Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret October 6, 1887 La Chaux-de-Fonds, SwitzerlandDied August 27, 1965 (aged 77)Nationality Swiss / French (from 1930)Influenced Oscar Niemeyer, Richard MeierAwards AIA Gold Medal (1961)Buildings Villa Savoye, France Notre Dame du Haut, France Buildings in Chandigarh, India
Born as Charles Edouard Jeanneret on October 6, 1887 in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. He studied at the La Chaux de Fonds Art School. His career spanned five decades and he made significant contributions to the Modernists orInternational Style. He has built works in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. He died on August 27, 1965 of a heart attack while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in south France.
1905 Villa Fallet, La Chaux de fonds, Switzerland1912 Villa Jeanneret, Paris1916 Villa Schwob, Paris1923 Villa LaRoche, Paris1924 Pavilion de L’Esprit Nouveau, Paris1924 Quartiers Modernes Fruges, Pessac France1926 Villa Cook, Boulogne-sue-Seine, France1927 Villas at Weissenhof Estate, Stuttgart, Germany1928 Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France1929 Armee du Salut, Cite de Refuge, Paris1930 Pavilion Suisse, Cite Universitaire, Paris1931 Palace of the Soviets, Moscow, USSR1933 Tsentrosoyuz, Moscow, USSR1936 Palace of the Ministry of National Education and Public Health, Rio deJanerio1938 The Cartesian Sky-scrapper.1946 Duval Factory in Saint Die, France1947-1952 Unite d’Habition, Marseille, France
1948 Curutchet House, La Plata, Argentina1949 Usine Cluade et Duval, Saint Die-des-Vosges1950 UN Headquarters, New York1950-1954 Chapel Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France1951 Cabanon Le Corbusier, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin1951 Maisons Jaoul, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France1952 Unite d’Habitation of Nantes-Reze, Nantes, France1952-1959 Buildings in Chandigarh, India.1905 Museum at Ahmedabad, India1912 Unite d’Habitation of Briey en Foret, France1957 National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo1913 Masison du Bresil, Cite Universataire, Paris1957-1960 Sainte Marie de la Tourette Lyon, France1957 Unite Habitation of Berlin-Charlottenburg, Flatowallee 16, Berlin
RONCHAMP – 1955 ( Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut )
The Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut is located in Ronchamp, onthe hilltop of Bourlemont. In the middle age, this place was acatholic pilgrimage center dedicated to the Virgin Mary. TheChapel suffered a voracious fire in 1913, consequently wasrebuilt in Neo-Gothic style. In 1944, was bombarded by theNazis.
In 1950, Le Corbusier accepted rebuilt of the chapel at therequest of archbishop of Besancon. The master is touched by thesignificance of the site, because was a place of bloody battles.After five years of technical difficulties and the constant critic,is finished in June 1955.
"Surrealism is a key to other late works of Le Corbusier,most notably the church at Ronchamp, France, of 1950-55.Notre-Dame-du-Haut was a more extreme statement of Le Corbusiers late style. Programmatically, the church issimple, an oblong nave, two side entrances, an axial mainaltar, and three chapels beneath towers—as is its structure,with rough masonry walls faced with whitewashed Gunite (sprayed concrete) and a roof of contrasting beton brut (architectural concrete left unfinished). Formally and symbolically, however, this small building, which is sited atop a hillside with access from the south, is immensely powerful and complex.‖
• Location: Ronchamp, France• Date: 1955• Building Type: church• Construction System: reinforced concrete• Climate: temperate• Context: rural, mountains• Style: Expressionist Modern• Physical Characteristics: Simplicity Oblong nave Two side entrances Axial main alter Three chapels Three towers 4 ft to 12 ft thick, whitewashed, sprayed concrete walls (known as Gunite or Gunnire) Beton brut roof Southern facing wall of windows Exterior alter Sculpture of the Virgin Mary
Towards the southern end, and in a lower area of the topography, stands arectangular volume made of concrete, that contrasts in both form and color with chapel. This volume, perpendicular and closer to the access path, contains theresidence of the monks and was designed by Le Corbusier in 1953 and completed in 1959. The building, austere and sober, hasclassrooms, library, refectory, kitchen and cells for monks.
The Chapels act as periscopes which establish contact with the distant horizon. The site that provided an irresistible genius loci for the response, with the horizon visible on all four sides of the hill and itshistorical legacy for centuries as a place of worship.
The program had some difficult requirements: a church to serve a parish of 200, but capable ofdealing with crowds of pilgrims on important feast days (like August 15th and September 8th); twosmall chapels to hold services separately from themain Mass; a sacristy; a small office; a housing for a 17th century polychrome wood sculpture of theVirgin and Child; and a means to collect rainwater as water resources are scarce on the hilltop.
• Large Embrasures on south wall represent • The upper two tiers of the interior the Crow (Corvus), Libra Constellation windows of the South wall as the Virgo constellation.
• That Le Corbusier based his design off • Le Corbusier superimposed Ronchamp II of praying hands, a ship, a bird, a nuns over Ronchamp I. cowl.
DOOR DECORATIONSThe door itself has apainting by Le Corbusier.Door panels consist ofopen hand, star, pyramid,meandering river, rain, andclouds. Each door consistsof eight panels. Pivotingdoor on center. Red andblue symbolize opposites
Other elements in the access are two small concrete blocks that form a virtual frame.
WATER COLLECTIONThe billowing roof of concretewas planned to slope towardthe back, where a fountain ofabstract forms is placed on theground. When it rains, thewater comes pouring off theroof and down onto the raised,slanted concrete structures,creating a dramatic but naturalfountain.
