Travel Visits: Le Corbusier Edition

* This article was written by Maria Flores, The Archiologist Founder

Today October 6th, we architects worldwide celebrate Le Corbusier’s Birthday! And to honor him and his beautiful architecture, I decided to compile the best photographs of his works, taken by me, on my travels. In total, I have seen 7 pieces of architecture by the master himself, so here it goes… The projects are not shown in any particular order and I was asked some questions about what my favorite part of every building was. And yes, that is me in certain pictures.

 

Europe:

1. Notre Dame du Haut, better knwon as “Ronchamp
Location: 13 Rue de la Chapelle, 70250 Ronchamp, France
Year built: ‎25 June 1955
Year visited: 2017

“What did you love about this project?”

”Definitely the space inside, it was magical to go into the space and realizing how dark it actually is inside. And how the dim light reaches every corner of the space. Then, there were these towers, that had skylights, and that was also a very beautiful thing to experience.”

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2. Villa Savoye
Location: 82 Rue de Villiers, 78300 Poissy, France — About one hour away from Paris.
Year built: ‎1931, Renovated in 1963
Year visited: 2017

“What was nice about this piece of architecture?”

”Honestly… How open it is. Sure, architects learn about the ‘free floor plan’ and we tend to think about it only as open floor plan, but this house is incredibly open in every aspect. I never felt like I was actually ‘inside’ at any moment. Even in the bathroom, you can feel the breeze from outside. And THAT is what makes Villa Savoye interesting”

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3. Sainte Marie de La Tourette
Location: Route de la Tourette, 69210 Éveux, France — Located on a hillside near Lyon.
Year built: ‎1956
Year visited: 2017

“Tell us about your experience in La Tourette”

”Okay, when I talk about this building my eyes literally light up. You have no idea how incredible this experience was for me; emotionally, spiritually, intellectually — in so many levels, this building touched me. And I think that’s what us as architects need to remember, architecture CAN change your life.”

“What was it that you experienced that changed your life?”

”Everything. I mean… From driving to this place, parking and walking around 5 minutes to go inside. This place is located in such a tranquil zone; walking to the building was such a beautiful experience because you could hear the birds chirping and you could feel the breeze in between the rows of trees. Then, the fact that I had the amazing opportunity of sleeping there for the night, it was amazing. I remember I woke up at around 3 am and could not go back to sleep, so I walked around the place, lights entirely off and just me in the silence, with all the colors that Le Corbusier is so fond of, reflecting on the surfaces of walls and ceilings. And I went to this place twice… And I cried twice.”

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4. Saint-Pierre, Firminy
Location: 29 Rue des Noyers, 42700 Firminy, France
Year built: 2006
Year visited: 2017

“This is such a weird-looking church, what is so interesting about it?”

”Again, the inside. I feel like I repeat myself when I say this, but what amazes me about most of Le Corbusier’s work, is that the exterior is often times plain and weird-looking. But in reality, it’s the experience that he wanted to take into account. This church was almost like La Tourette, in the sense that it had a beautiful play with light and shadow and colors.”

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5. Maison de la culture de Firminy-Vert
Location: 29 Rue des Noyers, 42700 Firminy, France
Year built: 1965
Year visited: 2017

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Asia:

6. National Museum of Art
Location: 7-7 Uenokoen, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Year built: 1959
Year visited: 2016

”I actually arrived here by chance. I had no idea there was anything Corbu-related in Japan, but to my surprise, I ended up here and it was quite beautiful to look fro outside. Sadly, I did not go in, but it was pretty interesting.”

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North America:

7. Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Location: Cambridge, United States
Year built: 1963
Year visited: 2016

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Maria Flores