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Shocked response to Renzo at Ronchamp

Russell Walden backs up William JR Curtis’ disapproval of Renzo Piano’s work at Ronchamp

William JR Curtis is to be congratulated for his sensitive slamming of the visitor centre and convent that now embrace the entrance to the chapel of Ronchamp (AR August 2012). What began as a delicate insertion in section (although too close to the chapel) can now be seen in all its blatant vulgarity. As Curtis rightly points out, the rigidity of the gate-house and over-scaled retaining walls destroy the sacred pathway to the jewel of Le Corbusier’s career. How could such crudity and offensiveness be allowed to pollute a major masterpiece?

Alas, such rudeness and bad manners also inhabits the piece on Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, (August 2012). No mention of the ground-breaking computer work of Mark Burry, or his timely book on Scripting Cultures (Wiley, 2011). For this defines the secrets that now identify the completion of Gaudí’s masterpiece.

Russell Walden, Wellington, New Zealand

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