THE LIGHT FROM HEAVENSSHINING OVER THE CHAPELS
The most strikingfeatures of the facadeare the two chapelsflanking the secondaryaccess: bothare symmetrically arranged around the axis of thedoor. However, theircurved shape invite toaccess to the interior.
The complex shapes at Ronchamp start from a theme of acousticparabolas, playing a practical role on the east wall to reflect the sound from the outside altar for the pilgrims gathered on the hill.
Curved wall on the South wall directs visitors up and to the entrance.
Le Corbusier made use of curved surfaces of reinforced concrete to generate a form that is bold and organic. Since its construction, the building has evoked poetic notions in the mind of the visitor observing the play of light and shadow on different surfaces
• Le Corbusier was given free reign to create a total work of art, the way he liked it.• The south and east walls act as receptors for the majority of sunlight that entersthe chapel through the gap between the roof and the vertical surfaces in an attempt tobreak the static nature of the enclosed interior space, whereas the north and west walls actas containers that define the sacred from the profane in a manner that removes anyimmediate connection with the outside environment.• The slope of the floor follows the natural slope of the hill, and slopes towards the alter.• Towers are stone masonry topped with cement domes• Concrete roof is the shell (idea came from crab shell on beach when he was visiting Nivolas. He imagined its curved strength)
Sculpture of the Virgin Mary This wooden sculpture is placed in a high niche. Above the plainaltar, the east wall is punctuated by several pinhole-windows and by a single substantial window with the Madonna and Child in silhouette; through the window this image also serves the outside altar used during pilgrimages.
The interior of the chapel is modest, with plain pews down the south side only. The walls curve, the roof curves, and even the floor curves down towards the altar, following the shape of the hill.
PLAY OF LIGHT―The shell has been put on walls which are absurdly but practically thick. Inside them however are reinforcedconcrete columns. The shell will rest on these columns but it will not touch the wall. A horizontal crack of light 10cm wide will amaze.‖
The south wall which is punctuated with deep splayed windows of variable sizes and in some cases fitted with colored glass.
The chambers within this thick wall are splayed and tapered to delay and trap passing light, making each void inwardly strategy excludes sky glarestabilizing incoming light and creates a contemplative luminous environment.
Corbusier has been able to use the light of the sun in a most articulate way, expressing thedaily life of the sun as its light, thereby glorifying the creator of it. Walls become dark aslight streams from their openings with great intensity. While light brought from above theprivate chapels is soft and comforting, one might feel a certain sense of unrest due to thepower of the light entering through specific
The embrasures also have a seasonal rhythm; their openings adjusted in section to intercept highsummer sun, while letting low angles of winter sun penetrate through the width of the church.
The structure is made mostly of concrete and is comparatively small, enclosed by thickwalls, with the upturned roof supported on columns embedded within the walls. ROOF FRAMING A. 6 cm concrete shell. B. 10 x 30 cm cast in place lower beams. C. 17 cm thick girders. D. 5 x 27 cm pre cast upper roof beams. E. Roof deck 4 cm thick. F. Scupper for rainwater drainage.
The main structural system in the chapel is composed ofreinforced concrete that has been used to construct therequired framework for the building. It has been filledwith stone recovered from the ruins of the old chapel.The roof is composed of two membranes, each of whichacts as a thin shell separated by a gap of 2.26 mconforming to the modular proportion.
G. 15 cm concrete pylons and 40 x 15 A. Aluminum roof covering.cm beams. B. 4 – 5 cm cement gunite covering.H. Reinforced concrete column C. Metal framework of parallelinside wall. trusses.I. Girder bearing on column. D. Rotating joint.J. Masonry walls. E. Trussed pylon.K. The only exposed column.
A. Precast concretewindow frame.B. Lead glazingcompound.C. Glass.D. Plaster on wire meshcovering precastconcrete and stone.E. Rubble wall.
A. Truss section.B. 15/10 mm enameled sheet metalpanels.C. Typical truss cord, 2 30x20x4 mmangles.D. 2 30x20x4 mm face angles.E. Horizontal truss members from30x20x4 mm angles.F. Joint with mastic fasteners and leadwashers.G. Pivot,H. Base trim panel.I. Frameless glass.J. Concrete frame.K. Metal end panel.
CONSTRUCTIONSome pictures of the Chapel while under construction in the early 1950’s.
Simplicity- The chapel appears completely organic both in form and in materials. Notre DameDu Haut lacks any obvious attempts at accentuating geometry. The materials are left in the rawand allowed to age naturally. The simplicity of form gives the chapel the feel of sculpture.Lack of ornate detail allows the building to completely exist as a religious space without anydistractions to pilgrims and worshippers. Lacking mass-produced materials the structure is pureand simple exemplifying the desired way of life for those who came to the chapel.Beton Brut Roof-It is said that the smooth curve of the roof is symbolic of praying hands.South Facing Wall of Windows-Light has been a long time symbol of religion. GothicArchitecture took this concept to the extreme considering light one of the most importantelements of any religious structure. Light gives the space an ethereal quality.Sculpture of the Virgin Mary-
ARTICLES• Wallfahrtskirche „Notre Dame du Haut― in Ronchamp• Notre-Dame du Haut, Ronchamp:A Symbol of Vatican II• THE CHAPEL AT RONCHAMP AND THE FREE PLAN• A STUDY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL LIGHT IN SELECTED BUILDINGS DESIGNED BY LE CORBUSIER, LOUIS I. KAHN AND TADAO ANDO• Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp• A study on the Phenomenon of Light• GEOMETRIC OPTIMIZATION OF FENESTRATION