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LIGHT

Le Corbusiers Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp still remains to some as


inexplicable today as it was when it first saw the liht of day! decades ao" #ames $tirlin
wrote an article about it in the %&s! statin that Le Corbusier was becomin irrational" Hihly
contro'ersial! the buildin seems to completely chane as you mo'e round it"
$o what is it that ma(es this almost ca'e li(e chapel such a remar(able success) It is the
maical play of lihts that fills the space" *fter endlessly repositionin the hand+painted
windows! Le Corbusier achie'ed somethin exceptional, he created an atmosphere that
reliious people responded to immediately" Not a reliious person himself! when as(ed by a
-ournalist whether he had to belie'e in God to desin the buildin! he replied, .No! I had to
belie'e in architecture" Howe'er! throuh the iconoraphy of the windows and the celestial
liht that comes in! he manaed to desin an almost hea'en+li(e place for thousands of
belie'ers"

The liht moti'e is also present in the /onastery of La Tourette" $ittin on a piece of slopin
round! the buildin ta(es the traditional monastic form" The inno'ation comes from the use
of the lare .liht uns! each of which has a particular coloured lass" *s the sun mo'es
around the monastery! the specific orientation of these roof .windows brins in different
shades of liht"
The 0imbell *rt /useum is yet another example of how liht can be used to chane ones
perception of an architectural space" *s Louis 0han once said! .No space! architecturally! is a
space unless it has natural liht" 1ddly enouh when it comes to a museum! 0han chose the
dynamic! unpredictable natural liht o'er other sources of illumination" *lthouh direct
sunliht is thouht to represent a ris( of damae to delicate wor(s of art! he wanted the
'isitors to be able to experience chanes in the weather while enclosed" This is what led to his
concept of the cycloid 'ault with .narrow slits of open s(y" He came up with a metal shield!
placed underneath the s(ylihts! to reflect sunliht onto the surface of the 'aults" This was no
easy -ob! ta(in into account the intense Texas sun"
*nother architect to percei'e .the world of liht and shadow as a material is Richard /eier"
The white! immaculate walls of his buildins are a celebration of liht" He remains truthful to
his belief that liht i'es architectural ideas clarity and that whiteness is most sensiti'e to
chanes in the colours of nature"