Paris - Atelier Corbusier
The Le Corbusier foundation, housed in the La Roche and Jeanneret villas conserves original work - studies, plans, sketches and notes bequeathed by the famous architect.
Its aim is also to bring the architectural achievements of Le Corbusier to a wider audience. Built in 1923, the two light and spacious villas are representative of the architecture of the 1920s and are listed buildings. Only the Villa la Roche is open to visitors during regular temporary exhibitions.
Conservation of the architectural work
Le Corbusier’s architectural work covers four continents and eleven countries. It is the Foundation’s duty to ensure respect for moral rights over the work; it must contribute to its preservation. This obligation involves experts being sent regularly to advise owners, allocatees or occupants of buildings executed by Le Corbusier.
In the same way, all restoration and development projects, including those for executing architectural projects by Le Corbusier are submitted to a committee of experts. Part of its role, in expressing its views, is to contribute to respect for Le Corbusier’s original work. At the same time, on the basis of the committee’s recommendations, the Foundation can either decide to authorize applications or to express reservations.
The Foundation ensures the conservation of buildings bequeathed to it; it carries out rehabilitation work indispensable to conservation and respect for the buildings’ authenticity. In July 2008 substantial renovation work will begin in Maison La Roche; the interiors are to undergo full restoration and be made to comply with visitor safety standards.
In addition to conserving and disseminating the architectural work, two further initiatives are programmed. Firstly, the Foundation has undertaken the preparation and publication of the architectural plans of all of Le Corbusier’s built work. Secondly, it has embarked on the systematic photographic coverage of his buildings throughout the world. The aim is to dispose of an exhaustive inventory of these works at the start of the 21st century.
World Heritage Inscription
For similar reasons, the Foundation joined with the Ministry for Culture and Communication in applying for inscription of Le Corbusier’s architectural and urban work on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Six countries have joined forces in this undertaking: Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland and France.
The file was submitted by France to the Unesco World Heritage Centre in January 2008. Twenty-two major works by Le Corbusier are involved. These include: in France, Maisons La Roche and Jeanneret, Villa Savoye, Cité Frugès in Pessac, the Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut in Ronchamp, the Firminy site, the Immeuble locatif at Porte Molitor; in Germany, the Weissenhof houses in Stuttgart; in Belgium, Maison Guiette in Antwerp; in Switzerland, Maison Jeanneret-Perre at La Chaux-de-Fonds and Immeuble Clarté in Geneva and, in Argentina, the Dr. Currutchet House in La Plata. The World Heritage Committee’s decision is due to be made in July 2009.
The Foundation organizes exhibitions in Maison La Roche. These contribute to knowledge of the man and his work. Exhibitions of recent years include « Estampes à punaiser sur les murs", "Hommage à André Wogenscky", "Le Corbusier à Rio. Dessins des conférences de 1936", photographs by René Burri and Lucien Hervé, "La peinture murale 35 rue de Sèvres".
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