In 1909 when the news broke that Louis Blériot had crossed the channel in his home-made aircraft, the first person to cross a large body of water in heavier-than-air vehicle, it was supposed to change everything. It was the dawning of a new age.

When he heard of Blériot’s flight the architect Auguste Perret charged into the room in which his young then-employee Le Corbusier was working, and said:

Blériot has crossed the channel! Wars are finished! No more wars are possible! There are no longer any frontiers!

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