Heritage of 20C Modern and Democratic Governance in India

Destination Cover: Delhi, Chandigarh
Length of tour: 02 Nights – 3 Days

Significance of the tour and Places of visit

Delhi Tour Significance :
A day tour to give a glimpse of the Asian modernity is the purpose of this tour. A few selected buildings and their settings are part of the itinerary to bring out the specifics of the engagements at the time of modernising India, both from the shackles of the colonial imprint, the partition and embracing a new found freedom. The new vocabulary of built forms, functions and the challenge of exploring the new building materials steels, exposed concrete cast-insitu and later precast units, and glass paved the way to create this vast repository of building types in New Delhi. From office buildings, to theatres, stadia, cultural complexes, to healthcare and high-rise housing, the genre is immense. This tour will take the visitors through various typologies and periods of construction to familiarise them with Asian modernity.

Chandigarh Tour Significance:
Chandigarh is a post independence exemplar of modern heritage in India and a forerunner of modern town planning principles. Its planning as an egalitarian, socialist city reflects the ideals of the democratic nature of the city and thus the GA theme. The tour is envisaged as a journey through the work of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret ,Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew and their contribution to the creation of a modernist vocabulary –the Chandigarh Style for the new capital city. The tour broadly engages in the urban and architectural works of Le Corbusier– The recently inscribed 20C modern heritage site- the Capitol Complex, the largest and significant property of the Transborder serial nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage list; and the Cultural Core- Museum Complex also by Le Corbusier as well the exposed concrete ensembles of the City centre. Next included is the Panjab University- Pierre’s Ouvre and also the pioneer of educational campuses in post independent India. The visit also includes an exhibition on the heritage buildings of PU curated alongwith the ongoing Research and Planning Grant awarded to the Gandhi Bhawan, under the Keeping it Modern Programme offered by the J Paul Getty Foundation 2015. The modernist architecture of the city is showcased through a walking tour of Sector 22, the earliest residential sector of the city and the efforts of Fry, Drew and Jeanneret. Lesser known but equally significant pointers of the city such as the Le Corbusier Centre (Old Architects office), stroll along the Sukhna promenade the manmade lake, the Pierre Jeanneret House, among others are part of the itinerary. These walking tours have been designed to engage the visitors towards the ongoing efforts towards valorisation, conservation and preservation of the modern heritage ensembles in the city. All these properties lie in the public domain and thus have a democratic role to serve. Their design and construction systems represent the first ever large-scale use of exposed reinforced concrete as a modern building material in India and South Asia and are well represented by the city’s building types especially the vast housing stock, public and government buildings which are fairly well conserved.

Tentative Day wise Itinerary

Part 1

One Day – Dec 09, 2017 – Delhi Tour

Part  2

  • Day 1 – Delhi to Chandigarh
    Introduction to the tour and background to the Chandigarh itinerary at Gandhi Bhawan-PU with presentations. Walking Tour of PU Heritage Precinct and visit to Rock Garden
  • Day 2-  Cultural Complex, Sector; Cultural Complex:
    Walking tour of Sector 22, Exploring the Everyday Architecture -Work of Fry, Drew , Jeanneret
  • Day 3- Capitol Complex Tour- Unesco World Heritage Site
    Walking tour City Centre-Town hall, State Library, Neelam Piazza – Return by Evening to New Delhi.