Le Corbusier's Ronchamp chapel reimagined with graffiti

Le Corbusier's Ronchamp chapel reimagined with the architect's own graffiti

Le Corbusier's seminal Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut becomes a huge canvas for graffiti in these fictional images created by Belgian photographer Xavier Delory.

Brussels-based Delory has created five views of the Modernist masterpiece, a series he calls Pilgrimage to Modernity.

Each one shows the building's curving concrete and stone structure covered with huge colourful shapes and decorative emblems. But these aren't random – they mimic the murals made by Le Corbusier himself on the walls of a house owned by fellow architect Jean Badovici.

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory

The house on the Côte d'Azur, named E-1027, was the work of Irish designer Eileen Gray. Corbusier would sneak into it, supposedly in the nude, and paint the pristine white walls, prompting Gray to accuse him of vandalism.

None of the images are real – Delory created them in Photoshop, as a reminder that all Modernist buildings were designed to be inherently flexible, able to adapt to radical change.

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory

Completed in 1954, the Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, is considered by many to be Le Corbusier's best work, and one of the most important buildings of the 20th century.

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.

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory

In Delory's images, all of these elements become transformed with colour, but are still recognisable.

If this radical change were to really take place, it would not affect the building's ability to function as a chapel, according to Delory. Furthermore, the murals can't be seen as vandalism, as they are the work of the architect himself, he suggested.

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory

"What is left of the utopia, the better future that the Modern movement promised us at the beginning of the 20th century?" said the photographer in a project description.

"These 'museum buildings', preserved like precious objects, are the sole vestiges of all that remains of this movement," he added. "Pilgrimage to Modernity is a quirky tribute to these 'monuments'."

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory
Xavier Delory previously created a series showing the architect's Villa Savoye

This isn't the first Le Corbusier building Delory has reimagined – the photographer previously created a series showing the architect's Villa Savoye with graffitied walls, crumbling plasterwork and smashed windows.

Both series echo real-life occurrences. Villa Savoye is only in pristine condition today thanks to an extensive restoration, following wartime occupation by the German and American armies, while the Ronchamp chapel suffered vandalism in early 2014.

Ronchamp La Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut le Corbusier by Xavier Delory
The images showed Villa Savoye with graffitied walls, crumbling plasterwork and smashed windows

It has now been just over 50 years since the death of Le Corbusier, in 1965.

To mark this anniversary, a number of designers and brands have launched products paying tribute to the architect. Examples include a collection of wooden objects by Jaime Hayón and a Renault concept car.