Le Corbusier
Sketch (from twelve) for the Governor's Palace, Chandigarh, India

le_corbusier_1433_1424.8_cs_dmw-IN SET.jpg – Drawing Matter

Le Corbusier (1887–1965), Sketch (numbered '4') for the Governor’s Palace, Chandigarh, India, Amis (Friends),, 27 May 1953. Pen, pencil and coloured pencil on paper, torn from a sketchbook in the late 1950s, 330 × 203 mm. Scale: 1:1000.

Niall Hobhouse remembers that Jullian de la Fuente, the Chilean architect who worked with Le Corbusier, told him the story of how he came to own the twelve pages (of which one is shown) extracted from Le Corbusier’s sketchbook:

In the late 1950s the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, made a speech declaring that the governors of the new, independent country would not live in palaces. The following morning Jullian was alone in the office when Le Corbusier entered, crossed the room to the cupboard where his sketchbooks were stored, and removed the volume that covered his trip to India in the spring of 1953. He tore out the twelve pages on which he had developed detailed designs for the Governor’s Palace in Chandigarh. Knowing that Nehru’s pronouncement meant the building would never be realised, he presented them to Jullian with the words, ‘My boy, if you understand these drawings, you will understand how a building is made.’

WE SUGGEST

For the iBook of Le Corbusier's presentation booklet for Chandigarh Punjab Grille Capitol; on other works of Le Corbusier, including the Open Hand Monument in an unrealised project, which was adopted as Chandigarh's official emblem; on the plan, Stan Allen, Niall Hobhouse and Helen Mallinson's article for arqand on Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects, in which this series of sketches was included.