Chapel of Notre Dame Du Haut | Freeform Architecture





Chapel of Notre Dame, Ronchamp was designed by the Legendary Architect Le Corbusier. It is a world renowned architectural innovation  for its unique building character.

Chapel of Notre Dam Du Haut - France

Chapel of Notre Dam Du Haut - France

The philosophy of Le Corbusier was that every building should have its own character. It should be unique.

He believed that every building that is designed at a particular site should merge with its surroundings and still be an outstanding innovation of all times.

Le Corbusier developed a five-point programme for a new and contemporary architecture:

  1. The Pilotis (posts)
  2. The roof garden
  3. The free plan
  4. The horizontal strip windows
  5. The free façade

Le Corbusier famously said that ‘architecture is the play of forms under light.’

But in the construction of this amazing structure, he hasn’t used these principles. The design of the Chapel is a free form. It is unsymmetrical and yet it does not lack harmony….

  • Le Corbusier’s pilgrimage chapel of Notre Dame at Roncamp was developed through which he expressed his ideas about volume, image, light and plan.
  • This chapel, which is on top of a hill, consists of a rolling, dark-coloured, pointed roof on smooth, whitewashed, concrete walls, with small punched-in openings. The composition has three towers of different sizes.
  • Light enters the chapel through small, carefully placed windows and through the roof-wall junction and illuminates the interior with the dramatic effect of light and shadow.
  • This sculptural effect captures the imagination if the world at large. This was not the usual frame type of building but had a dynamic and imaginative spatial form.

Description of the interior space

  • The interior space is 25m long and 13m wide and can seat 200 people.
  • Three towers, one 22m and two 15m, perform the dual functions of crowning the architecture externally and bringing light into the interior.
Interiors of Ronchamp Chapel

Interiors of Ronchamp Chapel

  • The light which comes directly form the three towers falls on to the altars of the three chapels inside the church. The dominant feature is the roof, which is made of two roof shells. The height of the celing varies from 4.5m to 10m.
  • Towards the outside, the roof projects over the east wall and makes a covered space which has an open altar.
  • The sculptural hand of Le Corbusier is seen in the bold, startingly new design of Ronchamp. The church is visible for miles around. It is comparatively small but its effect is one of monumentality.


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  1. #1 by Creating Your Architectural Syle on May 18, 2010 - 8:53 pm

    Wow! That is an incredible structure. Le Corbusier is an evil genius.

  2. #2 by Edsel on May 22, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    The Chapel of Notre Dam Du Haut is an amazing structure. Especially the use of how light enters the chapel through small, carefully placed windows and through the roof-wall junction and illuminates the interior with the dramatic effect of light and shadow.

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