Friday, April 5, 2013

Notre Dame du Haut

Notre Dame de Haut is a chapel that was design and constructed by Le Corbusier in the mid-1950's. This work is unique to Le Cobusier because ihe chose not to go with his typical standardization and machine aesthetic style, but instead went with what he felt in the "spirit of the land" and surrealism. What is most interesting about this construction to me is it's pure biblical reference. Before it's construction, a chapel was already there that was built in the 4th century hoxever was demolished by WWII. So to build this chapel in the same area is a kind of Resurrection as Christ did. Also, Le Corbusier decided not to go with the typical chapel look, but wanted to incorporate a primitive style while appealing to the modern art realm and to also echo the reformist movement of the time. This I also parallel biblically because the main goal of the reformist wanted to renew the spirit through the means of appealing modern art. I believe this also references the Resurrection because one of the main effects was the solidification (renewing the spirit) of Christ as King.

The chapel was constructed in concrete in stone that related back to the original chapel. However, Le Cobusier put his modern art twist and more metaphors into his design. The chapel's roof was designed to resemble a boat which could reference the Arc in which God safely directed Noah from troubles to sanctuary. The modern twist is most identified by the south wall. Le Bosuier constructed the wall with unique dimesnions, but what really steals the show are the windows. The windows are of different sizes and also different angles that emit light into the chapel in a spontaneous pattern. The windows are often covered with stained glass that light up the room in a magnificent array of color.
Whether or not Le Cobusier's intentially created all of the illusions to the bible I have described (I think it was), I found this chapel most inspiring and hope to visit it someday haven seen other cathedrals.


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