Esprit Futur : Le Corbusier and José Oubrerie at Saint-Pierre De Firminy, Firminy-Vert, France, 1968–2006
Brott, Simone (2011) Esprit Futur : Le Corbusier and José Oubrerie at Saint-Pierre De Firminy, Firminy-Vert, France, 1968–2006. Log (New York), pp. 84-96.
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What is the secret mesmerism that death possesses and under the operation of which a modern architect – strident, confident, resolute – becomes rueful, pessimistic, or melancholic?1 Five years before Le Corbusier’s death at sea in 1965, the architect reluctantly agreed to adopt the project for L’Église Saint-Pierre de Firminy in Firminy-Vert (1960–2006), following the death of its original architect, André Sive, from leukemia in 1958.2 Le Corbusier had already developed, in 1956, the plan for an enclave in the new “green” Firminy town, which included his youth and culture center and a stadium and swimming pool; the church and a “boîte à miracles” near the youth center were inserted into the plan in the ’60s. (Le Corbusier was also invited, in 1962, to produce another plan for three Unités d’Habitation outside Firminy-Vert.) The Saint-Pierre church should have been the zenith of the quartet (the largest urban concentration of works by Le Corbusier in Europe, and what the architect Henri Ciriani termed Le Corbusier’s “acropolis”3) but in the early course of the project, Le Corbusier would suffer the diocese’s serial objections to his vision for the church – not unlike the difficulties he experienced with Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (1950–1954) and the resistance to his proposed monastery of Sainte-Marie de la Tourette (1957–1960). In 1964, the bishop of Saint-Étienne requested that Le Corbusier relocate the church to a new site, but Le Corbusier refused and the diocese subsequently withdrew from the project. (With neither the approval, funds, nor the participation of the bishop, by then the cardinal archbishop of Lyon, the first stone of the church was finally laid on the site in 1970.) Le Corbusier’s ambivalence toward the project, even prior to his quarrels with the bishop, reveals...
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Le Corbusier, Saint Pierre Firminy, Building Envelope, Ronchamp, Subjectivity|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural History and Theory (120103)|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering|
Past > Schools > School of Design
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2011 Please contact the author.|
|Deposited On:||13 Oct 2011 09:08|
|Last Modified:||06 Mar 2014 16:58|
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