Le Corbusier Centre gets richer by 14 rare photographs

Jawaharlal Nehru inspecting the design of the Panjab University and the then Punjab chief minister Pratap Singh Kairon walking with Nehru and a team of architects led by Le Corbusier — these are among the rare pictures added to the collection of Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19.

The pictures, taken between 1952 and 1966, give rare glimpses into the various stages of Chandigarh's construction.

The 14 photographs have been given to the LeCorbusier Centre by the Foundation of Le Corbusier, Paris; Heidi Weber Museum, Zurich, Switzerland; and the Saakaar Foundation, Chandigarh.

The pictures are a fascinating testimony of the period when architects and planners were working tirelessly to ensure that the unique experiment of modern India — Chandigarh — emerged as envisioned.

The pictures reveal that the first Prime Minister of India was closely associated with every development during Chandigarh's construction. In one such picture, he is seen inspecting a model of the Governor's Palace. The model is on display at the Le Corbusier Centre.

One picture shows Pierre Jeanneret, the Swiss architect who worked with his cousin Le Corbusier on Chandigarh's plan, sitting on the furniture that he had designed in the city. Samples of the furniture are on display at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10.

V N Singh, Nodal Officer of the Le Corbusier Centre, said the pictures would be exhibited in the coming days.

"We already have some pictures, starting from the period when Le Corbusier came to the city, on display. The new photographs will give visitors glimpses into the period when the city was being built," he said. "Also, visitors will be able to relate to the pictures when they see the objects in the pictures on display."

Singh said the process of collecting documents, designs and works of Le Corbusier's team would start soon and another wing would be added to the Centre.

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