Ronchamp, or Notre Dame du Ronchamp, is a work that stands out in particular among Le Corbusier’s many buildings. The chapel is located in the Ronchamp Region of France and dates to 1954. This building, which is quite different from the architect’s general approach with its design understanding and the aesthetics it offers, is worth examining closely for these reasons.
Effects of War
Ronchamp is a reconstruction project. There was another religious building in the place where the chapel is located today. When that one was destroyed in the Second World War, it was necessary to rebuild the chapel, which is very important for the region.
Ronchamp is very important for local Catholics in terms of location. For this reason, great importance has been given to the rebuilding project. It is said that the church specifically chose Le Corbusier. They wanted the architect’s understanding of modernity and simplicity to represent the church’s turning to the modern world and art.
A Different Corbusier
Ronchamp is at a very different point in design from Le Corbusier’s aesthetics. This church is different from all other works of the architect, especially with its form. Ronchamp coincides with Le Corbusier’s post-World War II works. During this period, the architect moved away from rigid simplicity and turned towards a more plastic architectural understanding. The Ronchampl is an example of this with its curved roof and scattered windows.
The chapel looks more like a sculpture than a structure on the land. It seems that this is the purpose of the architect. Because Le Corbusier focused more on the spirituality that the Ronchamp makes visitors feel. That is the idea behind the windows scattered on the façade. When visitors come to this chapel with high ceilings, they immerse themselves more in the place’s spirit with the light’s dramatic effect.
Although the Ronchamp may seem like a statue from the outside, it is pretty simple inside. That shows that Le Corbusier still does not compromise on specific criteria.
Although the Ronchamp may seem like a statue from the outside, it is pretty simple inside. That shows that Le Corbusier still does not compromise on specific criteria. However, it is possible to observe that these criteria change when it comes to the relationship between land and structure.
Ronchamp is located on a hill. The chapel’s famous gigantic curved roof also looks like a continuation of the land with its curved form. ‘This is an unusual approach for Le Corbusier, who likes to take piloti and buildings off the ground by raising them from the ground. However, again, the architect treated the Ronchamp as a holy place with a spiritual side, not a ‘working machine’ like the other buildings.
Ronchamp, an excellent example of the architect’s post-war period, is also a fascinating building as a form experiment. It has a special place as a field where Le Corbusier did different experiments among many works that guide modern architecture.