© ARNAUD_FRICH

Ensemble le Corbusier


Le Corbusier in Firminy

Do you know the first Le Corbusier site in Europe? It’s in Firminy, about 12 kilometers from Saint-Etienne.

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©Eglise Saint-Pierre Site Le Corbusier Firminy-Vert|Arnaud Frich

A remarkable architectural ensemble

In the 1950s, the former mining town was given a model neighborhood, “Green Firminy,” more open, healthier, more functional, which included a Housing Unit with multicolored streets, a raw concrete church in the shape of a cone and a concave House of Culture. A city within a city. Among the architects involved was Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, already renowned for his avant-garde designs. Here he signed his second largest architectural complex after Chandigarh in India. He was entrusted with the realization of a “Center for the recreation of body and spirit” which includes 3 buildings: a house of culture, an Olympic stadium of 4000 seats and a conical church. The pope of modernist architecture worked on it from 1954 until his death in 1965. His plan also includes a swimming pool while a housing unit on stilts of 414 dwellings rises not far away, according to his conceptions. After him, his disciple André Wogenscky took over and built the stadium and the swimming pool. It was not until 2006 that the Saint-Pierre church was completed, as luminous as it is simple. The highlight of the tour remains the House of Culture, built during the master’s lifetime and classified by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 2016.

Unusual Anecdote

Their windows are musical and form a staff by the composer Xenakis. Self-guided or guided tours allow you to discover the Site to appreciate its ingenuity and modernity.

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