Le Corbusier at the UNESCO

The chapel “Notre-Dame du Haut” is part of a network of 17 sites, the ‘Le Corbusier Sites’, chosen from among the most important ones built by the architect. Their inscription on the World Heritage list was proposed under the heading “exceptional contribution to the Modern movement”.

Le Corbusier’s architecture, in the same way as the Perret brothers or the Bauhaus, whose value is already recognised by UNESCO, has influenced all architecture and town planning in the second half of the 20th century. The World Heritage list as yet includes few buildings of this era and the contribution of the 20th century’s most famous architect would be a decisive step in filling this gap.

A first list was sent back in 2009 to be supplemented. Having been failed again in 2011, it has been included within Le Corbusier’s Indian constructions at Chandigarh, a major contribution to public architecture at the end of his life.

The list of 17 sites from “Le Corbusier” network provides excellent examples of the profound and global reflection undertaken by Le Corbusier to re-think the housing and the cultural, political or religious institutions essential to his thriving. Within, one can find housing units (like “La Cité Radieuse” of Marseilles), villas, a museum, a cultural centre, or even the famous chapel “Notre-Dame du Haut”. These buildings, made all in reinforced concrete, make the beautiful part to the light, to the modularity of the spaces, as well as to a poetic vision of architecture, for which the ‘architectural promenade’ is central.

Controversial, if not forgotten at the end of the 20th century, Le Corbusier is once more emerging as a major figure in the modern world’s architecture. Honouring his works through UNESCO is a way of attracting international opinion to the necessity of protecting and studying his works.

Le Corbusier's Sites around the world

List of the 17 sites registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list since Sunday, 17th July, 2016. The dates refer to the end of the building work.

Germany

  • Weissenhof-Siedlung estate (Stuttgart), 1927

Argentina

  • Doctor Curutchet’s house (La Plata), 1953

Belgium

  • Guiette house (Antwerp), 1926

France

  • La Roche-Jeanneret villa (Paris), 1923

  • Frugès estate (Pessac, Gironde), 1924

  • Villa Savoye (Poissy, Yvelines), 1931

  • Porte Molitor building (Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine), 1931

  • Duval factory (Saint-Dié, Vosges), 1946

  • Summer cabin (Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alpes-Maritimes), 1951

  • Housing block, known as the Cité Radieuse (Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône), 1953

  • Notre-Dame du Haut chapel (Ronchamp, Haute-Saône), 1955

  • La Tourette convent (Éveux, Rhône), 1959

  • Cultural Centre (Firminy, Loire), 1965

India

  • The Capitol buildings (Chandigarh), 1952-1965

Japan

  • Museum of Western Art (Tokyo), 1954

Switzerland

  • Villa Le Lac (Corseaux), 1923

  • Clarté apartment building (Geneva), 1930