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  • Provenance

    Chandigarh, India

  • Literature

    Eric Touchaleaume and Gerald Moreau, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, The Indian Adventure: Design-Art-Architecture, Paris, 2010, pp. 232-33, 563
    Galerie Patrick Seguin, ed., Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret: Chandigarh, India, Paris, 2014, pp. 158-59, 161-62, 283

  • Catalogue Essay

    Addressing the urgent need for a Punjabi capital, Prime Minister Nehru commissioned the planning and construction of Chandigarh, a model city to be built in the foothills of the Himalayas. Named after the Hindu goddess Chandi (bearer of lotus and lightning), Chandigarh would function as the symbol of a progressive and auspicious India.

    American planner Albert Mayer and Polish architect Matthew Nowicki drafted the first drawings of the city, a rectangular grid of ‘superblocks’ intended to house 500,000 residents. Nowicki died in a plane crash in 1950, and Mayer withdrew from the project. In their stead, Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret undertook the design and completion of the capitol complex, including the ‘sectors’ for housing, government offices, and industry. Jeanneret became chief architect after Le Corbusier’s departure in 1959.

    Aided by admiring Indian colleagues, Jeanneret built a series of residential and civic buildings including the dramatic Ghandi Bhawan, the library of Ghandian studies at Punjab University. For Jeanneret, no detail was too small; he designed furniture, lampposts, manhole covers, paddle boats-everything. The architectural critic Patwant Singh wrote: ‘His solutions were not impatient impositions.’ Jeanneret achieved to build what the border Commissions chair Sir Cyril Radcliffe could not: a modern India. When Jeanneret returned to Europe in 1965, ill and unable to work, he reportedly lamented, ‘I am leaving my home and going to a foreign country.’ His ashes were returned to Chandigarh and scattered on Lake Sukhna.

55

Set of six 'Committee' armchairs, model no. PJ-SI-30-A, designed for the High Court, the Assembly and Punjab University administrative buildings, Chandigarh

1953-1954
teak, hide
each: 87 x 58 x 66 cm (34 1/4 x 22 7/8 x 25 7/8 in.)

Estimate
HK$900,000 - 1,100,000 
€108,000-132,000
$115,000-141,000

Sold for HK$1,000,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 28 May 2017