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

Petite villa au bord du lac Léman, Corseaux © Luca Delachaux
Petite villa au bord du lac Léman, Corseaux © Luca Delachaux

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier was designed and built between a pioneering period in the birth of the Modern Movement ─ the early 1920s ─ and the mid 1960s, when this architecture had begun to be challenged, having passed from avant-garde status to that of a globally dominant architectural style. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier reflects the history of the Modern Movement through half a century. It demonstrates a radical break with the styles, design methods, technologies, and construction practices of previous centuries. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier is a Serial Property, as defined by Article 137 of the guidelines of the World Heritage Convention. It comprises 17 component parts, distributed among seven countries on three continents: Germany, Argentina, Belgium, France, India, Japan and Switzerland. For the first time since the adoption of the convention in 1972, a Property has been part of a globalized geographical zone, which illustrates the profound transformation of contemporary architecture and the architectural profession in the twentieth century. The constituent parts of The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier belong to the same historico-cultural group, that of the Modern Movement.

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier exhibits an unprecedented interchange of human values and a remarkable debate of ideas, on a worldwide scale lasting half a century, on the birth and development of the Modern Movement. Faced with a world dominated by academicism, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier revolutionized architecture by demonstrating, in an exceptional and pioneering manner, the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier marks the birth of three major trends in modern architecture: Purism, Brutalism and sculptural architecture. The global influence reached by The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier on four continents is a new phenomenon in the history of architecture and demonstrates its unprecedented impact. The influence of the buildings comprising this series is all the more powerful as The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier was further propagated by the architect's many writings, immediately disseminated and translated throughout the world. This unique complementarity between the built work and the publications made Le Corbusier the main spokesman for the new architecture and The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier a subject of endless observation, analysis and commentary as well as a worldwide source of either inspiration or constant opposition.

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier is directly and materially associated with the ideas of the Modern Movement, of which the theories and works possessed outstanding universal significance in the twentieth century. The Property represented a "New Spirit" and tended towards a synthesis of the arts that was at a crossroads between architecture, painting and sculpture. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier is an outstanding contribution to the solutions that the Modern Movement sought to apply to the major challenges of the twentieth century:

  • invent a new architectural language;
  • modernize architectural techniques;
  • respond to the social and human needs of modern man.

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier materializes Le Corbusier's ideas, powerfully relayed by the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) from 1928. The contribution made by The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier to these major challenges of the twentieth century is not merely the result of an exemplary achievement at a given moment, but the outstanding sum of built and written proposals steadfastly disseminated worldwide through half a century.


Chronoligical List

1923Maisons La Roche et Jeanneret, ParisÎle-de-FranceFrance
1923Petite villa au bord du lac Léman, CorseauxVaudSwitzerland
1924Cité Frugès, PessacAquitaineFrance
1926  Maison Guiette, AnversFlandersBelgium
1927  Houses of the Weissenhof-Siedlung, StuttgartBaden-WürttembergGermany
1928  Villa Savoye et loge du jardinier, Poissy Île-de-France France
1930Immeuble ClartéGenevaSwitzerland
1931Immeuble locatif à la Porte Molitor, Boulogne-BillancourtÎle-de-FranceFrance
1945  Unité d'habitation, MarseilleProvence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurFrance
1946  Manufacture à Saint-Dié, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges LorraineFrance
1949  House of doctor Curutchet, La Plata             Buenos Aires ProvinceArgentina
1950  Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut, RonchampFranche-ComtéFrance
1951  Cabanon de Le Corbusier, Roquebrune-Cap-MartinProvence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurFrance
1952  The Capitol Complex, ChandigarhPendjabIndia
1953  Couvent Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette, ÉveuxRhône-AlpesFrance
1955National Museum of Western Art,Taito-KuTokyoJapan
1965Maison de la Culture de Firminy, FirminyRhône-AlpesFrance 

Last modification 24.10.2016

Top of page

https://www.bak.admin.ch/content/bak/en/home/cultural-heritage/unesco-world-heritage/world-heritage-sites/the-architectural-work-of-le-corbusier--an-outstanding-contribut.html