The Influence Of Corbusier And India On Corbusier

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CORBUSIER AND MODERNISM IN INDIA Exploring the Influence of Corbusier in India and India on Corbusier Post World War II, Indian architecture was already on its way towards modernism and was being shaped by western ideologies. After independence in 1947, the Indian government voted on the reconstruction of Chandigarh which was to be designed as a new idyllic city. Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki were first commissioned to design the city but after Nowicki suddenly died, in 1951 Le Corbusier (on the right) was invited by Jawaharlal Nehru (on the left) to plan the city as “a new town, symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past”. This paved the way for Corbusier’s architecture in India. Although Corbusier was not the first choice to design Chandigarh, his modernist ideologies appealed to Nehru. Nehru wanted Chandigarh to be a clean slate severing economic backwardness and colonial suppression. Corbusier had proposed ideas for many cities, like Paris, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero, and Algiers. However, except for Chandigarh none had been realized. “The city of today is a dying thing because it is not geometrical. To build in the open would be to replace our present haphazard arrangements,” Corbusier wrote in his book The City of To-morrow and Its Planning. The idea of actually planning a city is unique for India. The picture above is a sketch by Corbusier showing the plan for Chandigarh on the left against the one of Delhi on the right.
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