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MODERNIST MONDAY: La Tourette

Welcome back to #ModernistMondays! At TTC, we are constantly inspired by modernist architects and artists from past and present. To showcase some of our favorites, we launched #ModernistMondays, where we highlight one modernist each month to explore with quick, interesting facts. In 2023, we are also weaving in #ModernistMonday features on specific architectural masterpieces along with profiles of celebrated designers. This month, we are exploring La Tourette, a Corbusier monastery in remote Eastern France.
You can learn more about the architect, Le Corbusier, HERE.




Sainte Marie de La Tourette is a religious convent in France, designed by Swiss-French Modernist Le Corbusier 1953-1961.


Located in Eastern France, La Tourette was built to be a contained community for a group of silent Dominican monks. To provide for the monks’ daily needs and lifestyles, the monastery is made of one hundred individual cells, a library, a dining room, a rooftop cloister, a church, and rooms for classes and meetings.


The monastery’s design employs many of Le Corbusier’s signature techniques: the structure sits atop slender concrete columns that keep main volumes off the ground; slots of windows adorn and separate the masses; playfully shaped smaller elements sit alongside austere primary elements. Composed mainly of glass and concrete the building is purposely non-decorative, to reflect the lifestyles and beliefs of the monks who lived there.


The monastery functioned as a walled society, with outdoor courtyards built into the design of the building, allowing the monks to access the elements without leaving the confines of their sacred home.


Today the structure continues to serve as a home for friars and monks, and rents spaces and rooms to visitors, most often architecture lovers and students who see La Tourette as a site of architectural pilgrimage. All fees for the rooms are put back into the upkeep of the monastery.



SOURCES

“AD Classics: Convent of La Tourette / Le Corbusier,” ArchDaily; “Le Corbusier's La Tourette monastery is among his iconic buildings on the World Heritage List,” Dezeen; “Sainte Marie de La Tourette” Wikipedia




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