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SPIRITUAL ARCHITECTURE IN RONCHAMP AND LA TOURRETTE - Essay Example

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Among the great and unique buildings that Le Corbusier constructed, two structures will be discussed in this essay. The first is Notre Dame du Haut, a church constructed at Ronchamp in France, hereafter called Ronchamp…
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SPIRITUAL ARCHITECTURE IN RONCHAMP AND LA TOURRETTE
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Download file to see previous pages The other is the Sainte Marie de La Tourette, a Convent for teachers and students at Lyon, France hereafter called La Tourette. While the structures of Le Corbusiner can be analysed from different perspectives, this essay will discuss the techniques in form and material that were used for the two structures to achieve spiritual architecture. 1. Analysis of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp Constructed in 1955, the Ronchamp structure follows the 'Expressionist Modern' modern style. The structure is built using concrete, glass and wood. The story behind the structure is that the original 4th church was destroyed in WW II. It is important to know that the church was a reformist church. This means that the clergy and the priests who managed and preached at the church wanted a modern structure. The wanted the spirit of the church to clear the decadent past when the structure was full of ornamental embellishments with stained glass, spires and other gothic features. Le Corbusier had to build a church that reflects modern art and modern architecture with spatial purity. However, Corbusier, in keeping with his own style wanted to focus on increasing available space1. The spirituality of the architecture can be seen in the the style he adopted for the interiors He used the illusion of increased space by using curves and interplaying light with shadows so that the depth of the room seemed to be more than it really was. The materials he has used extensively are concrete, stone, glass and wood to a small extent. The windows are arranged in sporadic pattern and in the form of puncturing apertures on the wall. This helps to amplify the light emerging from the chapel since the windows are tapered in the well cavity. Each wall is illuminated by the window frames that differ in light. The space behind the altar is thus given a speckled pattern like a star filled night with sparse openings. These openings are placed along with larger apertures above the cross. A flood of light is emitted that falls on the cross creating a transformative experience for the visitor. This gives the spiritual architecture where the light of god is brought into the chapel2. 1.1. Analysis of form of Ronchamp The church has a simple design and it has two entrances. The main pulpit has a main altar and three chapels placed under the towers. Concrete is used in abundance in the structure and the use of steel reinforcement allowed Corbusier to create an upturned and curving roof that is supported by slender columns placed in the walls. The appearance of the roof is like a sail that is blowing on the windy currents of a stormy sea. This point is emphasised by the junction where the left and right walls converge and the shape seems like the curved hull of a ship. Le Corbusier has strived to bring the spiritual perspective of the reformist church into the structure. The new church is seen as the ship of the God that sails the stormy seas and carries its flock to salvation and safety. In the inside areas, space is created between the roofs and the walls. This has a number of clerestory windows with asymmetric light that falls from the openings in the wall. This helps to bring into sharp notice about the sacred role of the church and helps to create the relation between the building and the surroundings. By using concrete effectively to create recessed windows, a soft and indirect lighting emerges. This reflects off from the white walls of the church. The small windows ensure that minimum lighting falls on the congregation areas even in day light. During night, small lights behind the windows help to create a diffused lighting inside the prayer and sermon area. Corbusier did not want ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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