The church was designed from the beginning of the 1960s by Le Corbusier and his assistant José Oubrerie. Despite the fact that the design scheme was completed, construction had still not started in 1965, the year of Le Corbusier’s death.
A first phase of construction of the church took place from 1973 to 1978.
After a 25-year interruption, the church was finally completed between 2004 and 2006 with the help of funding from Saint-Etienne Métropole, the building’s present owner, and under the supervision of José Oubrerie. In this building, Le Corbusier mixes age-old symbols (the square, the circle, and the spiral) with streamlined and modern forms inspired by industrial architecture. Its overall form alludes to a steamship’s funnel.
In the nave, constructed as closely as possible to the architect’s original design scheme, there are plays of light according to the course of the sun. The lower part, largely open onto the outside, contains the Site’s exhibition centre devoted to Le Corbusier, architecture, design and contemporary art.
The church of Saint-Pierre de Firminy-Vert is the third and last religious monument created by Le Corbusier. It is the most recent building on this site. It was finally completed in 2006!