Le Havre, World Heritage Site

World Heritage under the lights, volcano dressed up in Perret fashion.

Celebrating World Heritage Status

From 2005 on, the inhabitants felt great pride about the Unesco listing of the reconstructed city built by Auguste Perret. At last, the outsider’s vision of the city was on par with its unique modernity.

Since 2005, the people of Le Havre have become ambassadors of their own city. The recognition provided by Unesco has moved the reconstruction process forward, leading to a final kind of reconciliation.

15th July 2005

In 2005, the city Council invites the population to a large party held on Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in order to celebrate. An immense canvas sheet is set up on the façade of the Town hall. The city takes on the colors of Unesco for the whole summer. All the news magazines talk of Le Havre.

2008: Two gigantic projections by Skertzo

In the summer of 2008, for 3 months at nightfall, two emblematic buildings of the city, remarkable for their architecture, are dressed in light and present tourists and local population with a surprising metamorphosis. In trompe l’oeil style, the projected images and the music alter the vision one may have of the buildings.

At the Hôtel de Ville, “Perspectives” tells the story of the city, seen through the medium of the invisible structural module of Perret.

At the Volcan, “Maison de la Culture » (cultural centre ) designed following original plans by famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the show’s title is « Zootropic”. It is an allusion to zoetropes, objects predating the moving image system. A zoetrope is a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides, which, when spinning, creates an illusion of motion and shows animated shapes, people, animals or objects.

“Is America far still?”

The two sites are linked by a poetical installation created by Skertzo. Mysterious letters are floating in the wind. The message can only be read from one viewpoint, trying to persuade spectators that, whatever we consider, our approach and angle of vision are essential….

The Town Hall is Fifty years old

In 2008, the Town Hall celebrated its Fiftieth Birthday. To mark the occasion, an outdoor exhibition was organized in the Gardens, retracing the evolution of the building and the square it stands on, over time.

Fifty well-filled years, during which the Town Hall welcomed a variety of events, commemorations and shows, all adapted to the time when they took place. 1978: “Les Jeux de 20h”, a popular French TV game, the Royal de Luxe show (The Giants), in 2006 or the local football team, the HAC (Havre Athletic club) making First division in 1991 and 2008, so many celebrations offered to the local population and tied to the history of their town. All the stronger for its rich past, the Town Hall still plays an important part in local life.

2015, a gigantic photo shows ten years with the people of Le Havre

On July 15th 2015, a large crowd gathered on Town hall Square to form a giant “10”, symbol of ten years spent as part of the prestigious club of World heritage sites. The picture is a reminder of moments shared over the celebration of this event.