>>>Le Corbusier, World Heritage architect
Photo: struvictory / Shutterstock.com

Le Corbusier, World Heritage architect

O arquiteto acreditava que os edifícios podem tornar as pessoas melhores. Essa fórmula, que o transformou em referência dentro do modernismo, acaba de ser reconhecida pela Unesco.
he recognised works encompass 17 buildings in seven countries. While just one part of Le Corbusier’s architectural legacy, they are currently the most important, having been recognised by UNESCO half a century after his death. Last 2016, this selection of buildings was protected as a World Heritage Site. The architect’s work was thus declared “an exceptional contribution to the Modern Movement”, with the jury adding that “these masterpieces of human genius are also testimony to the internationalisation of architecture at a global level.” The proposal was submitted jointly by seven countries: Argentina, Germany, Belgium, France, India, Japan and Switzerland. Together, they are home to these 17 constructions, icons of 20th-century architecture.
A night at Le Corbusier hotel costs between 79 and 158 euros.
Photo: lulu and isabelle / Shutterstock.com

Le Corbusier hotel

The Unité d’habitation, Marseille, was designed in 1952 by Le Corbusier, to rehouse survivors of the Second World War. Today, part of the building is occupied by a hotel named after the architect. It also has a restaurant, The Belly of the Architect.

Switzerland, the country of Le Corbusier’s birth, is home to two of them, Villa Le Lac (Corseaux) and Immeuble Clarté (Geneva). The first, on the shores of Lake Geneva, was designed in 1924 as a residence for the architect’s parents. It currently houses temporary exhibitions. France is the country that is home to the greatest number of works (10) from the list. They include the emblematic Villa Savoye. Located on the outskirts of Paris, it is a modern country house. Built in 1929, it represented a revolution for the new era of architecture that Le Corbusier defined as the concept that “the house is a machine for living”. This is to be understood in the context of the 1920s, within an industrialized, mechanized Europe. Moreover, Savoye is a perfect example of the five points of architecture formulated by Le Corbusier in 1926: columns, open plan, roof garden, horizontal windows and the free design of the façade. Abandoned for several years, the French state was behind its rennovation. Now run by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, you can visit it every day of the year (except Mondays and public holidays).
Another of the architect’s most revolutionary—and interesting—designs on French soil is Notre Dame du Haut church. Located in Ronchamp, it dates from the 50s and exudes sculptural personality. Neighbouring Belgium adds Maison Guiette, in Antwerp, to the list. Germany has the Palace of Assembly, Stuttgart; Argentina, Curutchet House; Japan, the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo; and India, the Chandigarh Capitol Complex. This was one of Le Corbusier’s last projects and also one of his most ambitious. After India achieved independence in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru instructed the star architect to build a new city, Chandigarh, which would break away from the canons of the past. And he did just that, embracing Modernity to accomplish his vision.
Villa Le Lac became a museum in 2010.
Photo: © C. Emden. FLC/ADAGP, 2016
In addition to being a revolutionary architect, Le Corbusier was a true theoretician and philosopher of architecture. “The home should be the treasure chest of living, a machine of happiness,” he said. This must have been the case with the holiday cabin he built himself, overlooking the Mediterranean. Measuring just 12 square metres, for him, it was a palace.
Le Corbusier died in 1965, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (France).
Photo: © ADAGP, 2016

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