Sunday, April 15, 2007

Corbusier's Speech, 25 June 1955, Dedication Of Ronchamps


Your Excellency,

In building this chapel I wanted to create a place of silence, prayer, and inner joy. A sense of the sacred inspired our work. Some things are sacred, others are not, be they religious or not. Our workmen and Bona, the foreman, Maisonnier from my atelier at 35 Rue de Sèvres, the engineers and the quantity of surveyors, other workmen and firms, administrators and Savina were the ones who realized this difficult work, which pays careful attention to detail, and is rugged and strong in its use of materials, yet is sensitive and enlivened by the mathematics that inform the whole construction and create an indescribable space. Some scattered symbols and written text offer praise to the Virgin.

The Cross – the true cross of torment – is set up in this arch; the Christian drama has now taken possession of this locus. Your excellency, I give over to you this chapel in loyal concrete, steeped perhaps in temerity and certainly in courage, in the hope that it will find in you and in those who ascend this hill an echo of all we have inscribed in it.

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