This presentation booklet, dated 20th October 1952, documents the development of Le Corbusier’s mid-century plan for the Capitol Complex at Chandigarh, the capital of the new Indian state of Punjab, located about 150 miles northwest of New Delhi, in the Himalayan foothills. The first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, commissioned Le Corbusier to conceive a city that would replace Lahore, the capital of Punjab, which was lost to the newly created Pakistan after partition in 1947. Corbusier’s commission came in 1950, after an initial 1947 commission by Albert Mayer and Matthew Nowicki failed to go forward. Nehru envisioned a design that was to be ‘unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future’.
Corbusier devised a geometric framework composed of the golden section and two mirrored squares to generate the masterplan. Working from the scale of the urban to that of the detail, Corbusier’s vast design comprised many administration buildings, including the Governor’s Palace, Palace of the Assembly, High Court and the Secretariat. His designs for the Capitol Complex, meant to serve the Punjab and to crown a new city of half a million residents, also included the Open Hand Monument. Standing at 26 metres high, it was a sign of peace and reconciliation. Shown here are 46 pages of informal sketches, elevations, sections and plans relating to the first stage of the urban project, the Governor’s Palace, Palace of the Assembly, High Court, Secretariat and the Open Hand Monument.
Tina di Carlo
Published on the occasion of Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects at the Tchoban Foundation, Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin, 30 June–7 October 2018. We suggest: on the Governor's Palace, Chandigarh, also included in the exhibition.
This publication is one of a series of facsimile drawing books by architects published by Drawing Matter. These are designed to make architectural drawings accessible for study, discussion and reference. We also suggest: on the sketchbooks of Peter Märkli, Tony Fretton, James Gowan and Álvaro Siza.
To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later.
Published by Drawing Matter, Somerset, 2018
Photo: Pierre Jeanneret © FLC/ADAGP