Monday, December 30, 2013

Chandigarh - The Influence of Le Corbusier & His Team

'Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.'
'Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.'

After the tragic death of Nowicki, Mayer gave up the work and new face in Le Corbusier was given the opportunity to build his 'dream city'. Le Corbusier duly considered the Mayer –Nowicki plan, but introduced several major changes. The socio-economic conditions and the living habits of the people ruled out the idea of vertical and horizontal planning. The planning team included Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Corbusier’s cousin and practice partner; Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, a British husband and wife team who had experience designing for a tropical climate from working in West Africa with a large team of Indian architects, both new and experienced.

Le Corbusier conceived the master plan of Chandigarh as analogous to human body, with a clearly defined head (the Capital Complex, Sector 1), the heart (the City Centre, Sector 17), lungs (the leisure valley, innumerable open space, green spaces and their linkages), the circulatory system(the network of roads, the 7Vs’) and the viscera (the Industrial Area).

The concept of the city is based on four major functions : Living, Working, Care of body and Spirit and Circulation. Residential sector constitute the living part whereas the Capitol Complex, city centre, Educational Zone (Post Graduate Institute, Punjab Engineering College, Punjab University) and the Industrial Area constitute the working part. The Leisure Valley, Gardens, Sector Greens and Open Courtyards etc. are for the care of body and spirit. The circulation system comprises of 7 different types of roads known as 7 Vs Later on a pathways for cyclists called V8 were added to this circulation system. As per records, the phase-I of the master plan was up to Sector 25. Later the city was extended in the space available east of Sector 7,19 and 20 and numbered 26,27,28,29 and 30 and further towards phase II.

Concept Plan - The Grid Pattern, Factors relating the Human-Nature Relationship, the Hierarchy of Roads and the placement of things in relation with  the body of a human being

PLAN (PHASE I) with its green lungs, linking them in order to function the urban ecosystem efficiently and providing the inhabitants the principle of care of body and spirit.

Le Corbusier Vision for the City formation; Biological phenomena – cities also have brain,  heart, lungs, limbs and arteries like human being.

Comparison between Corbusian Principles and Ekistics Principles

“We are fond of the crowd and the crush because we are human beings and like to live in groups. In such a town as I have outlined, with a denser population than that of any existing cities, there would be ample provision and opportunity for close human contact; there would be trees, flowers and spreading lawns.” - LC

'Le Corbusier was the clearest example [of planners designing optimal cities according to so-called scientific principles]. He and other planners had a minimalist conception of human nature. A human being needs so many cubic feet of air per day, a temperature within a certain range, so many gallons of water, and so many square feet in which to sleep and work.' The era which followed the Corbusian era saw many developments and changes in the policy and principles outlined by Le Corbusier for the city's development in accordance with the human values and human-nature relationship majorly. 

 The Bigger Picture of Chandigarh

The first part of this story can be reached at Pre Corbusian Era of Chandigarh.


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