Centre Le Corbusier
|Type||art and biographical museum dedicated to the work of Le Corbusier|
|Curator||Heidi Weber, Bernard Weber and Prof. Dr. Felix Richner|
The Centre Le Corbusier or Heidi Weber Museum is an art museum in Zürich (Switzerland) dedicated to the work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. In 1960 Heidi Weber had the vision to establish a museum designed by Le Corbusier. This building should exhibit his works of art in an ideal environment created by the architect himself.
In 1960 Le Corbusier was mandated by Heidi Weber, a Swiss art collector and patron, to conceive a public exhibition building. One year later, the first drawings for a building to be constructed in concrete were presented, in 1962 the concept was changed to a steel building. Two years later the construction was started, in 1965 Le Corbusier died, and on 15 July 1967, the Centre Le Corbusier was officially inaugurated. Among others, the Heidi Weber Foundation – Centre Le Corbusier preserves the last building designed by Le Corbusier, organizes exhibitions, and collects and documents his work.
The building is located on the Zürichsee lake shore nearby Zürichhorn in the Seefeld quarter. It can be reached by foot (20 minutes from Bellevueplatz–Sechseläutenplatz) or by public transportation: Trams 2 and 4 and bus line 33 to stops Höschgasse or Fröhlichstrasse, or bus lines 912 and 916 from Bellevue to Chinagarten, or by the Limmat boats operated by the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG) towards Zürichhorn.
Centre Le Corbusier building
It is the last building designed by Le Corbusier marking a radical change of his achievement of using concrete and stone, framed in steel and glass, in the 1960s created as a signpost for the future. Le Corbusier made intensive use of prefabricated steel elements combined with multi-coloured enamelled plates fitted to the central core, and above the complex he designed a 'free-floating' roof to keep the house protected from the rain and the sun.
The most prominent architectural element, the roof, consists of two square parts, each side having a surface of 12 x 12 metres (39 ft). The total ground surface measures 12 x 26.3 metres (86 ft), consisting of welded metal sheets and having a weight of 40 tons. The roof was prefabricated and thereafter, in the biggest possible units, transported to the building site, where it was assembled on the ground. The two finally welded parts of the roof were then lifted to their final height (9 metres (30 ft)) by a crane and fixed on the pillars. With the frame thus completed, the construction process benefited from the independent roof protection which was at that time already in its proper place. It consists of cubes 2.26 x 2.26 metres (7.4 ft) which were assembled on the site. Walls, windows, ceilings and floors were then screwed onto the steel frame. The walls consist of enamelled panels measuring 1.13 metres (3.7 ft) x 2.26 metres (7.4 ft). The placing of these enamel panels was planned according to a particular rhythmic system. Finally, the entire building complex was placed on a concrete ground floor. The building has two floors – five single-storied and one double-storied rooms. When constructing the building complex, more than 20,000 bolts were used.
Heidi Weber Museum
The Centre Le Corbusier can be considered a Gesamtkunstwerk, i.e. a total work of art, and reflects the harmonic unity of Le Corbusier's architecture, sculptures, paintings, furniture designs and his writings, which is unique and possibly the only one such existing structure in the world.
In 1968/69 Jürg Gasser's comprehensive photographic survey related to Chandigarh was exhibited; the Zürich photographer had visited the new capital of India's constituent state of Punjab on behalf of Heidi Weber.
The city government presented on 13 May 1964 the plot of land for the museum in construction law for 50 years free of charge. Therefore, on 13 May 2014 the building became the property of the city of Zürich represented by the newly created public Heidi Weber Foundation – Centre Le Corbusier. The board of trustees is represented by the city as well as by Mrs Heidi Weber: "I welcome this solution. It helps me to be able to enter the house in new hands."
Cultural heritage of national importance
The museum is listed in the Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance as a Class A object of national importance.
- Heidi Weber – 50 Years Ambassador for Le Corbusier 1958–2008. Birckhäuser Publisher, 2009, ISBN 978-3-7643-8963-5
- "Curatorships, aims and purposes". heidiweberfoundation.com. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
- "Centre Le Corbusier / Museum Heidi Weber" (in German). stadt-zuerich.ch. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
- "Ausstellung 2015: Chandigarh sehen. Schweizer Reportagen" (in German). stadt-zuerich.ch. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
- "Jetzt gehört das Corbusier-Haus der Stadt". Tages-Anzeiger. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Centre Le Corbusier: «Kulturelles Juwel» geht in den Besitz der Stadt Zürich" (in German). Limmattaler Zeitung. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
- "A-Objekte KGS-Inventar" (PDF). Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Amt für Bevölkerungsschutz. 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
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