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Church of Saint Pierre Firminy Vert: Le Corbusier

Part 2 Dissertation 2003
Alison Darvill
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
This dissertation accompanies the 1:100 model of Le Corbusier's largely unexecuted design for his late church at Firminy Vert made by the student in white high impact styrene in the Mackintosh School of Architecture. The dissertation consists of a discussion of the history and development of the Firminy project, followed by an analysis of the design in the wider context of Le Corbusier's work and a discussion of the present condition of the partially completed building and its prospects. The dissertation concludes with an account of the making of the model and of the considerable problems encountered in interpreting the surviving design drawings, notably over the construction of the unexecuted cone-shaped superstructure.
Alison Darvill

This Special Subject submission combined historical and contextual research, architectural interpretation and the construction of a model of a peculiarly challenging architectural form. The school's tutors and the external examiner agreed that the result was a beautiful and accomplished model which, as a realisation, is a genuine contribution to architectural knowledge, and is combined with a well-written, thorough and intelligently organised supporting explanatory document which can stand on its own as a history and analysis of a tantalising late and largely unexecuted design by Le Corbusier. This dissertation was awarded the highest mark of any submitted this year. The Mackintosh School prides itself on excellence in model-making, but the submission for the President's Medal is the supporting document which is itself a mature, intelligent and resourceful piece of architectural writing about the Firminy project, illuminated by construction drawings and photographs of the completed model.

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