Feeling Blue!

Bonjour mes amis,

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So, as you have probably gathered….today’s post has an authentic French flavour.

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It has come about because I was thinking recently about how many of the shades of blue and brown, used enthusiastically in house decoration and furnishing, are colours that I find to be personally depressing, and would therefore avoid living with.

In other words, the way our surroundings can affect our moods, good or bad!

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And then I happened to be reading comments about the work of the acclaimed architect, Le Corbusier.

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He being the designer of the iconic pilgrimage church, Notre Dame de Haute, at Ronchamp in France

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It is a beautiful design which looks like a nun’s wimple, with wonderful light entering the space from a long parallel slit just under the roof and from jewel like coloured glass panels set through walls which differ in thickness, from about 4′ to 10′.

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Stunning!

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He also designed the monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette in the central part of France, in Eveux-sur Arbresle, near Lyons.

A Dominican order priory.

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Le Coubusier designed this unusual building in a very monolithic style and it was built in the 1950’s, much to the pleasure of the brothers who were to dwell there.

It is said that his design brief from Father Marie-Alain Couturier was...Create a dwelling for one hundred bodies and one hundred hearts.
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What I found so interesting was that I have just read what are purported to be true details about the building, which, if correct, would reflect upon how important our surroundings can be to our continuing good health, both physically and mentally.

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I read that within a few years years of it’s completion, there was serious talk about Sainte Marie de La Tourette being closed down and the brothers being moved from their new home.

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It was reported to be because so many of the monks were now suffering with mental problems, thought to be created by the unwanted effects caused by La Tourette’s design.

It is to some eyes a brooding place, made of concrete, and it apparently has strange acoustics that can amplify sound amazingly.

For certain people the whole effect being so oppressive that they eventually suffered from nervous breakdowns.

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La Tourette.

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It is however worth noting that others have said that problems which occurred afterwards were simply created because of changes in the church itself, which came about because of the changing times in the seventies.

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I don’t know, but I found the idea interesting anyway.

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The monastery is still being used by a reduced number of monks, although they are now facing other worrying problems with the building.

The electrics need attention, the integrity of the concrete is in question and the insulation is problematic.

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It is however, considered to be beautiful by many who are now trying to save it from degeneration, so that others can continue to enjoy it in the future.

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So hey, have a well-designed day yourself!

J,x.

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