Segments in this Video

Church of Notre Dame du Raincy (01:25)


The Church faced bankruptcy after World War I. In 1918, a new parish wanted to build a monument to the Battle of the Marne at Le Raincy.

Kings of Concrete (01:26)

Auguste Perret agreed to build the Le Raincy church, with his brothers Gustave and Claude. View Perret's other reinforced concrete buildings and learn about the material's properties.

Le Raincy Location (01:54)

The first church made of reinforced concrete is in the town's center, surrounded by residences. The plot is sloping and too narrow for a transept, so it is shaped like a warehouse.

Le Raincy Aesthetics (01:51)

The church facade leads to a rectangular nave. Pillars support the ceiling, creating an open space resembling a warehouse.

Le Raincy Sanctuary (01:22)

Three rows of pillars divide the church. Perret combined basilica and hall church principles.

Le Raincy Construction (02:29)

The 11 meter support pillars are 43 cm in diameter. The vaulted ceiling is relatively light; view a demonstration of the concrete molding process. Standardized molds lowered costs.

Concrete Architect (00:37)

Perret was the first to use the material's aesthetic purity. Hear his reflections on its artistic value.

Vault Engineering (01:29)

Perret covered the side aisles with the main nave's mold, saving costs and creating a dynamic ceiling. He used an innovative bracing system on the roof.

Gothic Influence (01:09)

With walls free of load bearing function, Perret used glass screens to light the space—realizing a church builders' ambition and saving electricity.

Screen Walls (01:47)

Le Raincy's concrete and glass envelope may have been inspired by North African architecture. Perret used five prefabricated molds in patterns outlining a cross.

Stained Glass Art (01:27)

View details of the Le Raincy Church windows. Marguerite Huré introduced abstraction to the traditional religious medium, achieving harmony in the screen walls.

Religious Scenes (01:37)

At Le Raincy, ten stained glass pictures illustrate the Virgin Mary's life.

Le Raincy Belfry (02:18)

Perret's 43 meter tower features 20 columns, only eight load bearing. His innovative ornamentation cost a minimal amount.

Le Raincy Facade (01:59)

The facade allowed Perret to conceal joining the box and tower. It opens to the nave and houses an organ, baptismal font, and monument to fallen soldiers.

Le Raincy Administrative Space (00:55)

Perret placed church offices beneath the chancel, on the garden level—occupying the slope instead of leveling it.

Architectural Philosophy (00:43)

Perret used a masonry wall on the church split level. Hear his criticism of plastering concrete.

Le Raincy Church Legacy (00:57)

The screen wall has been replaced, but Perret's structure remains strong. It is an example of concrete construction predating Le Corbusier.

Credits: The Parish Priest at Le Raincy: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:30)

Credits: The Parish Priest at Le Raincy: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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The Parish Priest at Le Raincy: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
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After the First World War ended, the parish priest at Le Raincy decided to build a new church to honor fallen soldiers. But the country was ruined and the clergy's coffers were empty. Architect Auguste Perret took up the double challenge of urgency and budget. Building quickly and cheaply at that period meant building with reinforced concrete—a material considered shameful and only fit for industrial use. Thirteen months of work on site was enough to build this, "Concrete Holy Chapel", a magnificent demonstration of the plastic and constructive qualities of this material and a splendid lesson from an architect, for a time forgotten, who revolutionized the language of architecture.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65345

ISBN: 978-1-60057-656-0

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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