National

Tokyo's Le Corbusier building makes UNESCO heritage list

Kyodo

An art museum in Tokyo and 16 other buildings designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier are to be added to the World Heritage list, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee announced Sunday.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization committee recognized buildings in seven countries, including the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo’s Ueno Park, for their innovation and influence in laying the foundation for modern architecture.

The structures also include the Villa Savoye in France and the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, India.

Scheduled meetings in Istanbul to discuss the listings were delayed due to the coup attempt in Turkey. Sources said the committee might postpone the listings until sometime this fall, but reversed that decision after the plot failed.

The Tokyo museum, the only structure in Japan designed by the renowned architect, was completed in 1959 and dedicated as a symbol of the resumed diplomatic ties between Japan and France following World War II.

It will be the 20th World Heritage site in Japan and the first in central Tokyo.

The 17 buildings will be officially added to the list at the end of the committee meetings that run through Wednesday.

The Tokyo museum’s three-story building features the architect’s signature style of using columns to raise the bulk of a structure off the ground.

Le Corbusier, whose real name was Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, was born in Switzerland in 1887 and later became a French citizen. He was considered one of the 20th century’s leading architects and a pioneer in modern architecture. He died in 1965.