Architecture of France: Le Havre

St Joseph’s church dominates Le Havre

This is no concrete jungle

Many cities in France had to be rebuilt after severe bombing during World War Two.

The results were often far from interesting: drab and built in concrete.

However, one of them, Le Havre, has been classified by Unesco as a World Heritage site for its unity and integrity.

Unesco praised it as “an outstanding post-war example of urban planning and architecture based on the unity of method-ology and the use of prefabrication, the systematic utilisation of a modular grid, and the innovative exploitation of the potential of concrete”.

Its design combines elements from the historic town plan together with new ideas of planning and construction technology.

In 1944, Le Havre was one of the most damaged towns in Europe.

The fighting that followed the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, lasted 12 weeks ...

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