Safe Haven in Le Havre

Havre du Havre

Le Havre is a town in France, the name of which means ‘haven’, almost oppositive newhaven on the other side of the Channel, in Normandy. This watercolour depicts the house of our friends in Sanvic, in the outskirts of that city. The house was built at the end of the nineteenth century. Sanvic is located on a hill overlooking Le Havre. It was spared by the wartime bombings of our allies which aimed at driving the occupation forces out of Normandy after the landing of troops in 1944. Le Havre was rebuilt by the famous post-war architect Auguste Perret. Although this reconstruction was and still is very criticised, Unesco decided to inscribe the city in the World Heritage list in 2005 for the following reasons:

“It is an outstanding post-war example of urban planning and architecture based on the unity of methodology and the use of prefabrication, the systematic utilization of a modular grid, and the innovative exploitation of the potential of concrete” (source: Unesco)

Perret’s new city and Niemeyer’s ‘volcano’ cultural centre will be on my agenda for new watercolours soon.

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