‘Corbusier was never against vertical growth of Chandigarh’

February 11th, 2009 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

“Chandigarh is city beautiful in the real sense for us. It’s very special for us and holds importance for our foundation as it was the dream of (French artitect) Corbusier, something he wanted to realise during the last years of his life,” Claude Prelorenzo, secretary general of the foundation, told IANS.

Corbusier designed this city in the 1950s and it was upheld as one of the finest examples of town planning.

Talking about the prospects of vertical growth in Chandigarh, Prelorenzo, who is an expert town planner himself, said, “Corbusier was never against the vertical growth of this city. He always wanted tall buildings. It is also possible here as we can continue our vertical development without marring our heritage status.

“Moreover, we have to accept the fact that a city is not like a painting that cannot be changed. It is necessary to adopt changes with time without interfering with the original spirit of planning in big cities like we have in Paris in France and Brasilia in Brazil.”

He said a city is not like a museum, “they are living entities that constantly want change and development”.

Prelorenzo was in Chandigarh to visit the Le Corbusier Centre and Museum that was established here last year and meet officials of the administration.

“The Le Corbusier Centre here is undoubtedly the biggest permanent exhibition of works of the legendry French architect. Our foundation would elaborately mention this centre and about various heritage pieces placed here in its official website,” said Prelorenzo.

The foundation has offered its help to maintain the landscapes and buildings of the city, which today houses 1.1 million people.

“This city is a living embodiment that demonstrates the thinking and skills of Corbusier for millions of architects, students, engineers and commoners from all over the world,” said Prelorenzo.

“We want to build permanent relations with this city and provide our assistance in the conservation of buildings and other things here. We are also planning to initiate various projects here keeping in mind the requisites of the modern world,” said Prelorenzo.

“We would also remain in touch for future collaborations and cooperation in various projects. There will be a sharing of rare documents of Corbusier between us, and we are also planning to conduct a big congress on ‘Modernity in India’ here in 2010,” asserted Prelorenzo.

Prelorenzo said, “This is my second visit as earlier I had come here 10 years back. But to my big surprise nothing much has changed here. It is still very quiet and free from any pollution and traffic jams that are rampant in other metro cities.”

(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at alkesh.s@ians.in)

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