chapter  Ten
24 Pages

An Innocent State

WithSimon Henley

India and Pakistan became independent states in 1947. A cascade of newly emerging nation states in Africa and South America commissioned cities and buildings to house the new institutions of government, education and culture, and mass housing to accommodate their rapidly expanding urban populations. At Chandigarh, Le Corbusier had the opportunity not only to plan the state capital of the Punjab, but also to build its government buildings and law courts. The dormitories are arranged in a diagonal pattern to the south-east of the main court and the surrounding buildings. Kahn’s plan placed the Assembly Building on an island flanked by a pair of loosely symmetrical wings of residences, offices and dining rooms set on the shores of an artificial lake. The decision to construct a bridge building for Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo was technically so forthright that it might be mistaken for the plausible actions of an engineer, not the poetic imagination of an architect.