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  7. AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier
AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier, © Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

© Richard Weil © Richard Weil © Richard Weil © Richard Weil +34

From the architect. Known for its striking form and beautiful interior experiences, the Church at Firminy by Le Corbusier was another evolution of the core thoughts and practices of the architect throughout his many years of designing. 

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

This church also carries special significance, as it was the last major work of Le Corbusier and was left unfinished upon his death in 1965. It was finished forty-one years after his death in 2006, keeping his essence alive.

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

Standing in the old mining and industrial city of Firminy, the Church of Firminy was one of a set of community buildings designed by Le Corbusier, among these are an Olympic stadium, youth club and cultural center, standard housing complex, and finally Unite-d'Habitation.

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

Recognizing the small congregation of the city, the architect wanted to embrace and celebrate the miners and steel workers that produced most of the goods of the area, which explains his use of concrete. He hoped that this material would also give him control over the volume and spaces in his overall goal of giving light a true meaning.

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

As can be expected by the architect, he fused many of his core architectural ideas from previous projects into his newer design, while also leaving room to be inspired by religion. 

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

He wanted to create a setting that established a place for spiritual enrichment on a modest scale. About this, Le Corbusier stated that the space must be "vast so that the heart may feel at ease, and high so that prayers may breathe in it."

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

Natural light floods in through light boxes and through a series of organized openings that are a direct reference to the constellation Orion. The light boxes are designed in a way that will bring light to the alter on specific religious holidays, like Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil

Corbusier uses the spirituality of geometry to create the overall form; a square base that projects upwards to a circle depicts the metamorphosis and transition from earthly to spiritual realm, and the cosmological basis is revealed in the constellation windows and angle of the roof towards the sun.

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

The building was completed in 2006 by French architect Jose Oubrerie, who studied under Corbusier for many years.

© Richard Weil
© Richard Weil
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier" 02 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/108054/ad-classics-church-at-firminy-le-corbusier/>
Read comments

34 Comments

Pops · October 03, 2012

Way to go Megan!!

Susie Clapham · June 10, 2012

Dare I say I think I prefer this Corbusian church over Ronchamp http://t.co/zr6WgiDA

Haskoning Architects · February 09, 2012

Love this building: http://t.co/yqANbmHR #architecture #church #corbusier

??? · November 26, 2011

?????????——?????????????Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France?http://t.co/4H97370g

Finja · October 24, 2011

Old news, but still beautiful.
http://t.co/yLlmW0Dz via @archdaily

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://t.co/okNNg1I vía @archdaily

Jose Rivera · June 15, 2011

Corbu receives an incredible amount of credit. Just a shame not as much on this one.

Hasan Hachem · June 15, 2011

It’s a shame that this church had to be claimed as a ruin of architectural heritage by the local government in order for it to be completed. Corbusier’s understanding of the need to design a well thought out interior was evident through the spatial composition. The perforated walls that allow for incoming light are similar to those of the Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp. Jose Oubrerie was actually an original designer and former apprentice of Corbusier. It is a discredit to Corbusier that this project does not receive the publicity it deserves, especially since it was his final work.

AlexCovic · March 07, 2011

RT @hyde_architects: The last major work by Le Corbusier, AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://bit.ly/ee5Iad

hyde_architects · March 07, 2011

The last major work by Le Corbusier, AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://bit.ly/ee5Iad

fedenegro · February 07, 2011

This will always be an amazing building....AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://www.archdaily.com/?p=10...

Rohan Cooper · February 05, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://archdai.ly/hGLJqg #architecture

nringrim · February 04, 2011

RT @Hyun_Chung: ??? ???? ??? ???? http://j.mp/fXnkKi ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???.

Naru Kang ??? · February 04, 2011

RT @Flaneur_B: ????!! RT @Hyun_Chung ??? ???? ??? ???? http://j.mp/fXnkKi ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???.

AL · February 04, 2011

RT @Hyun_Chung ??? ???? ??? ???? http://j.mp/fXnkKi ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???.

jiun.B · February 04, 2011

????!! RT @Hyun_Chung ??? ???? ??? ???? http://j.mp/fXnkKi ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???.

Francisco Ibañez · February 04, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/2GaMuqS via @archdaily

HyunChung · February 04, 2011

??? ???? ??? ???? http://j.mp/fXnkKi ?? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???.

nulla · February 03, 2011

The kind of places that you cannot feel in a photo... great !

Mike · February 03, 2011

It is beautiful, José.

up_today_arch · February 03, 2011

Fantastic building... I should visit this place...

Paolo Tonon · February 03, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://goo.gl/fb/1KAJv #adarchitectureclassics #religiousarchitecture

rdorego · February 03, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://archdai.ly/hGLJqg #architecture

laf-u güzaf · February 03, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://archdai.ly/hGLJqg #architecture

jackie kairu · February 03, 2011

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yasushi nakamura · February 03, 2011

??????????????????????????????????????????????http://bit.ly/hs9YLq

Sylvie Rheault · February 03, 2011

I&#39m a fan of Le Corbusier! RT @ArchDaily AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://archdai.ly/hGLJqg #architecture

Guy Hohmann · February 03, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/smkObQF via @archdaily

arch_related · February 03, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier: ©Richard WeilKnown for its striking form and beautiful interior e... http://bit.ly/eTxpR4

Barry Maguire · February 03, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier via ArchDaily - ©Richard Weil Known for its striking form ... http://tinyurl.com/5suk5mq

Erik Joya · February 03, 2011

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier: ©Richard Weil Known for its striking form and… http://goo.gl/fb/IfuXV

Rodolfo Sauma · February 03, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier http://archdai.ly/hGLJqg #architecture

fokt · February 03, 2011

I love how the interior shots are so photoshopped. There are so few openings that even during a sunny day, inside is actually very dark, kind of like night time, so any light, natural or artificial is really bright and contrasts against everything else. Some parts of the walls and ceilings can barely be read. It sort of feels like you're looking up at stars, and kind of like you're floating around in space. Very cool.

silentbee · February 03, 2011

Always amazing.

···

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© Richard Weil

AD Classics: Church at Firminy / Le Corbusier