Cosmos of Light

Cosmos of Light

The Sacred Architecture of Le Corbusier
Henry Plummer
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/21/2013
Format: Hardback 160 color illus., 18 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00726-1
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One of the great visionaries and pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier was a master of light, declaring it both a fundamental basis of architecture and the key to personal well-being. In this portfolio of 160 photographs taken over 40 years, Henry Plummer captures Le Corbusier’s inspired use of natural light in three of his greatest achievements: the small pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, the Dominican monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, and the parish church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy-Vert, all in France. In these modest religious works Le Corbusier deploys light to create enchanted, emotionally charged spaces wedded to the cosmic rhythm of sunlight and season. Cosmos of Light reveals how the artist reimagined sacred space and charted new ways that buildings can both reveal and inhabit the universe around them.

Author Bio

Henry Plummer is Professor of Architecture and an associate of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His books include Stillness and Light: The Silent Eloquence of Shaker Architecture (IUP, 2009).


“I am a fan of the author's previous books on daylighting and light in architecture and am pleased to discover that he has written a book on Le Corbusier's Chapel at Ronchamp and Monastery of La Tourette. This book will bring high-quality architectural photographs by Henry Plummer to the audiences of architects and architecture students internationally, lighting designers, interior designers and photographers. The author is widely known for the quality of his architectural photographs and those included substantiate this reputation. This will be a great service, both helping to overcome the ubiquitous low-quality images of these buildings that are reproduced over and over in books and articles on Le Corbusier as well as expanding our visual understanding of this master architect. ”
 — M. Susan Ubbelohde, Professor of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley

“It is my firm belief that Henry Plummer is one of the leading authorities on the importance of understanding the valuable role that light plays in the creation of architecture. This would seem to be of major importance now as we deal with sustainable environments and the role of available energy such as daylight. ”
 — Richard C. Peters, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

“In this portfolio of 160 photographs taken over 40 years, renowned architect Le Corbusier’s deploys light creating enchanted, emotionally charged spaces wedded to the cosmic rhythm of sunlight and season.”

“Starred Review: The superb, and indeed stunning, photographs and accompanying texts truly capture the sacred and spiritual nature of the buildings and their interiors. Students of architecture and design and Le Corbusier scholars will find this volume important. Highly recommended.”
 — Library Journal

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