor shortages) that they, on their own, began sponsoring urban-to-suburban shuttle bus services between urban villages and suburban job centers, to fill working class and lower-middle class jobs which had gone wanting, and which did not normally pay the wages that car ownership required.

Le Corbusier had a great influence on architects and urbanists all the world. In the United States, Shadrach Woods; in Spain, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza; in Brazil, Oscar Niemeyer; In Mexico, Mario Pani Darqui; in Chile, Roberto Matta; in Argentina, Antoni Bonet i Castellana (a Catalan exile), Juan Kurchan, Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, Amancio Williams, and Clorindo Testa in his first era; in Uruguay, the professors Justino Serralta and Carlos Gómez Gavazzo; in Colombia, Germán Samper Gnecco, Rogelio Salmona, and Dicken Castro; in Peru, Abel Hurtado and José Carlos Ortecho.

Le CorbusierRight at the top is the frame from the video - Le Corbusier's lesson "The contemporary city for 3 million of people".

Not merely content with designs for a few housing blocks, Le Corbusier soon moved into studies for entire cities. In 1922 he presented his scheme for a "Contemporary City" for three million inhabitants (Ville Contemporaine). The centerpiece of this plan was the group of sixty-story cruciform skyscrapers, steel-framed office buildings encased in huge curtain walls of glass. Referred to as towers in a park, these skyscrapers were set within large, rectangular, park-like green spaces. At the center was a huge transportation hub that on different levels included depots for buses and trains, as well as highway intersections, and at the top, an airport. Le Corbusier had the fanciful notion that commercial airliners would land between the huge skyscrapers. He segregated pedestrian circulation paths from the roadways and glorified the automobile as a means of transportation. As one moved out from the central skyscrapers, smaller low-story, zig-zag apartment blocks (set far back from the street amid green space) housed the inhabitants. Le Corbusier hoped that politically minded industrialists in France would lead the way with their efficient Taylorist and Fordist strategies adopted from American industrial models to reorganize society. As Norma Evenson has put it, "the proposed city appeared to some an audacious and compelling vision of a brave new world, and to others a frigid megalomaniacally scaled negation of the familiar urban ambient."

In this new industrial spirit, Le Corbusier contributed to a new journal called L'Esprit Nouveau that advocated the use of modern industrial techniques and strategies to transform society into a more efficient environment with a higher standard of living on all socioeconomic levels. He forcefully argued that this transformation was necessary to avoid the spectre of revolution that would otherwise shake society. His dictum "Architecture or Revolution", developed in his articles in this journal, became his rallying cry for the book Vers une architecture (Toward an Architecture, previously mistranslated into English as Towards a New Architecture), which comprised selected articles he contributed to L'Esprit Nouveau between 1920 and 1923. In this book, Le Corbusier followed the influence of Walter Gropius and reprinted several photographs of North American factories and grain elevators.

Theoretical urban schemes continued to occupy Le Corbusier. He exhibited his "Plan Voisin", sponsored by an automobile manufacturer, in 1925. In it, he proposed to bulldoze most of central Paris north of the Seine and replace it with his sixty-story cruciform towers from the Contemporary City, placed within an orthogonal street grid and park-like green space. His scheme was met with criticism and scorn from French politicians and industrialists, although they were favorable to the ideas of Taylorism and Fordism underlying his designs. Nonetheless, it did provoke discussion concerning how to deal with the cramped, dirty conditions that enveloped much of the city.

Le Corbusier

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Le Corbusier.

On the top is short silver cross, as Swiss emblem. The cross reminds us that Switzerland's sovereignty is inviolable. For many centuries, the logo has remained virtually unchanged.


10 Franken 1997


At the top is again short silver cross, as Swiss emblem.

Le Corbusier

In top right corner is the foyer of the Palace of Justice in Chandigarh, India.

The foyer of the Palace of Justice is based on three design principles: three-dimensional design, a predilection for ramps to connect the floors, and the dynamic relationship between the interior and the exterior.

The Palace of Justice has been in use since March 1956. The approaches have net as yet been prepared : two of the three basins of water have not yet been excavated in front of the Palace; the exterior polychromy is enlivened, for the moment, on the principal façade, only by the brise-soleil of the Courts of Justice; the three pylons of the grand entrance portico, coated with a cement rendering, are to be painted-one green, the other white, and the third in red-orange, both left and right walls to be painted black.

The 650 meters of tapestry, completed in five months by Indian craftsmen in Kashmir busy since the inauguration of the building, for the lower parts of the small Courts of Justice (eight tapestries of 64 m2 each) and for the lower portion of the large Court of Justice (a tapestry of 144 m2) provoked the delighted acquiescence of Mr. Nehru and the Governor of Punjab as well as the Chief Judge. But they also aroused doubts in the minds of some judges who declared that they were an outrage to the dignity of justice and caused two or three of them to be removed. The day of reinstatement shall come-have patience!

The Palace of Justice in Chandigarh represents a positive premier manifestation of an esthetic possible in reinforced concrete. The fact that stupefaction reigns so often is natural in Chandigarh; but the fact that the amenities of the park-the trees, the flowers, the greens, the pavements of stone and cement, the monuments anticipated in the plan shall be achieved, resulting altogether in a rigorously concerted symphony, shall, at that time, cause the people to cease their complaining and, instead, give thanks! (

Le Corbusier

Lower is The facade of the Secretariat in Chandigarh, India.

