Le Corbusier and Chandigarh
Wednesday, 30 December
Shortly after Indian independence Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru persuaded the maverick Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, to help reinvent a newly independent India by building a new capital city for the province of Punjab.
Le Corbusier had revolutionised architecture and urban planning in the first half of the twentieth century. He was loved and hated in equal measure for his modernist approach, favouring flat roofs, glass walls and concrete.
Nehru said this new city would be "symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past".
Starting in 1950 the city of Chandigarh was built from scratch on farmland and is unlike any other city in India. The broad boulevards, pedestrianised plazas and green spaces were designed to encourage a feeling of order and of being close to nature.
Claire Bowes spoke to Sumit Kaur, former Chief Architect and lifelong resident of Chandigarh, about the legacy left by Le Corbusier.
Photo:The Chandigarh Legislative Assembly building. 1999 (AFP PHOTO / John Macdougall)