It was in Chandigarh, the Indian capital at the foot of the Himalayas, that Le Corbusier implemented for the only time in his life his urban theories on the scale of an entire city. In 1947, during the partition of India and Pakistan, the state of Punjab was divided: Lahore, its former capital, now being in Pakistan, Nehru entrusted three years later the construction of a new capital to a team directed by Le Corbusier.
In photographing Chandigarh, Manuel Bougot’s intention was to portray the city in a unique way by filming exclusively private and administrative interiors. But in front of the impressive architecture of the sites and in particular that of the Capitole Complex, which groups the High Court of Justice, the Legislative Assembly and the General Secretariat, this project evolved to show the city that its inhabitants call “The Beautiful City “.
Manuel Bougot has sought to show the Indian take over of this Western architecture and, beyond, the confrontation of two cultures that everything would seem to oppose, making an inventory of places sixty years after the birth of the capital planned for five hundred thousand inhabitants and which today has more than two million.
Light-years away from the idea of big cities in India, at the heart of the mineral density of concrete buildings, Chandigarh exhibits magnificent green spaces, lush parks where squirrels and monkeys roam free and where locals do their daily jogging.
It is this original capital, the largest building site of Le Corbusier, that the photographer show us, in this book to which also contributed the historian Caroline Maniaque, and the Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, Pritzker prize 2018, who accompanied Le Corbusier in this extraordinary adventure.
Voyage à Chandigarh, Photographies de Manuel Bougot
Photographs by Manuel Bougot
Publication date: 24 October 2019 – Price: 42 € approx.
24 × 30 cm – 196 pages – 152 illustrations Hardcover – canvas cover
On sale in bookshop