Cosmos of Light: The Sacred Architecture of Le Corbusier

Overview

One of the great visionaries and pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier was a master of light, declaring it both a fundamental basis of architecture and the key to personal well-being. In this portfolio of 160 photographs taken over 40 years, Henry Plummer captures Le Corbusier’s inspired use of natural light in three of his greatest achievements: the small pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, the Dominican monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, and the parish church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy-Vert, all in ...

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Overview

One of the great visionaries and pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier was a master of light, declaring it both a fundamental basis of architecture and the key to personal well-being. In this portfolio of 160 photographs taken over 40 years, Henry Plummer captures Le Corbusier’s inspired use of natural light in three of his greatest achievements: the small pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, the Dominican monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, and the parish church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy-Vert, all in France. In these modest religious works Le Corbusier deploys light to create enchanted, emotionally charged spaces wedded to the cosmic rhythm of sunlight and season. Cosmos of Light reveals how the artist reimagined sacred space and charted new ways that buildings can both reveal and inhabit the universe around them.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Richard C. Peters

"It is my firm belief that Henry Plummer is one of the leading authorities on the importance of understanding the valuable role that light plays in the creation of architecture. This would seem to be of major importance now as we deal with sustainable environments and the role of available energy such as daylight." —Richard C. Peters, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

M. Susan Ubbelohde

"I am a fan of the author's previous books on daylighting and light in architecture and am pleased to discover that he has written a book on Le Corbusier's Chapel at Ronchamp and Monastery of La Tourette.

This book will bring high-quality architectural photographs by Henry Plummer to the audiences of architects and architecture students internationally, lighting designers, interior designers and photographers. The author is widely known for the quality of his architectural photographs and those included substantiate this reputation. This will be a great service, both helping to overcome the ubiquitous low-quality images of these buildings that are reproduced over and over in books and articles on Le Corbusier as well as expanding our visual understanding of this master architect.
" —M. Susan Ubbelohde, Professor of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley

From the Publisher
"I am a fan of the author's previous books on daylighting and light in architecture and am pleased to discover that he has written a book on Le Corbusier's Chapel at Ronchamp and Monastery of La Tourette.

This book will bring high-quality architectural photographs by Henry Plummer to the audiences of architects and architecture students internationally, lighting designers, interior designers and photographers. The author is widely known for the quality of his architectural photographs and those included substantiate this reputation. This will be a great service, both helping to overcome the ubiquitous low-quality images of these buildings that are reproduced over and over in books and articles on Le Corbusier as well as expanding our visual understanding of this master architect.
" —M. Susan Ubbelohde, Professor of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley

"It is my firm belief that Henry Plummer is one of the leading authorities on the importance of understanding the valuable role that light plays in the creation of architecture. This would seem to be of major importance now as we deal with sustainable environments and the role of available energy such as daylight." —Richard C. Peters, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

Library Journal
In this handsomely produced and generously illustrated volume, Plummer (architecture, Univ. of Illinois; Stillness and Light: The Silent Eloquence of Shaker Architecture) analyzes three religious buildings designed by the renowned modern architect Le Corbusier: the modest chapel at Ronchamp, the Dominican monastery of Sainte Marie de la Tourette, and the small parish church of St. Pierre in Firminy-Vert. These buildings, all in France, have different uses, but each has a symbiotic relationship with the light and setting in which it was built. Le Corbusier himself declared that he composes “with light,” and this book gives ample proof of his design genius. The introductory essay provides a wonderful background of these commissions for an architect who was an outspoken agnostic. The controversies surrounding these buildings and the vicissitudes of their history are fascinating stories in their own right, but the focus of this book is specifically on the ingenious use of light in the design and effect of each of these structures.

Verdict The superb, and indeed stunning, photographs and accompanying texts truly capture the sacred and spiritual nature of the buildings and their interiors. Students of architecture and design and Le Corbusier scholars will find this volume important. Highly recommended.—Herb Shapiro, Lifelong Learning Soc., Florida Atlantic Univ., Boca Raton
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253007261
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 3/7/2013
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,409,960
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Plummer is Professor of Architecture and an associate of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His books include Stillness and Light: The Silent Eloquence of Shaker Architecture (IUP, 2009).

Indiana University Press

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