Chandigarh, India

In 1947 Punjab Province was divided into East & West Punjab in the partitioning of the area between India and Pakistan. During this time Albert Meyer and Matthew Nowicki were working together to plan the new capital of Punjab. It was important that the city be placed in a new location to start fresh, not just removed from their post-colonial ties, but also divorced from past Indian ways in order to focus solely on the future. In 1948 the government of Pubjab in consultation with the Government of India approved the site at the foothills of the Shivaliks. Two years later Le Corbusier landed in India to plan the new city.

By 1952 the foundation of the dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Sh. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Chandigarh had been laid, the following year marking the formal opening of the city. Le Corbusier’s master plan of Chandigarh was created to correspond to the human body, with the Capitol Complex located at the head, the City Center at the heart, the leisure space being the lungs, the cultural and educational institutions representing the intellect, the road system being the circulatory system, and industry the viscera. While Le Corbusier was convinced that people wouldn’t drive as they would be able to walk everywhere, the plan failed because the concrete was far too hot. The government sector, made up mainly of concrete, lacks pedestrian traffic for this reason.

By 2001 the city’s population reached 900,635. During the reorganization of the state, Chandigarh assumed the role of capital city of both Punjab and Haryana. One highlight in the contemporary city is the unplanned sculpture garden, a 25-acre sculptural maze made of recycled materials. In 2008 the Le Corbusier Center was opened, a space to cultivate an appreciation of Chandigarh’s Modern heritage located in the Old Architects’ Office. Finally, Chandigarh now promotes itself as an ideal site for Bollywood filming with its beautiful locations, clean environment, and accessible transport to Mumbai.