To better and more escort the visitor on the site of the Hill Notre-Dame du Haut is the primary purpose of the Porterie (Gatehouse) built by Renzo Piano and inaugurated in September 2011.
In accordance with the architectural conception of the Monastery of St. Clare, the public spaces of the gatehouse are open to the landscape and a winter garden, while the remaining spaces are carved into the slopes of the hillside. The whole building has been designed as a shared circulation area between the reception area and the administrative offices of the gatehouse. The whole task force was consisted of the Renzo Piano Studio (Renzo Piano Building Workshop, RPBW) and the the Association Œuvre Notre-Dame du Haut (AONDH).
The visitor’s pavilion entrance brings visitors to the heart of the building, in the strict sense as well as figuratively, with a large open fireplace made of concrete. With Le Corbusier’s sentence: “I wanted to create a place of prayer, silence, peace and inner joy”, Coloured red which warms up the visitor’s eye as much as it invites him/her to take time and relax on one of the concrete benches adjacent to the fireplace.
The furniture has been designed based on that of the Monastery: the tables and chairs are from the Belgian designer Maarten Van Severen (1956 - 2005), reproduced by Vitra and custom-built wooden furniture by the Italian company, Riva. The red and grey colours enhance the main colour of the place while the wooden furniture and the winter garden warm the atmosphere of the space.
As a point of reference, the fireplace separates two parts of the Renzo Piano building. On the one side, a meeting room and an area for relaxation where Le Corbusier’s model of the chapel (made in 1954) and Renzo Piano’s models are on show. On the other side there is the reception office and a gift shop, which offers a broad range of books on art and architecture as well as souvenirs and exclusive products reflecting the main themes of the Hill Notre-Dame du Haut.
The Gatehouse welcomes you and supervise your visit on the Hill Notre-Dame du Haut.