The Cultural Centre is the only building of Firminy which was entirely constructed during Le Corbusier’s lifetime. It was indeed built between 1961 and 1965. Its construction was ordered by the mayor of Firminy who wanted to give the inhabitants the opportunity to access culture through artistic performances, a library, but also theatre, dance or music courses…
Its form is pretty spectacular! A curved roof soars up to the sky and the tilted facades on both side give the monument a unique profile. Glazed panes of various heights and widths and colourful wooden shutters give the facade a rhythm resembling a musical composition. They are indeed the result of the collaboration between Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis, an architect, mathematician and composer.
Indoors, the furniture created by Pierre Guariche in 1966 is still in use: the spectators take place on the theatre seats and the 1960s office furniture is utilized by the personnel.
The Cultural Centre is a living heritage which still hosts performances and artistic residencies. Its exhibition and screening rooms are the starting point of the visit of the Site Le Corbusier.
The monument was restored between 2009 and 2013. Since 2016 it has been part of the 17 Le Corbusier buildings inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.