What is not so well known
is the fact that the 20th century's greatest architect also succeeded in
getting Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) established as an integral
part of the great Chandigarh Experiment. His conviction was that the creation
of built environment, however brilliant and consequential, cannot be fully
grasped- much less perpetuated if the principles regulating its concept are not
properly understood through study of various components of the city in use.
CCA aims at developing its
unique inherent potential and location and to inspire, support, sustain and
continue academic programs whereby professionals trained in the tradition of
modern urbanism ushered in by the incomparable master- could extend the
frontiers of Creativity in the pursuit of serving the Family of Man --
efficiently, comprehensively, beautifully. The Chandigarh College of
Architecture (CCA) was established on
Conceptualized as a symbol of
It is also the site of some of his
greatest architectural creations. The city has had far-reaching impact,
ushering in a modem idiom of architecture and city planning all over
Le Corbusier summed up his work on the city in an "edict", reproduced here in full:
The object of this edict is to
enlighten the present and future citizens of
The city of
This city is composed of sectors. Each sector is 800 meters by 1,200 meters, enclosed by roads allocated to fast mechanized transport and sealed to direct access from the houses.
Each sector caters to the daily needs of its inhabitants, which vary from 5,000 to 25,000 and has a green strip oriented longitudinally stretching centrally along the sector in the direction of the mountains. The green strip should stay uninterrupted and accommodate schools, sports fields, walks and recreational facilities for the sector.
Vehicular traffic is completely forbidden in the green strips, where tranquility shall reign and the curse of noise shall not penetrate.
The roads of the city are classified into seven categories, Known as the system of 7 V s, as below:
V -1 - Fast roads connecting
V-2 -arterial roads.
V-3 --Fast vehicular roads;
V -4 -Meandering shopping streets;
V -5 -Sector circulation roads;
V -6 -Access roads to houses;
V -7 -footpaths and cycle tracks
Buses will ply only on V-I, V-2, V-3 and V-4 roads. A wall shall seal the V-3 roads from the sectors.
AREAS OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTRUAL INTEREST:
Certain areas of
Along V -2 central, dual carriageways Madhya Marg and Uttar Marg, where skyline, heights, character and architecture of buildings as planned shall not be altered.
No building shall be constructed north of the Capitol Complex. Along V -2 beyond dual carriageway areas are reserved for cultural institutions only and shall never have any residential buildings.
The centraI plaza in Sector 17 was
designed by Le Corbusier as "Pedestrian's
Only such industry as is powered by electricity would be permitted in the Industrial Area, so that atmosphere is saved from pollution.
The landscaping of this city is based
on careful observation of the vegetation of
The Leisure V alley, the
NO PERSONAL STATUES SHALL BE ERECTED:
The age of personal statues is gone.
No personal statues shall be erected in the city or parks of
TRUTHFULNESS OF BUILDING MATERIALS TO BE MAINTAINED:
The truthfulness of materials of
constructions, concrete, bricks and stone, shall be maintained in all buildings
constructed or to be constructed. The seed of
THE BIOLOGICAL ANALOGY
Le Corbusier liked to compare the
city he planned to a biological entity: the head was the Capitol, the
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE CITY
The functions of the city were broadly classified under the four head
Living:- the sector with its shops, schools, health centers, places for recreation and worship etc.
the Capitol, the
Care of body and spirit:- the lungs of the city, these comprise of the green spaces and parks of each sector, the leisure valley running right across the city, the Sukhna Lake, the Rajindra Park etc.
Circulation:- Les Sept Voies de Circulation, or Seven Vs. the very basis of the entire city plan; it consists of the 'seven Vs' as explained in the Edict above.
Besides the urban precepts and design ideologies of Corbusier there were many other constraints that guided the final shape and texture of tile city:
The Discipline of Money:(The
Corbusier once remarked, “
The Discipline of Technology (The
In Corbusier's words:
"For fifty years concrete has been treated as a poor material but here it is treated as noble. Here we leave it rough. It is like the stone of the mountains. It has its own harmony."
