Light Matters: Le Corbusier and the Trinity of Light

View looking south to “upwardly springing” waves of light. Church of Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France. Image © Henry Plummer 2011

For his three sacred buildings, Le Corbusier has played masterfully with orientation, openings and textures to create kinetic architecture with daylight. His pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, the monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, and the parish church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy reveal distinctive and individual approaches that each render contemplative spaces with light. In his book “Cosmos of Light: The Sacred Architecture of Le Corbusier,” Henry Plummer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has analysed these projects with outstanding photographs taken over 40 years and brilliant writing.

Read on for more about how Le Corbusier created his cosmos of light.

65 Rooms for Student Housing / Jacques Ripault Architecture

© Patrick Müller , Hervé Abbadie

Architects: Jacques Ripault Architecture
Location: Porte de Vanves, 75014 , France
Area: 2227.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Patrick Müller , Hervé Abbadie

Childhood House / Heams et Michel

© Aldo Amoretti

Architects: Heams et Michel
Location: ,
Area: 200.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Aldo Amoretti

Museum Of The Sea In Sete / C+D Architecture

© Marie-Caroline LUCAT

Architects: C+D Architecture
Location: Rue Jean Vilar, 34200 Sète,
Architect In Charge: Nicolas Crégut, Laurent Duport
Area: 1053.0 sqm
Photographs: Marie-Caroline LUCAT

Community Arts Center and Youth Club / Mas Architecture

Courtesy of Mas Architecture

Architects: Mas Architecture
Location: 7 Avenue de la Monta, 38120 ,
Area: 740.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Mas Architecture

Lycée GeorGes-cormier Highschool Extension / Ateliers O-S architectes

© Vincent Baur

Architects: Ateliers O-S architectes
Location: Île-de-,
Architect In Charge: Vincent Baur, Guillaume Colboc, Gaël Le Nouëne
Design Team: Vincent Baur, Guillaume Colboc, Gaël Le Nouëne, Aurelie Louesdon (phase étude )
Area: 4300.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Vincent Baur

Marly-le-Roi Market / Ameller Dubois & Associés

Courtesy of Ameller Dubois & Associés

Architects: Ameller Dubois & Associés
Location: ,
Area: 16400.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Ameller Dubois & Associés

Monticello / Bona-Lemercier

© Florian Kleinefenn

Architects: Bona-Lemercier
Location: ,
Area: 140.0 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Florian Kleinefenn, François Bergeret

Zoetrope Cinema / ADH

© Hervé Abbadie

Architects: ADH
Location: Blaye,
Architects In Charge: Benoîte Doazan, Elisabeth Salvado, Stéphane Hirschberger
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Hervé Abbadie

Professional & Technical High School – CFA / Hessamfar & Vérons

Courtesy of Hessamfar & Vérons

Architects: Hessamfar & Vérons
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Marjan Hessamfar, Joe Vérons Associates
Area: 6404.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Hessamfar & Vérons

Welfare Centre for Children and Teenagers / Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Vérons

© Vincent Fillon

Architects: Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Vérons
Location: Porte des Lilas, 75019 ,
Area: 6225.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Vincent Fillon

Circus Arts Conservatory / ADH Architects

© Hervé Abbadie

Architects: ADH
Location: , France
Architect In Charge: Benoîte Doazan, Nicolas Novello, Stéphane Hirschberger
Area: 4100.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hervé Abbadie

16 Social Housing Units Urban Refurbishment / a/LTA

© Fabrice Dehoche

Architects: a/LTA
Location: , France
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Fabrice Dehoche

Amenagement Des Bureaux Ekimetrics / Estelle Vincent Architecture

© Arnaud Schelstraete

Architects: Estelle Vincent Architecture
Location: 136 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris,
Photographs: Arnaud Schelstraete

Centre Pompidou Considers Libourne Outpost

© Francis Toussaint

The south west French city of may soon get its own pop-up Pompidou. Reports indicate that the Libourne satellite outpost would be similar to the one currently underway in Malaga, Spain (soon to open in March 2015). If the deal is passed, the city would host the museum outpost in a former 40,000-square-meter military academy, though renovation costs are excepted run high - nearing €6 million. The city’s mayor Philippe Buisson is reaching out to regional and national authorities requesting financial assistance.

141 housings / MDR Architectes

© Mathieu Ducros

Architects: MDR Architectes
Location: , France
Architects In Charge: Sancie Matte, Arnaud Rousseau, Frédéric Devaux
Area: 9900.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Mathieu Ducros

Community Centre CLEC Montreuil / CUT architectures

© David Foessel

Architects: CUT architectures
Location: 16 Rue des Grands Pêchers, 93100 Montreuil,
Area: 230.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: David Foessel

The Ring Of Remembrance / Agence d’Architecture Philippe Prost

© Aitor Ortiz

Location: , France
Architect In Charge: Philippe Prost, Lucas Monsaingeon
Area: 1385.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Aitor Ortiz