Missions, initiatives, programmes

Since the above date, the Foundation, in accordance with its statutes and its missions, has devoted all of its resources to the conservation, knowledge and dissemination of Le Corbusier’s work, in particular through the following initiatives:

Opening to the public
Maison La Roche and Le Corbusier’s apartment – 24 rue Nungesser et Coli – are open to visitors all year round. The Petite Maison at Corseaux (Switzerland) is likewise open to visitors.

Maison Jeanneret is daily open to students and researchers.
The Foundation publishes conjointly with the publisher Birkhauser a series of guides to the buildings: L'Unité d'habitation de Marseille and Rezé-les-Nantes, Berlin, Briey en Forêt, Firminy, Les Maisons La Roche et Jeanneret, Les Quartiers modernes Frugès à Pessac, La Villa Savoye, Le Couvent de la Tourette, La Chapelle de Ronchamp, and l'Immeuble 24 N.C.

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".

Loans of works for exhibitions
Much of the Foundation’s activity involves responding to requests from the organizers of exhibitions on Le Corbusier or on artistic trends of his time, through loans of works, objects and documents belonging to the collections. No payment is required for these loans.

Financial support for Research
The Foundation spends considerable sums encouraging and facilitating the work of researchers interested in Le Corbusier’s œuvre. Its Resource Centre is open daily to enthusiasts and specialists, research grants are available to young researchers, residencies in Le Corbusier’s apartment, meetings and seminars are organized, and specialized studies published. The Foundation also responds to requests from students and researchers in need of information or wishing to obtain reproductions of documents for their work.
The Resource centre contains all of Le Corbusier’s published works, the studies devoted to him worldwide and his personal library. There are also more than 400,000 digitized documents available for consultation.

Every year the Foundation organizes “Rencontres”, open to all those interested in developing their knowledge of Le Corbusier’s work. Lectures are given by specialists. These events are also an opportunity to meet surviving eyewitnesses of the architect’s work.
They have given rise to publications issued by the Foundation : La Conservation de l'œuvre construite de Le Corbusier (1990), Le Corbusier et la nature (1991), Le Corbusier et la couleur (1992), Le Corbusier, Ecritures (1993), Le Corbusier : la ville, l'urbanisme (1995), Le Corbusier & la Belgique (1997), Le Corbusier, voyages, rayonnement international (1997), Le Logement social dans la pensée et l'œuvre de Le Corbusier (2000), Le Corbusier et Paris (2001), Le Corbusier, le symbolique, le sacré, la spiritualité (2003), Le Corbusier, l'œuvre plastique (2004), Le Corbusier, la Suisse, les Suisses (2005).
In 2006, the Rencontres were devoted to “Biographical Moments”, held at the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris. In Rome, in 2007, they dealt with Le Corbusier’s links with Italy.

La Foundation is concentrating its acquisition policies on finding documents – archives, manuscripts, correspondence, drawings, etc. - needed for a clearer understanding of Le Corbusier’s life and work, giving particular attention to all documents retracing the origins of his architectural, theoretical and editorial work.

Publication of the written work
The Foundation ensures that books published in Le Corbusier’s lifetime - in particular works belonging to the collection L'Esprit Nouveau (Vers une architecture, Urbanisme, L'Art décoratif aujourd'hui, Précisions, etc.) or titles that are essential for knowledge of his work: l'Oeuvre complète in eight volumes published by Willi Boesiger and Hans Girsberger, La Petite Maison, Le Poème de l’Angle droit, etc. - are available in French . It equally encourages publication in foreign languages.
The Foundation has also launched an operation to publish Le Corbusier’s written work, texts as yet unpublished or that have not so far been published systematically: lectures, correspondence and articles in reviews. Les Conférences de Rio, with an introduction and notes by Yannis Tsiomis, were published in 2006 by the publisher Flammarion.

Catalogue Raisonné of the drawn work
The Foundation has decided to undertake production of a Catalogue Raisonné of Le Corbusier’s drawn work. The steering committee is acting as the contracting authority for the project and a scientific committee has been set up. One of the scientific committee’s main tasks will be to be to decide on inclusion of works in the catalogue.

Publication of plans
In partnership with the publisher Échelle 1, the Foundation has digitized all the plans produced by Le Corbusier’s Atelier, altogether more than 35,000 documents, published in four boxed sets, each of four DVDs.

Furniture issues and house fittings
Since 1965, the Foundation and beneficiaries of the co-authors have entrusted furniture issues to the firm of Cassina Spa, sole licensee for Le Corbusier models and those produced in collaboration with Pierre Jeanneret et Charlotte Perriand. These furnishings are part of the firm’s "I Maestri" collection.
The Foundation also endeavours to issue models designed by Le Corbusier but which have remained un-issued, or to reissue models no longer available. The Table La Roche and the Fauteuil wagon-fumoir were issued in 2006 as additions to the range of metal furniture. A new range of wood furniture will soon be available.

Polychromie architecturale
The first attempts in polychromy mentioned by Le Corbusier in the Oeuvre complète concern the interiors of the La Roche and Jeanneret Houses in 1923.

Le Corbusier created two color "keyboards" for the Basel wall-paper company Salubra, the first one in 1931 and the second in 1959. The pattern cards consists in isolating three to five colors at a time and each card points to the spatial effect that is to be achieved: "Space", "Sky", "Velvet",...

These color keyboards are formalizations of Le Corbusier's way of working and thinking and with which he succeeded in making a theory directly available in practice.

The dissemination of the Polychromie architecturale has been entrusted to the Swiss firm, Les Couleurs Suisse. This Polychromie architecturale has been a constant source of inspiration for the world of architecture and design.

Tapestry Issue
The Foundation will issue on request original tapestries made using the cartoons drawn by Le Corbusier. Around fifteen titles, in different formats, are at present still available. Weaving is carried out at Aubusson under the Foundation’s supervision and the works are delivered accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Le Corbusier's Apartment, 24 rue Nungesser et Coli , Paris
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2005
Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, study of stained glass windows, 15.05.1951
Palais des Filateurs, Ahmedabad
Traces de pas dans la nuit, 1948-1957, Picaud weave, Aubusson
Guitare verticale (1ère version),oil on canvas, 1920
Maison La Roche, Paris, hall and dining room
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2005
Poème de l'angle droit, reprint Electa, 2007
Une petite maison, reprint Birkhäuser, 2007