Capitol Complex, as Le Corbusier wanted it, remains incomplete

It's been more than 50 years since Chandigarh was created, but the Capitol Complex remains incomplete.

The Complex, one of the most renowned creations of Le Corbusier, comprises three buildings — the High Court, the Assembly and the Secretariat.

Besides these, six monuments were to be part of the complex. Of these monuments two — Geometric Hill and Martyrs Memorial — are incomplete. The drawings of these monuments were made by Corbusier.

The Martyrs Memorial was planned for martyrs of the freedom struggle.

At present, the memorial has a square enclosure with one elongated side. According to Corbusier's drawings, it was supposed to have sculptures and a 'debris section'.

"More than two decades ago, I was assigned the task of making sculptures for the memorial as shown in the drawings of Corbusier. I made a lion, a snake and a man," B M Chugh, a sculptor and former faculty member of the Government College of Art, Sector 10, said. "But the Administration has dumped these in a storeroom."

"The Administration was unable to complete the third section of the memorial. While a building stands in the Capitol Complex, the thought with which the monument was conceptualised has not been fulfilled," he added.

City-based artist Balvinder Singh said the incomplete projects showed the "apathy of the Administration towards the vision of its creator".

"Le Corbusier made a rough design for this memorial, which was to be constructed between the Assembly Hall and the High Court building in 1956," he said. "The half-hearted attempts of the Administration failed to yield results and the monument was never completed."

A little distance from the Martyrs Memorial is the Geometric Hill.

"The Geometric Hill was to have a mural on the incline that would have shown the 24-hour cycle of the sun. While the hill was made, the other part of the drawing was never completed." Prof Kiran Joshi, former faculty member of the Chandigarh College of Architecture and Dean Chitkara University School of Planning and Architecture, said.

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