The Discipline of Climate:
The sun has partially governed the
orientation of the street pattern of
In the design of houses less attention was paid to the need of cross ventilation which in the critically hot periods is of no avail and more to the creation of cool interiors as amply protected from the south west sun as ingenuity and exiguous funds permitted.
Particularly noticeable through out the city is the use of the brise-soliel (sun breaker), a device introduced by Corbusier for controlling the admission of Sunlight.
The Capitol is Le Corbusier's tour
de force: he began to sketch the designs for the Capitol buildings during
his first visit itself in early 1951. The complex stands aloof and dominates
the city. Corbusier believed that "
Disciplined by a limited budget, a
primitive technology and a brutal climate, yet given a sympathy and freedom unusual
in his career, Corbusier has been able to create in
In contrast to the panoramic Shivalik hills that form the most picturesque backdrop for the Capitol - the small artificial hillocks planned by Le Corbusier play a delightful visual game of hiding and revealing the edifices from the rest of the city. In Le Corbusier’s original concept; the Capitol was to consist of the edifices consisting of
i) Secretariat ii)
Assembly iii) High Court and iv)
Governor's Palace. Besides these
main buildings there were also to be a number of monuments based on Corbusier’s
personal philosophy - to adorn the piazzas and the open spaces between the
edifices. However, the proposed Governor’s Palace was later changed to a more
democratic institution called the
In front of the Secretariat is located the most sculptural and eye-catching of all the geometrical forms of the Capitol -The Assembly. Characterizing the roofline of the Assembly is a great hyperbolic drum connected to a pyramidal by a small bridge, Inside, the legislative chambers are dramatically illumined with shafts of light, The building has two entrances: one at the basement level for everyday use an the other from the piazza level for ceremonial occasions through a massive entrance, 7.60 meters high and 7.60 meters broad, whose enameled door (a gift to Punjab from France) translates a cubist mural painted by Le Corbusier himself. The door and many other elements of the Capitol demonstrate Le Corbusier's predilection for melding an and architecture.
The external fašade of the cuboid base has a rhythmic pattern of the brise-soleil with its play of light and shadow on three sides, And on the fourth opening towards the large piazza facing the High Curt is a huge trough supported on massive pylons.
The symbolism of providing an “umbrella of shelter” of law to the ordinary citizen is most vividly manifested here. The continuity of the concrete piazza running into this space establishes a unique site and structural unity of the structure with the ground plane. The massive concrete pylons representing again the "Majesty' of Law" are painted in bright primary colors and visually punctuate the otherwise rhythmic facade of the High Court.
Colourful tapestries, one to each
courtroom, cover the entire rear wall in the main and smaller courtrooms. A
number of symbols that encapsulated Le Corbusier’s view of man, earth, nature,
the emblems of
Le Corbusier described the Modular as "a modest servant offered by mathematics to people desirous of harmony, a universal tool for all kinds of fabrications destined to be sent to all parts of the world. The Modular is based on human height... it places man at the center of the drama, its solar plexus being the key to the three measures, which express the occupation of space by its members," (cited by Prasad Sun and, 1987)
There are various monuments in the Capitol Complex symbolizing the basis of the philosophy by which Le Corbusier arrived at his understanding of the city design. These are placed on the great esplanade about 400 yards long which joins the Assembly building to the High Court. These monuments are the Open hand, Path of the sun (The Geometric hill), The tower of shadows and the Martyrs Memorial.
The Open Hand:
The most thoroughly developed of the
The surface of the hand was to be coated with baked enamel in orange, white and green the colors of the Indian flag.
Proceeding toward the assembly building one finds the martyrs' monument to the right. This is a memorial to the martyrs of Punjab partition and consists of a square enclosure with one side elongated into a ramp by which one mounts the enclosing wall, Within the enclosure are to be symbolic figures of a prone man, a snake, and a lion set amid ruins, The concrete ramp permits one to see, from above, the Capitol in its entirety and creates a promenade -rising and descending.
