UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee met earlier this month to inscribe new sites to its World Heritage List: a continuously expanding collection of locations of outstanding universal value. Amongst the selection in 2016 are 17 projects by the iconic French architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965). Spread across seven countries, the chosen sites are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a direct break with the past.
Renowned for his pioneering work in Modernist design and urban planning, the Swiss-born French architect challenged structural conventions throughout the 20th century and strived for new techniques that responded to the shifting needs of modern society. Collectively added to the World Heritage List under the title of The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites have been described as “an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement.”
Built over a period of 50 years, listed structures span locations as diverse as Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland, Antigua and Barbuda, and Brazil. Notable projects include the Complexe du Capitole, Chandigarh (1952); National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (1955); House of Dr Curutchet in La Plata (1949), Argentina; and the Unité d’habitation in Marseille (1945), all of which reflect the solutions that the Modern Movement sought to apply during the 20th century. The World Heritage Committee stated that: “these masterpieces of creative genius attest to the internationalisation of architectural practice across the planet.”
Find out more about the World Heritage List: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list.
1. Le Corbusier, Complexe du Capitole (Palace of Assembly), Chandigarh, India, 1952.