Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Renzo Piano's Understated Convent Opens in the Shadow of Le Corbusier's Ronchamp Chapel

After the initial fervent opposition from the architectural community, Renzo Piano's convent on the grounds of the Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, is finally complete.
The convent sits in the shadow of a highly-lauded design by Le Corbusier, an architectural legend so venerated in his own right that the Fondation Le Corbusier, the organization devoted to preserving his work, vehemently opposed anything being built on the chapel's grounds. Starchitects like Richard Meier joined the opposition, while, as if it were a Pritzker Prize winner showdown, the likes of Tadao Ando supported the new convent. 
Commissioned by the Association Oeuvre Notre Dame du Haut, Piano was ultimately able to erect the building, with a mission to preserve Le Corbusier's structure and finish the job with a mere $14 million, raised through a combination of local government funding, donations, and the sale of the nuns' former convent in Besançon, which their order had inhabited for 800 years. The new structure, barely visible, is nestled into the hillside, greeting visitors with an outward facing zinc and glass façade. More information about this buildin can be found HERE.

                                                       The patio and sewing room
                                                       Photo by Michel Denancé
You can also read 's article about this building HERE. Enjoy!

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