The Geometric hill:
Situated adjacent to the memorial, this was to be a huge earth tilled hill, which will have its lower half in concrete relief work, and the top covered with grass turf. The relief will be in the form of Corbusier’s diagram of daily balance of light and darkness, which in his words "rules man's activity",
The Tower of shadows:
Lower category residential building
are governed by a mechanism known as "frame control" to control their
facades. This fixes the building line and the use of building materials.
Certain standard Sizes of doors and windows are specified and all the gates and
boundary walls must conform to standard design. This particularly applies to
houses built on small plots of 250 square meters or less. While they are
allowed certain individuality, the idea is to ensure that the view from the
street, which belongs to the community, is one of order and discipline. All
buildings along the major axes of the city are brought under architectural
control. A person building a house in
All buildings located In the City Center and commercial or Institutional buildings to architectural controls. The systems of the City Center is based on a grid of columns, fixed 5.26 meters, shuttering pattern on concrete and a system of glazing or screen walls behind the line of column. The interior planning is left to the owners, and in the exterior, certain variations are permitted to give variety to the architectural composition. Along the V-2 roads, other types of treatments have been evolved for facades. All commercial buildings and all buildings constructed along the V-4 roads in other sectors are also under strict control. For shops, complete designs have been provided from the inception of the city.
We believe that architecture, the Great Mother Art, is an ambient social art and it seeks to render comprehensive service to mankind by meeting the complex challenges of contemporary life.
In the light of the profession's new role, we train our students by exposing them to live problems, situations and circumstances. Teaching, throughout the course of five years, is based on an inter-disciplinary approach which in addition to classroom learning through lectures, slide talks, discussions, assignments, comprehension tests, etc. entails numerous site visits and on-the-spot studies. Students are encouraged to make their own observations of facts, to analyze and to evaluate them so that they may learn to reckon the relevance and applicability of investigative studies to the program requirements of creative course work in architectural design.
The College has a well qualified and experienced faculty duly reinforced by visiting faculty of eminent professionals drawn from the field in the disciplines of architecture, planning, urban design, engineering, humanities etc.
Our main thrust is on the all encompassing nature and scope of Architectural Design. The concept and direction of architectural design, however takes shape gradually through the development of the 10-semester course. Beginning with an introduction to the theory and application of Basic Design, exercises in critical appreciation and creativity culminate in a research and/or design thesis in which a student gets an opportunity to handle all phases of architectural design. This attempt ranges from the choice of the subject of thesis, case/prototype/library studies, analysis, identification/statement of the problem and the objectives to the formulation of client’s, architect’s brief and hence to the planning and design solution.
The States We ServeThis college caters to the needs of architectural education largely of the north-western region, covering the States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. In addition to this there are 5 (five) seats which are reserved for nominees of states from the northeastern parts of the country which are deficient in architectural education. This lends a more heterogeneous character to the college broadening knowledge of diverse cultures and lifestyles.
In the light of the profession’s new role, CCA trains the students by exposing them to live problems, situation and circumstances. Peoples, places, objects and events are thus our major inputs in imparting instruction in architecture. Teaching throughout the course of five years is based on an inter disciplinary approach which entails numerous site visits and on the spot studies in addition to class room learning through lectures, slide-talks, discussions, assignments, comprehension tests, etc. Students are encouraged to make their own observations of facts to analyse and to evaluate them so that they may learn to reckon the relevance and applicability of investigative studies to the programme requirements of creative course work in architectural design.
During the course of its checkered career, CCA has undergone many changes. The semester system was introduced in 1972.
We have now introduced a two-tier scheme with effect from the academic session 1985-86. The 10 semester course is to be offered in two tiers: Stage One, from first to sixth semester and Stage Two, from seventh to tenth semester. Stage One consists of theoretical subjects, tutorials, workshop practice and studio work for a basic grounding in the knowledge about architecture and its tools and skills. Stage Two comprises a six month practical training followed by a large number of elective courses and studies of urban problems, professional practice, town-planning and a thesis. Recently, in 1998 a comprehensive review of the syllabi was undertaken to ensure greater cohesion progression and integration of the various related subjects and their inter-relationship with others.