Following in the footsteps of great masters such as Le Corbusier, OOIIO visits India, a country that does not leave you indifferent.
Visiting Chandigarh, the only urban project executed by Le Corbusier, we could appreciate the traces of a city that, in contrast to the traditional labyrinthine framework of the rest of Indian cities, responds to the search for an identity that represents modern India born after independence of the British.
“An Indian city does not need to be chaos, noise and anarchy, it can be order,” Ghandi said.
Thus we find a city with wide roads, generous sidewalks and large green spaces. All these characteristics make the city a pleasant space that invites to walk and strengthen the collective spirit, leaving aside the isolated individualism that was so much handled with the garden city at that time. The result was an efficient and organized city that improved the quality of life of its inhabitants.
This is clearly seen when walking through its large avenues, which shocked us in relation to the neighboring cities where chaos and romantic anarchy are rampant through its streets.
The urban legacy in Chandigarh is also in landscape, architecture and sculpture. An example of this is the “Open Hand”: an imposing monument with 28 meters high that is presented from the Trench of Consideration as a call for dialogue and tolerance in the world. Le Corbusier forces his design (as shown by the placement of the fingers) so that an interpretation arises not only as an open hand but also as a dove in full flight that moves, that rotates, that brings peace and harmony.
Among other buildings we highlight those of the Capitol since they constitute the most important monumental complex in the country and one of the most outstanding in the work of Le Corbusier. Arranged asymmetrically in a huge esplanade, the buildings of the Capitoline complex represent the powers of the democratic state and are made up of: the Assembly (legislative power), the Courts (judicial power), the Secretariat (executive power) and are accompanied by monuments such as the Open Hand and the Tower of Shadows. In them Le Corbusier demonstrates his mastery of exposed concrete, while reaffirming his conception of architecture as an element imposed on nature, and with which he harmonizes by contrast.
Chandigarh is a city of exposed concrete and cows and turbans. A powerful and very rich image, full of contrasts and contradictions.