Project Title

[Re]Defining Chandigarh

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CACM - Architecture

Faculty Sponsor Name

Professor Ameen Farooq, Professor Peter Pittman

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Chandigarh is the first planned modern city in India as a symbol of nation’s faith in the future designed by Le Corbusier in 1951 in the East Punjab. Through investigation it became apparent that Le Corbusier proposed design principles for Chandigarh that were already theorized for Bogota in Colombia and Marseille in France following his concept of Radiant village that was never built.

His design for Chandigarh was more of a prototype model, which failed to capture the spirit of Indian culture and community, making it harder to navigate and familiarize with the city. If architecture is a reflection of society and culture then, is Chandigarh a successful project or a failed experiment?

Evidences can be seen in Sector 1, the head of the city with administrative buildings stretched out on a vast barren plain following the Modular system. It is more like a play of massive sculptural buildings with open isolated voids in the front designed in harmony with human proportional system yet hard for a human to connect to.

Hence, the aim of the project is to propose a new plan for Sector 1 as the head of the city, which is connected to its body facing the city in opposition to what Le Corbusier proposed in the administrative area that turns its back towards people in this city. This study is more about revisiting and redefining the administrative area of Chandigarh that is more responsive to people.

This study is an attempt to show how to actually translate the term “Modernism” in Indian context instead of blindly transferring it and imposing Western principles in India.

Project Type

Poster

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[Re]Defining Chandigarh

Chandigarh is the first planned modern city in India as a symbol of nation’s faith in the future designed by Le Corbusier in 1951 in the East Punjab. Through investigation it became apparent that Le Corbusier proposed design principles for Chandigarh that were already theorized for Bogota in Colombia and Marseille in France following his concept of Radiant village that was never built.

His design for Chandigarh was more of a prototype model, which failed to capture the spirit of Indian culture and community, making it harder to navigate and familiarize with the city. If architecture is a reflection of society and culture then, is Chandigarh a successful project or a failed experiment?

Evidences can be seen in Sector 1, the head of the city with administrative buildings stretched out on a vast barren plain following the Modular system. It is more like a play of massive sculptural buildings with open isolated voids in the front designed in harmony with human proportional system yet hard for a human to connect to.

Hence, the aim of the project is to propose a new plan for Sector 1 as the head of the city, which is connected to its body facing the city in opposition to what Le Corbusier proposed in the administrative area that turns its back towards people in this city. This study is more about revisiting and redefining the administrative area of Chandigarh that is more responsive to people.

This study is an attempt to show how to actually translate the term “Modernism” in Indian context instead of blindly transferring it and imposing Western principles in India.