10 facts on Le Corbusier and Chandigarh, India

Chandigarh

Chandigarh, one of the early planned city, and union territory in the post-independence of India, completed in 1951. It serves two states Punjab and Haryana, as a common capital. The city carries a great history with the famous architect Le Corbusier. Let discuss these facts in detail.

 


 

Le Corbusier

 

Le_Corbusier master plan

 


 

 

1. LE CORBUSIER: DESIGNING OF CHANDIGARH 

The city was a dream project and gave a roof to the refugees after the partition of Pakistan and India. Lahore (earlier the capital of Punjab), became the part of Pakistan. So, it became a need to provide capital to the state. Hence, late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru came up with the project of Chandigarh, designed by the famous architect Le Corbusier.

Le_Corbusier and Jawaharlal Nehru

 

 


 

2. HISTORY OF PROJECT: BEFORE LE CORBUSIER 

Earlier the responsibility for designing Chandigarh was under Polish architect Matthew Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. But, during a plane crash, Macieij Nowicki died. Soon, after his death, Albert Mayer left the project. Later, Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned Le Corbusier for the project.

 

Matthew Nowicki Albert Mayer

 


 

3. EARLIER PLANNING: LEAF SHAPED PLAN

Matthew Nowicki and Albert Mayer first designed the plan of the city in a leaf shape. The concept based on the superblocks. thread with green spaces which emphasized the cellular neighborhood and traffic segregation. Later Le Corbusier improvised the design into a complete gridiron pattern. Chandigarh became one of the famous examples of neighborhood and garden city concept.

 

Chandigarh Matthew Nowicki Albert Mayer

 


4. LE CORBUSIER: ON THE VISIT OF CHANDIGARH

While surveying the site of Chandigarh, Le Corbusier got astonished by the natural edges surrounding it. He loved the site, as in the North of the city, are the Shivalik Hills and on either side are the two water bodies, chow, Sukhna Chow, and Patiale ki Rao. These three landmarks became the natural edges of the city later on.

Aerial view Chandigarh

 

 


5. LE CORBUSIER’S  HUMAN BODY CONCEPT 

Chandigarh’s plan is based on the concept of the human body. The designing of the city and its buildings are proportional to the human scale for the people to live there comfortably. Further, human body parts are zoned as :

HEAD: The administrative Zone

HEART: Sector 17, cultural space

HANDS: The industrial zone

LUNGS: The green spaces which are running throughout the city, and are in every sector

ARTERIES: Roadways and pathways

LEGS: The residential zone

Le Corbusier Master Plan

 

 


6. SIX MONTHS OF RESEARCH 

Le Corbusier before the planning did the research for six months in learning about the sun path and wind directions of the city. After his research, he also designed a Tower of Shadows within the campus of Capitol Complex, Chandigarh, for other people to understand the play of light and shadow which he incorporated in his designs.

 


7. ALREADY KNEW HE’LL BECOME FAMOUS 

Le Corbusier during the time of this project, already knew he’ll become famous one day, and therefore wrote many books on Chandigarh and on the research study he did for the project.

 


8. PLANTED FOREIGN TREES 

Le Corbusier called up for various foreign trees from Europe to provide the best landscape features to the city. The shadow of these trees on the roads of Chandigarh, add more beauty to the view. Moreover, it gives shade for travelers on the road.


9. COUSIN PIERRE JEANNERET 

Where Le Corbusier is the creator of the Chandigarh, the major technical work was done by his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, who designed various residences in different sectors of Chandigarh. Pierre Jeanneret’s last wish was to get his asthiyan (burnt bones) to be flowed in Sukhna Lake, in full Hindu ritual. 

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret

 

 


10. LE CORBUSIER: DESIGNING OF ROADS FACED CRITICISM 

While planning the entire city, the main sector dividing roads (V1) was criticized by the people living there, as they found the road width more than required. But now with the increase in the population of India, these roads are serving with good circulation throughout the city.

Chandigarh Le Corbusier Roads

 

 

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