Monastery of Sainte-Marie de La Tourette
Le Corbusier's last major work in Europe. Its program is unusual - a complete, self-contained world for a community of studying, silent monks, living a life so austere they are sometimes known as the 'begging brothers'. The building has 100 individual cells, communal library, classrooms and refectory, a rooftop cloister and church. Many of Le C's long-established practices are here: the pilotis (load-bearing columns) inside the walls freeing the facade for long strip windows, the grassed rooftops and the carefully planned architectural promenade with ramp; but the austerity and spirituality of the monks' life gives a very different outcome. “Trying to give the monks what men today need most: silence and peace...this monastery does not show off; it is on the inside that it lives." Despite many practical reservations (soundproofing, acoustics and many maintenance issues that are very visible today) one student monk compared his entry into the building to a second entry into religion.