Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut
Year: 1950 / Place: Ronchamp, France
"You say: 'The need imposes the programme: a factory, a station, and not churches, palaces, castles, in our day nothing succeeds in architecture unless it is dictated by social need and the economy.' I never thought nor wrote anything else, and just to show you how subtle a feeling can be, I shall tell you that last year I refused, indeed very politely, to build a very big church where I would have been able to apply the most modern methods. There, I felt that concrete could not become the loyal expression of Catholic worship, which is made up of countless layers of age-old customs that draw their vitality from the principle as much as from the form that has been given to them and that our memory has kept" (1).
The church Le Corbusier refused to plan was, as we know, a parish church commissioned from him by Madame de Salle, in 1929, at Tremblay, in the vicinity of Paris (2). In 1945, shortly after World War II, interviewed on the subject of church reconstruction, he gave a somewhat different cue, displaying an unexpected interest in tackling this particular field: "[...] Almost twenty years have gone by since my church project. I feel old enough now to be interested in these very tricky problems. Architecture, you see, is the soul of volumes, rhythms, lights and shadow. The present-day revolution has led me to think at length about the act of building. I am very drawn to the amount of spirituality it can contain. After all I would not like to die before having done something that is not merely utilitarian" (3).
FLC 7111 "Facade in situ with screen wall, shading and figures"
FLC 7125 "New chapel, pilgrims' house, caretaker's house, parking, pyramid"
FLC 7119 "Facades, plan, working drawing of the roof form"
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