News: Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut chapel at Ronchamp has been vandalised, prompting calls for urgent security measures to prevent further damage to one of the Modernist architect's finest works.
President of the Fondation Le Corbusier Antoine Picon spoke out after vandals broke into Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, on Friday. He called for the implementation of "emergency [security] measures regarding the site and building".
The vandals forced entry to the chapel, breaking a hand-painted, glass window signed by Le Corbusier. They then took a concrete collection box, which contained no money, and threw it outside.
Picon called on the Association Oeuvre Notre-Dame-du-Haut, which own the chapel, to "better protect the heritage of the twentieth century and that of Le Corbusier in particular."
He also pointed to the church's poor structural and cosmetic state, citing in particular "moisture problems, infiltration and poor preservation of masonry."
Ronchamp was completed in 1955. Le Corbusier designed the chapel for the Catholic church on an existing place of pilgrimage.
Its thick masonry walls, irregular window placement and massive curved roof evoke a sculptural quality not previously associated with the sparse functionalism of Corbusier's earlier buildings. Many critics consider the idiosyncratic chapel Le Corbusier’s finest work.
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