WHS: The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier

Slight diversion from our Cambodia trip today; we’re going to post about a massively serial World Heritage inscription today, that encompasses 17 buildings scattered across 7 countries and built over 50 years:

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement 

Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh

By duncid – KIF_4646_Pano, CC BY-SA 2.0

Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past. They were built over a period of a half-century, in the course of what Le Corbusier described as “patient research”. The Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh (India), the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (Japan), the House of Dr Curutchet in La Plata (Argentina) and the Unité d’habitation in Marseille (France) reflect the solutions that the Modern Movement sought to apply during the 20th century to the challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society. These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the internationalization of architectural practice across the planet…

Here is a list with pictures of all 17 of the buildings in order of construction:

UNESCO adds 17 Le Corbusier projects to World Heritage List

Of the 17, we’ve accidentally been to two; tuk-tuked past the Chandigarh Capitol Complex on our way to The Rock Garden of Chandigarh (that place is trippy, it is) and toured Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art couple visits back without any particular plan to do so, it just happened to be the nearest interesting place when we had a smidgen of spare time …

… however, both sightings were before this site was inscribed in 2016, we had no idea they were up for inscription and it didn’t cross our mind to take pictures of either, which is why we’ve borrowed that shot above from Wikimedia Commons; but hey, accidentally before the fact or not, visit’s a visit we figure.

So why bring this site up now, you wonder? Well, we got this letter from the fine folk at Artsy, who have this commendable aim:

Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

That’s bold, isn’t it? We like bold.

And they would like you to know that they have a Le Corbusier page with biography, articles —

— we particularly recommend 7 Utopian Design Experiments, from Le Corbusier’s Radiant City to a Ghost Town in China as a fascinating read —

— gallery of works, items for sale, exhibitions, related artist listings, and just about everything you would need to become a veritable savant of all things Corbusierian.

So we figured yep, we’d be pleased to spread the word, so here you go. If you’re into Modernism, that is an excellent resource indeed…

… and if you’re not but you’d like to know enough to sound knowledgeable, well a conversational familiarity with the works of Le Corbusier is an excellent place to begin!


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