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  7. AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier
AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier, © Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

© Nicholas Iyadurai © Nicholas Iyadurai © Nicholas Iyadurai © Nicholas Iyadurai +12

One of Le Corbusier's most prominent buildings from India, the Palace of the Assembly in Chandigarh boasts his major architectural philosophies and style. Le Corbusier's five points of architecture can be found within the design from its open plan to the view of the Himalayan landscape. The program features a circular assembly chamber, a forum for conversation and transactions, and stair-free circulation. 

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

The first of Le Corbusier's architectural ideals is the use of pilotis to lift the structure off of the ground. Reinforced concrete columns are utilized in a grid throughout the Palace of the Assembly and are slightly altered to raise a large swooping concrete form high above the entrance. 

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

This form represents the second point of Le Cobusier's list a free facade. Pilotis allow the form to express the grandiose release of space precisely as Corbusier intended. The other various facades of the building also bestow the free facade via brise-soleil formed from the golden ratio.

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

Le Corbusier's desire for views is then apparent from all facades. The sun-shading along the offices provides a frame for inhabitants into the surrounding site while the portico opens to the adjacent landscape and the distant Himilayas.

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

Inside, the Palace of the Assembly houses an open plan structured by the grid of reinforced concrete columns. Again, this structural pattern allows Le Corbusier to manipulated the program freely and place offices and other private programming along the outside of the plan and leave the center open for public use. Intersecting that open space, is the circular assembly chamber that is contradictory in form to producing good acoustics. 

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai

On top of the building lies an accessible roof supported by the pilotis. Providing usable space on the roof of a structure complies with Le Corbusier's fifth ideal of architecture by giving occupants vertical means of connecting to nature and compensating for the habitat removed by the building.

© Nicholas Iyadurai
© Nicholas Iyadurai
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Igor Fracalossi. "AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier" 10 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/155922/ad-classics-ad-classics-palace-of-the-assembly-le-corbusier/>
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35 Comments

nima safaeian · November 22, 2013

In my point of view, by creating this building Le Corbusier did a great contribution to modern style architecture in India, since he was able to combine ideas from Indian nationalism, modernism, Indian culture and religion and apply them when designing this building. For example, he incorporated Gandhi’s idea of handcrafted objects, such as making beton brut, which is why he gave the concrete a rustic look. He also used cooling towers of the Sabarmati Power Plant in Ahmedabad to design the hyperbolic shell to symbolized technology, which also paid tribute to the Prime Minister Nehru-who was one of the modern leaders in India. Over all, he combined all these ideas to balance out the design.

Drishti Desai · February 22, 2015 10:32 AM

Beton Brut was not a result of incorporating Gandhi's ideas into the building. Corbusier used it first in his building Unite de Habitation where he decided to use it because there were a lot of contractors since the project was big and it was difficult to get the same kind of finish from all of them. Beton brut was a way of finding consistancy between them. And then he ended up using it in all his large scale projects.
Do your research. Read the book "Le Corbusier in Detail".
Its abominable how people will write anything they feel like on the internet.

Paige Poppe · May 17, 2012

wondering if anyone could offer up any insight into le corbusier's use of ornamentation in this building? although it is in small amount, i am noticing his use of aperture and the decoration on the door. are there any others i am missing or could learn about?

Barty · January 11, 2013 04:47 AM

Have a look at Notre Dame du Haut where he plays with light more extensively.

nicholas iyadurai · August 29, 2011

interesting to read the above comments... these buildings, in fact, are amazing. Wonderful pieces of architecture. I agree LC failed miserably in the urban design part. Some of these pictures were taken 20 years back during the terrorism years in Punjab and so, the buildings look kinda dilapidated. However, they are being used on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the square, envisaged as an urban square, is not used as one. Also, unfortunately, most of the government buildings are NOT being maintained at all.

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Jody Brown · August 12, 2011

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PAENG · August 12, 2011

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Brian Hammersley · August 12, 2011

Corbusier, Palace of the Assembly in Chandigarh, India. Flowing concrete and color http://bit.ly/qY4pZH

Aleisa Mondolfi · August 12, 2011

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Marko Radomirovic · August 11, 2011

architectural monster

watabetakahiro · August 11, 2011

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Cesar Torres · August 11, 2011

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Artesian Móveis · August 11, 2011

Planta aberta e vista para o Himalaia. Você conhece o Palácio da Assembleia na Índia? Obra do Le Corbusier: http://t.co/prChsbL

Sean · August 11, 2011

At first glance this looked like one of those abandoned buildings in Russia. No people and no maintenance.

Carlos Di Nápoli · August 11, 2011

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