Ronchamp, or Notre Dame du Haut, by Le Corbusier is a building that was introduced to me when my interest in architecture had just started. I was in ARCH 101 at UNM and it showed up on a slide and we were told to sketch it. The professor went on to tell us how he had just visited Ronchamp and was awestruck by it’s power. I was not really impressed by it. To me it looked silly and I did not understand what was so special about it.
Visiting Ronchamp in person completely changed my mind. It was extremely compelling and changed dramatically from each different viewpoint. The walls were very thick – much thicker than I had imagined and the lighting on the interior left me speechless.
Not only did this visit give me an appreciation for this classic Corbusier piece, but it showed me how important traveling is. There are some buildings that should be seen in person by every architect-in-training, and I strongly believe that Ronchamp is one of them.
Ciao, auf wiedersehen and au revoir!
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