Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh Building, India Modern Architecture Images

Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, India

20th Century Architecture in Northern India – Modernist design by architect Le Corbusier

1 Aug 2017

Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh

Design: Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) architect

Location: Chandigarh, Northern India

Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh One of Twelve Recipients of Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern Grants

Grant for: PEC University of Technology

Date built: 1968

The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh is a pivotal work by Le Corbusier, representing the culmination of the concept he developed with Pierre Jeanneret of a museum of the future. Their 1931 idea for a “Museum of Unlimited Growth” employed the design principle of a nautilus, radiating outward from the center to create a sense of unrestricted expansion.

Forecourt of the Government Museum and Art Gallery
photo © SM Dhami

Le Corbusier also realized this idea at the Sanskar Kendra in Ahmedabad and the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. From the exterior, the Chandigarh museum, with its flattened spiral internal structure, appears to levitate on a field of pilotis.

Le Corbusier’s use of exposed reinforced concrete and brick cladding for the museum’s facade symbolized the emergence of novel building typologies and the “arrival of the modern” in India as a newly independent nation. The Government Museum and Art Gallery is also recognized as a Grade-1 heritage site in India.

The Chandigarh Administration—the Government Museum and Art Gallery’s owner— has cared for the building well over the years, but Punjab’s extreme climate has caused material failure of exterior and interior walls. To break the cycle of ad hoc repairs, the museum will develop a research-based conservation management plan.

The plan will provide a detailed overview of the building’s condition with recommendations on the most urgent conservation repairs and a strategy with schedules for regular maintenance. To enhance the impact of the project, the team will strengthen local capacity through workshops and museum training and build international connections by convening representatives from the other two similar museums in Ahmedabad and Tokyo.

Grant support: $150,000

Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh Building images / information from The Getty Foundation

Le Corbusier Architect

Getty Foundation Keeping it Modern 2017 Grants

Location: Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, India, South Asia

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Website: Chandigarh India