If you’re an architecture aficionado, you derive great pleasure from seeing how two different buildings – seemingly unrelated – can have so many similarities in their design, form and feel. Such was the case for us when we first saw WXY’s Beach Pavilion, built as part of Quennell Rothschild’s master plan. The pure, white aesthetic, gentle curves and skylights remind us of the stunning Notre Dame du Ronchamp, located more than 3,600 miles and a continent away.

WXY's Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp are two unique buildings that boast beautiful designs and that do share several similarities.  Source: blog.archpaper.com

WXY’s Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp are two unique buildings that boast beautiful designs and that do share several similarities. Source: blog.archpaper.com

Comparisons in Architectural Design: WXY Beach Pavilion and Ronchamp

If you’ve ever been to Paris, you may have taken a day trip to the southeast to visit Le Corbusier’s famous – and uncategorizable – Notre Dame du Ronchamp. This famous Catholic chapel was commissioned in the the early 1950’s to replace the former church, which had been destroyed during WWII. It was important to churchgoers that the new chapel be more pure – devoid of the ostentatious architecture and ornate embellishments of the past.

Both WXY's Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp emphasize a "purity of space" that make use of sacred geometry and proportions.  Source: Archdaily.com

Both WXY’s Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp emphasize a “purity of space” that make use of sacred geometry and proportions. Source: Archdaily.com

Thus, Corbusier designed a one-of-a-kind building, unlike anything else in his repertoire or other contemporary international/religious architecture at the time. Notre Dame du Ronchamp was built in much the same way Greek and Roman temples were, emphasizing purity of space – using sacred geometry and proportions – yielding an interior that facilitates meditation, contemplation and prayer. It is located on a hilltop, separate from the rest of the religious community, surrounded by an awe-inspiring natural setting.

Similarly, the WXY Beach Pavilion sits in an inspiring seascape, ensconced by blue sky, sunlight and beautiful landscaping.

Furtherm, both WXY's Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp are designed in such a way as to encourage contemplation.  Source: blog.archpaper.com

Furtherm, both WXY’s Beach Pavilion and Notre Dame du Ronchamp are designed in such a way as to encourage contemplation. Source: blog.archpaper.com

It was designed with a white, curvaceous, waving canopy, and only subtle hues were used for the pavilion so that nothing about the structure competes with its environment. The large boardwalk was made of recycled plastics and rock-like seats that are scattered randomly give visitors a place to sit down and contemplate the peaceful surroundings.

There are an infinite number of ways to connect with the sacred; WXY’s Beach Pavilion and The Corbusier Chapel are two examples of architectural design intentionally executed to facilitate that connection.

Would you like to design a sacred space for your home or religious community? Contact Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors to begin the process.