Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chapel Notre-Dame du Haut


Experiencing an iconic project such as this one, designed by Le Corbusier in 1955, is an exercise in understanding its purpose and meaning as well as the execution of form, light, color, siting and the play of spaces that intersect with each other. This one is a masterful exercise that challenges the perceptions of inside/outside, silence/performance, form evoked in light/dark, explosive color/white austere form with "the hat". There are many, many layers of form and meaning here; it is to be experienced as part of a setting that is part pastoral, and part of the actual assembly of many people within the broad expanse of landscape. The larger part of the structure is actually not "there", an ineffable statement that says the human recognition of the sacred is an act of profound significance.

This presentation is an exceptionally good one, with some description of the design program as well as an exemplary video showing the parts of the site that generally don't show up in the architectural mags. This kind of work in a shared spiritual place is a rarity that underscores the necessity of open, peaceful space and the work of nature that quietly informs its purpose.

The place, the structure, its myriad meanings and the natural world are integrated as one.