In the world there are very few large cities of recent construction, if by recent we understand the twentieth century. Some of them will seem old, but they are not. Islamabad, for example, the current capital of Pakistan, was inaugurated in 1960. Canberra, the capital of Australia, was created as a city in 1913. The closest case in time is Naipydó, in Myanmar, a city created in 2005.
At an architectural level, some suggest more interest than others. Undoubtedly, Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia is at the top of the list. A top that is disputed with a city that is undoubtedly the milestone of cities built from scratch by the hand of a renowned architect. In effect, we refer to the Indian city of Chandigarh, created by Le Corbusier.
This work, which is practically the peak of his career in the world of architecture, was commissioned after the independence of India from the British Empire. The desire to create a free nation, the one for which Gandhi gave it all, led its leaders to imagine a new city, a city of reference to what they imagined, to realize what they had dreamed. This is how the Chandigarh project was born.
The architect imagined a city of functional type, which was organized in the likeness of a human body.
Le Corbusier had a lot of experience in the design of buildings but had never gone into the planning of a new urban layout. In Chandigarh the French-Swiss architect opted for a plot divided into 60 sectors, each 1.5km by 1.5km, approximately. The idea was that all sectors would add a city but also that each one would be autonomous: with its schools, markets, temples ... Each area had to fulfill some of the four essential functions: enjoy, circulate, work and live.
In the Lecorbusian architecture for Chandigarh, concrete plays a very important role, a style that contrasts with the traditional constructions of India. The use of this material has led to the buildings currently offer a worn look that has nothing to do with reality. But it does warn that maintenance is important to preserve this magnanimous work.
In addition to the layout, Le Corbusier also left his imprint on Chandigarh in the form of official buildings, whose design is part of the history of architecture and makes the city even more attractive.
Some of the most significant buildings are the Museum of Architecture, the Art Gallery, the Chandigarh Assembly, the Secretariat and the Palace of Justice. In addition, in gratitude to the commission of the project Le Corbusier created the symbol of the open hand - symbol of peace and union - and captured it in a monument of more than 20 meters high, which is one of the icons of this young city India.
One of the objectives of architecture must be to make its users happy. Well, the happiness rate of the inhabitants of India is led precisely by Chandigarh, where a little over a million people live. In that certain well-being that has influenced the conception of city, with its large green areas and recreational spaces including a lake, which was imagined by Le Corbusier.