The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Argentina,Belgium,France,Germany,India,Japan,Switzerland) (C 1321rev)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2016
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1321/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1321/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Threats identified at the time of inscription in 2016:
Management and institutional factors, including:
- Need to introduce Heritage Impact Assessment procedures for proposed development at all component sites
- Lack of monitoring indicators for all component sites and of agreed overall conservation approaches and procedures for the series
- Need to refine the power of the Standing Conference to allow full understanding by all States Parties of major development proposals in all component sites, in relation to their potential impact on the overall series
- Need to complete the Management and Conservation Plans for Chandigarh
- Unclear protection of the buffer zone for Maison Guiette
- Unclear implications of the new Heritage Law in France
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1321/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 29 November 2017, the seven States Parties submitted a combined state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1321/documents/ and addresses progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee at the time of inscription of the series, as follows:
- Currently none of the States Parties use Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), although ICOMOS France is organizing a seminar on impact studies with a view to this mechanism being introduced in France;
- Some monitoring indicators have been developed for each component site, based on a model proposed and agreed in February 2016 for two sites in Switzerland;
- Through the Standing Conference for the series, States Parties discuss approaches to current restoration projects on the basis of common principles, articulated in the Management Plan, which are applicable to all component sites. The Standing Conference may also mandate the Foundation Le Corbusier or international experts, such as ICOMOS or ICCROM, to assess potential impacts, or decide to inform the World Heritage Centre on the basis of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, in consultation with the State Party involved;
- The Foundation Le Corbusier set up a committee to inform decisions on conservation, restoration and development projects and also agreed to create a Restoration Archives for sites worldwide;
- The work to “complete” the Geometrical Hill with a sundial has been undertaken, while work is in progress at the Martyrs Memorial, where sculptures produced approximately twenty years ago by a local sculptor, in line with Le Corbusier’s original drawings, will be installed; India has submitted separately on 30 November 2017 the Site Management Plan for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Capitol Complex, Chandigarh to the World Heritage Centre;
- The Chandigarh Conservation and Preservation Plan, initiated in early 2016, is progressing. The report submitted includes a detailed site evaluation report for the buildings, monuments and open spaces has been produced by the appointed conservation architect for the Plan. As the property represents the first large-scale use of exposed reinforced concrete in India, the conservation plan will include a separate guidance on concrete conservation and preservation, developed in cooperation with experts. It will also detail Architectural Regulations to guide interventions such as the restoration of original materials and finishes, which should be carried out under the guidance of technical expert and must be identifiable on close inspection and/or through rigorous documentation. The Chandigarh Conservation and Preservation Plan should be completed by 2020;
- At the time of inscription, the protection of the buffer zone for Maison Guiette was not set out. It is now confirmed that there is no specific protection in place, although some protection is derived from zoning regulations (nature conservation and residential zones) and from spatial plans. The government of Flanders is currently investigating whether a Spatial Improvement Plan might provide the necessary specific protection;
- In the buffer zone of Casa Curutchet an irregular modification of colour on the façade of a neighbouring building was noticed. Legal action was taken by the Municipality of La Plata to stop and reverse this violation;
- France has clarified that its new Heritage acknowledges the concepts of buffer zones and Management Plans; which are now identified in municipal and territorial planning documents;
In relation to possible extensions of the series, the Standing Conference will monitor any sites included on Tentative Lists as candidates for the series, and give its opinion on any extension proposals.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The clarification of the proactive over-view taken by the Standing Conference in considering the potential impact of development proposals and standards for conservation work across the whole series is welcomed.
Although the report details how impact assessment of individual proposals is undertaken at the level of component sites, the lack of use of HIAs means that there is a lack of consistency in the way impact assessments are undertaken and that the impacts are considered only on individual component sites. However, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the States Parties to strengthen approaches to impact assessment through using HIAs and through ensuring impacts are considered against the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the series as a whole. In this respect, the creation by the Foundation Le Corbusier of a Committee to inform decisions on conservation, restoration and development projects could help spearhead these changes.
The creation of Restoration Archives for sites in France and around the world by the Foundation Le Corbusier is to be welcomed as a substantial contribution towards the harmonisation of technical and methodological approaches to the conservation of Le Corbusier’s buildings, and specifically in relation to its potential for guidance on reinstatement or replacement of materials and features.
For Chandigarh, the detailed work being undertaken on the Conservation Plan and its broad scope are encouraging. The proposed technical advice on concrete conservation and preservation, and on the rationale for architectural interventions, should provide the very necessary context for drawing up detailed conservation proposals for specific aspects of the property.
Work on the completion in Chandigarh of the Geometrical Hill and proposed work on the Martyrs Memorial, is noted, as is the fact that both are in line with Le Corbusier’s drawings. It is not clear if this work has been considered by the Standing Conference. It is suggested that details of these projects should have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in advance of work being approved or undertaken, and that the Committee should now request the States Parties to submit as soon as possible detailed documentation on both these projects.
The current lack of specific protection for the Maison Guiette buffer zone is noted. Given the way its urban setting has already been impacted by infrastructure projects, and the fact that the enlarged buffer zone was aimed at protecting the integrity from any visual impact, it is recommended that the Committee underscore the need for targeted protection that is directed at a specific analysis of the site’s needs, to augment the generic protection that is currently offered.
It is noted that possible extensions of the series have not been discounted. Although the Standing Conference will monitor Tentative Lists, and give its opinion on any possible extension proposals, it is recommended that the Committee encourage States Parties to ensure the Standing Conference approves in advance any proposal for Tentative List entries before they are submitted.
An ICOMOS Technical Review of a project to renovate the train station and its surrounding area in the buffer zone of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, submitted under Paragraph 172 of the Operation Guidelines, will be provided to the State Party of Japan.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.18
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 8B.31, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Welcomes clarification that the Standing Conference of States Parties takes a pro-active approach to considering the potential impact of development proposals and standards for conservation work across the whole series, and the creation by the Foundation Le Corbusier of a Committee to inform decisions on conservation, restoration and development projects;
- Noting that although impact assessments of individual proposals are undertaken at the level of component sites, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) are not used in line with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties as impact is only assessed on the components rather than on the whole series, encourages the States Parties to strengthen approaches to impact assessment through using HIAs and through ensuring impacts are considered against the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the series;
- Also welcomes the creation of Restoration Archives by the Foundation Le Corbusier as a substantial contribution towards the harmonisation of technical and methodological approaches to the conservation of Le Corbusier’s buildings, and specifically in relation to its potential use for reinstatement or replacement of materials and features;
- Notes the detailed work being undertaken on the Chandigarh Conservation Plan due to be completed by 2020, and specifically its broad scope that includes proposed technical advice on concrete conservation and the rationale for architectural interventions to be used as a basis for detailed conservation proposals for specific aspects of the property;
- Also notes that work has been undertaken in Chandigarh to complete the original plans of the Geometrical Hill and the proposed work to complete the Martyrs Memorial but regrets that details of these were not submitted in advance in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and requests the State Party of India to submit detailed documentation on both these projects as soon as possible and by 1 December 2018;
- Further notes the current lack of specific protection for the Maison Guiette buffer zone and, considering the existing changes to its urban setting and the fact that the recently enlarged buffer zone aimed to protect its integrity from any visual impact, also requests the State Party of Belgium to put in place protection that addresses the specific needs of the component site and augments the current generic protection;
- Notes furthermore that possible extensions of the series have not been discounted and also encourages States Parties to ensure that the Standing Conference approves in advance any proposal for Tentative List entries before they are submitted by an individual State Party to the World Heritage Centre;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.