The central element shows the facade of the Secretariat. Here, Le Corbusier's architectonic thinking is visible: the use of his "Modulor" scale of measures, the revealing of spatial cells across the entire facade, and the use of the brise-soleil to make a three-dimensional statement.

The principles of modern architecture, Le Corbusier managed to organically combine here with some traditional techniques of Indian architecture - such as openwork grilles sun "Julie" on the facades of buildings. These buildings, made in the powerful sculptural forms, where the ultra-modernism is combined with a unique exotic interpreted in the national spirit, perhaps the most impressive of all that you can see here.

Le Corbusier

In lower left corner is the Modulor.

The Modulor is an anthropometric scale of proportions devised by the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier.

It was developed as a visual bridge between two incompatible scales, the imperial and the metric system. It is based on the height of a man with his arm raised.

It was used as a system to set out a number of Le Corbusier's buildings and was later codified into two books.

Le Corbusier developed the Modulor in the long tradition of Vitruvius, Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, the work of Leon Battista Alberti, and other attempts to discover mathematical proportions in the human body and then to use that knowledge to improve both the appearance and function of architecture. The system is based on human measurements, the double unit, the Fibonacci numbers, and the golden ratio. Le Corbusier described it as a "range of harmonious measurements to suit the human scale, universally applicable to architecture and to mechanical things".

With the Modulor, Le Corbusier sought to introduce a scale of visual measures that would unite two virtually incompatible systems: the Anglo Saxon foot and inch and the French metric system. Whilst he was intrigued by ancient civilizations who used measuring systems linked to the human body: elbow (cubit), finger (digit), thumb (inch) etc., he was troubled by the meter as a measure that was a forty-millionth part of the meridian of the earth.

In 1943, in response to the French National Organisation for Standardization's (AFNOR) requirement for standardizing all the objects involved in the construction process, Le Corbusier asked an apprentice to consider a scale based upon a man with his arm raised to 2.20 m in height. The result, in August 1943 was the first graphical representation of the derivation of the scale. This was refined after a visit to the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in Sorbonne on 7 February 1945 which resulted in the inclusion of a golden section into the representation.

Whilst initially the Modulor Man's height was based on a French man's height of 1.75 meters (5 ft 9 in) it was changed to 1.83 m. in 1946 because "in English detective novels, the good-looking men, such as policemen, are always six feet tall!" The dimensions were refined to give round numbers and the overall height of the raised arm was set at 2.262 m.

The graphic representation of the Modulor, a stylised human figure with one arm raised, stands next to two vertical measurements, a red series based on the figure's navel height (1.08 m. in the original version, 1.13 m. in the revised version) then segmented according to Phi, and a blue series based on the figure's entire height, double the navel height (2.16 m. in the original version, 2.26 m. in the revised), segmented similarly. A spiral, graphically developed between the red and blue segments, seems to mimic the volume of the human figure.

Le Corbusier

Lower is the Secretariat building in Chandigarh, India.

This very large building 254 meters long and 42 meters high houses the ministerial chambers and all ministerial agencies. The Ministries are grouped in a central pavilion, Block 4, one of the six ministerial blocks, each separated from the next by a vertical expansion joint extending the full height of the building. The exterior is of rough concrete, that is to say, the vertical brise-soleil, the parapets and the horizontal brise-soleil, the acroterium which stands out against the sky leaving visible the rooftop accommodations which are to be used for a club and for receptions. The two large ramps in front of and behind the building, serve all floors and are likewise in rough concrete. They offer a very beguiling solution of the circulation (morning and evening) for the 3.000 employees. Vertical circulation is ensured by batteries of ele­vators matched by a staircase running in both directions encased in a vertical spine rising from ground level to the summit of the roof. Rough concrete similarly caps the two end walls bringing out the effect of the standard sheet-metal formwork. The block of ministerial offices has been the object of very careful research in regards to the sculptural relief given to rough concrete by the effect of diverse types of brise-soleil. The rough concrete again interposes in the fenestration of the two main façades : more than 10.000 units of a unique design -one stanchion type 27x7 cm in section and 366 cm high constitute the "undulatory glazing". This concerns an appli­cation here of the Modulor which permits the stretching of a veil of glass extending the entire length and height of the building, interrupted by elements called "ventilators" which comprise a shutter of sheet-metal pivoting vertically from floor to ceiling across an opening of 43 cm and capable of being opened to any desired width, from 1 millimeter up to 43 centimeters; covered, in addition, by a curtain of copper mosquito-netting., Thus, an enormous saving of money and maintenance was realized with this fenestration, when compared with wood or metal.

The Modulor has; dictated the basic section of the office types in the building (3.66 meters of height under the transoms) permitting a harmonization of the heights of the ministerial chambers by a doubling of proportions and has given to blocks 5 and 6, which rest on pilotis at park level, a play of height of true eloquence (entrance level to the Ministers' pavilion, level of ministerial offices and the pilotis of blocks 5 and 6).

The 3.000 employees of the Secretariat arrive by bus, bicycle, or on foot, and (have different accesses depending upon whether the route which they take from the city is the “Boulevard of the Waters” or the "Valley of Leisure".

The automobile network is entrenched throughout the park of the Capitol, thus excluding vehicles from the visual field of the casual stroller in the park. (


Graphic artist: Jörg Zintzmeyer.

There are 2 signatures:


Jakob Schöneberger (2.10.1931 - ). President of the Bank Council from 16.4.1993 till 23.4.1999.


Jean Zwahlen (27.5.1931 - ). Member of a Bank Council from 1.5.1988 till 30.4.1996.