CHANDIGARH—Chandigarh has always been an attraction for its architecture across the world. After making its presence felt on the currency of Switzerland and a famous shutterbug documentary on city architecture, Chandigarh architecture has now showcased in print “Chandigarh Through the Lens,” published by Altrim Publishers of Germany. The untired efforts were made by Aridana Gretta who runs a publisher house in Germany visited the city a number of times. The publishers look up to city and wonders with awe which is characterized by the seal of Le Corbusier.
The effort of Aridana reminisces upon the splendour of the city which can be found in every tiny
nook and corner. The book describes ambitious project of Le Corbusier it to be a city of trees, flowers and
water with a few splendid edifices of highest level of modernism. The city bears the soul of its
architectural grail. Unique thing about the city’s modern is a simplistic aura manages to overpower
miniature in size as compared to India’s vast metropolitan cities. With its internationally recognized
architecture and urban design boasts the status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The making of the city as a great cultural and architectural adventure. The city and I had a common ancestry,” Ar Sangeet Sharma son of Ar S.D Sharma who played pivot role in designing Chandigarh Heritage walk expert Dr Avita Khawas described Chandigarh as ‘a rare epitome of modernization co-existing with nature’s preservation. Here trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plants as the buildings and roads.”
She considers Chandigarh ‘philosophy’ more than just a city. “With open access to museums,
green belt across the leisure valley, galleries, and more- art is a part of one’s lifestyle in Chandigarh,”
says Avita Khawas. And yet, despite the rich aesthetic landscapes that support this beautiful city, a large
section of its population remains oblivious and rather neutral to it. “In a country like India, where there are so many challenges that need to be taken care of, the lack of awareness towards museums and art weighs as a lighter priority for both the administration and the general masses,” she cites as the primary reason for this negligence
Aims at fostering fresh discussions on modern urbanism and to revisit the visions of modernism, the book touches two different but complementary aspects—urban realities that have played important role in the imagination and the definition of the 21the century modern city. It also descripts the unique concept in architecture fascinated planned by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew and local architects.
Objective of the effort is to contribute to a new geography of the modern city, attentive to the entangled multiplicity of modern urbanism and to the appraisal of alternative modernism with a strong indigenous basis.
It also is featuring some extra-ordinary stories of prominent and insightful individuals from Chandigarh.