Renzo Piano and Le Corbusier Foundation War Over Famous Chapel


Today must be “contentious restoration day” as here we find yet another story of building gone sour. This time around we look to France, where a big debate has begun over Renzo Piano‘s plans to design a parking lot and a new visitor’s center for Le Corbusier‘s Notre Dame du Haut chapel. Although Piano’s plans leave the original, architectural masterpiece untouched and almost completely out of sight, the Fondation Le Corbusier thinks the whole thing is a travesty and “may permanently jeopardize the harmony and cohesion of the entire site.” They’ve even started a petition to get the project blocked, adding big names like Richard Meier and Caesar Pelli to the fight against Piano, to which the starchitect and his side have started responding to quite viciously:

“I quite agree that the architecture must be defended, especially when you talk about the architecture of Le Corbusier and such beautiful and great places,” says Piano. “The problem is that, in this case, the petition didn’t tell the truth,” he says, noting that it didn’t mention who was responsible for the project, nor provide details of the design. “I don’t understand the reason of all this resistance — except maybe some religious intolerance.”