A concrete step

Seventeen projects by pioneering architect Le Corbusier on Unesco Heritage Sites list

Architecture such as Abu Dhabi’s main bus terminal ought to be preserved. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Powered by automated translation

It’s hard to imagine that the very architecture that many rejected as clumsy and unimpressive just a few decades ago is now coveted and admired.

Last month, 17 such projects built over 50 years by pioneering Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier joined the ranks of cultural landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. Known as Brutalist architecture, owing mainly to its exposed and raw concrete, the inclusion of these sites in the Unesco World Heritage List marks the culmination of a major shift in perspective on modernist architecture.

Brutalism still has its devoted fans, who seek to save threatened or neglected historic buildings around the world. In our own backyard, this could be the catalyst for the conservation of some of our often neglected buildings – such as Abu Dhabi’s main bus terminal. After all, if Le Corbusier’s rough diamonds have been reappraised, perhaps that most utilitarian of all buildings could one day be an example to architecture students.