Los Angeles architect Linda Taalman made a rare visit to Le Corbusier’s fraught masterpiece, the capitol complex of the city of Chandigarh. Here she offers her take on Corbu’s vision for a modern India. Read Full Article
Over 60 years ago, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tapped the Swiss architect Le Corbusier to design the Indian city of Chandigarh, a new modern capital for the state of Punjab. The resulting Palace of Assembly is one of the architect’s great brutalist buildings.
Le Corbusier designed the immense Secrétariat building’s facade (138 feet tall and 833 feet long) to be cooled by a system of brise-soleils.
A 1951 drawing by Le Corbusier shows the Palace of Assembly and the High Court with the Himalayas in the distance.
The architect designed the now-iconic Open Hand monument, as a symbol of India’s non-alignment during the Cold War. Due to limited funds, the structure wasn’t put in place until 1985, and today it’s a far stronger symbol of Chandigarh itself than of Nehru’s foreign policy.