Le Corbusier La Tourette, Eveux

Source: Le CorbusierText: Le Corbusier et son atelier rue de Sèvres 35.Photography: Eugeni BachLocation: Eveux, Lyon, FranceYear: 1960
Date: August 10, 2023 Category: Classic

To dwell in the silence of men of prayer and study and to construct a church for them-this was the program proposed to Le Corbusier in 1952 under the urging of R. P. Le Couturier, by the provincial chapter of the Dominicans of Lyons . The monastic complex was to comprise a church, cloister, chapter room, study rooms, library, refectory, kitchens and about a hundred cells …

Towards the end of 1953 the study of the project began, construction started in August 1956 at Eveux-sur-I’Arbresle near Lyons and on the 1st of July 1959 the religious order took possession of the place.

lf Ronchamp is a sign, and the signs are not so numerous that they may be ignored, the convent Sainte-Marie-de-laTourette, which wi ll undoubtedly mark a stage of religious architecture, seems to be the most significant of Le Corbusier’s creations. Perhaps the reason for th is is because he never befare had the possibil ity to express his total mastery of light and space-ineffable space-while complying to requirements not only material but al so spiritual and respectful of the monastic tradition. The Convent of La Tourette is a spiritual abode, organical ly alive, within which the various parts although widely different are somehow intimately connected.

Le Corbusier’s development sin ce the Charterhouse of Ema, which he discovered in ltaly in 1911, to the Unités d’Habitation of ‘Congruent Size’ is a totality in which La Tourette appears as a confrontation anda synthesis . Le Corbusier has given the Dominicans a work of great fullness whose harmony, boldness and vigor have not ceased to astonish us …

There will be those who will try to classify the convent within a strict formula as did those after Ronchamp who tried to recall the Baroque, but the work defies classification … And even if one were to refuse to admit the creative power, will not the final judgement belong to the men of religion, who, living in this convent of our times, have discovered a work whose sacred character affirms itself in a manner both spontaneous and reflective?

(Jean Petit: “Un Couvent de Le Corbusier “, Paris.)

The structural trame is of rough reinforced concrete. The panes of glass located on the three exterior faces achieve, for the first time, the system called : “the undulatory glass surtace”. On the other hand, in the garden-court of the cloister,

the fenestration is composed of large concrete elements reach ing from floorto ceiling, perforated with glazed areas and separated from one another by “ventilators”: vertical slits. covered by metal mosquito netting and furnished with a pivoting shutter.

The monastery is posed in the savage nature of the forest and grasslands which is independent of the architecture itself. The facades remain in rough concrete, the several infillings being painted with whitewash.


  • alexinfante May 6, 2014

    Genial aquesta iniciativa de mostrar temples clàssics, arquitectures conegudes i/o desconegudes per a molts. A viam si s’hi pugen més arquitectes i estudiants al carro!

  • PauC May 6, 2014

    Enhorabona per les fotos i pel viatge!
    La Tourette revisited. Els espais em resulten molt més atractius i acollidors en les fotos actuals. Pels colors, segurament.

  • Dani May 6, 2014

    Gràcies per aquest esplèndid reportatge! el viatge promet!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.