The brain behind the famed building was no less fascinating and influential than the building itself. His name was Marie-Alain Couturier (1897-1954), a Dominican priest who was one of the editors of the highly influential journal L'Art sacre. He had a great interest in avant-garde art and in its potential to complement the modern church. Couturier was responsible for the first abstract stained glass windows in churches, and patronized work by Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, and Jacques Lipchitz. In 1950 Father Couturier approached Le Corbusier, but he did not live to see Chapel's inauguration, five years later.
This building came to express the way in which abstract art and minimal modernist architecture have the power to stimulate religious feelings, peace, and joy. Le Corbusier designed it as a 'total work of art,' creating the building, its interiors, stained glass windows, mural on the entrance door, and a candelabra that was meant to evoke the Biblical blazed bush. When completed in 1955 it looked like an enormous white sculpture, unlike any other building. And today, the perfect destination for an architecture pilgrimage.