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High Court

Chandigarh-sector 1 Completion 1955


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Architect-Le Corbusier

Capitol complex

The Capitol Complex is the focal point if the city, both visually and symbolically . The three major components of the Capitol are the Assembly (Legislation), the Secretariat (Administration) and the High Court (Judiciary).

Location

While the linear faade of the Secretariat marks the edges of the Complex on the left side, the Assembly and the High Court are placed on the opposite ends of the Cross axis, facing each other across a 450 mtrs.

Project Brief

The program of the high court building specified provision for eight law courts and a high court, together with necessary office space of many Administrative Branches such as Registrar's Office, Establishment Branch, Gazette Branch and Copying Branch etc. The Offices of Advocate-Generals of Punjab and Haryana

Project

In plan the building took the form of an abbreviated L-shape with the long facade facing the capitol plaza to contain the courtrooms and the small rear extension to accommodate offices. The building has a rectilinear frame with eight nos. courtrooms located on the main faade, separated from the larger Chief Justice Court by a monumental, pillared entrance, extending to the full height of the entrance. The small Courts are 8x8x12 meters. The dimensions of the over all design were governed by the Modular combined with triangular regulating lines.

Project
PARASOL ROOF FORMING ARCHES DOUBLE ROOF GAP LEFT BETWEEN TWO ROOFS ENTRANCE THROUGH THE PIAZZA FULL HT ENTRANCE DOUBLE ROOF

REAR VIEW

[APPROACHED THROUGH ROADS]

Project

. The three vertical piers,rising 60 feet from the floor and painted in bright colours form the grand entrance to the building

Project

ROUGH CONCRETE FINISHED RAMP

Project

Project

Project

Concept

Early sketches for the building show a multiplicity of arch forms on the facades, with the main courtroom floor raised above ground level on pilots and approached by a ramp. In the final version, however, the building rises directly from the earth, the main facade defined by a fullheight concrete brise-soleil and the arch forms restricted to the underside of the parasol roof.

Concepts

In the general plane of the building, which includes the development has the shade from the sun of the bureaus and of course, the modular has made the unit in all places textured.-Translated from French. As Le Corbusier developed the design for the high court, it evolved toward an expression increasingly massive, plastic, and abstract. The perhaps excessive horizontality of earlier schemes was countered by an increase in vertical dimension, while what were originally narrow columns in the main entrance hall became three massive flattened piers leading inward.

Concepts

It is the visual drama of these piers rising sixty feet from the ground to meet the heavy outward thrust of the roof which creates the focal emphasis of the present plan. What in early drawings was expressed as a lightly framed pavilion, horizontal in dimension, has become a vertically expanding space in which the void is defined and dramatized by strongly assertive sculptural elements. Within the simple and rather static outer frame, the building embodies a constantly active balance of tensions

Concepts

An effort to shade the entire structure has resulted in the use of a double roof, the upper roof cantilevered out over the office block in the manner of a parasol shading the lower roof and also providing a trough from which monsoon rain water spills through heavy spouts at either end, falling sixty feet to channels connected with the reflecting pools. The space between the two roofs is left open to enable currents of air to move between the flat roof of the office block and the underside of the parasol roof which slopes toward the center in the form of a row of arches.

Plans

Sections

Claustraus

On the main facade the deep (4 ft. 7 in.), fixed concrete brise-soleil gives a strong and scale less pattern to the building, and only human beings and the unobtrusive courtroom doors can be used as visual keys for reading the dimensions of the surface. Commented the architect, "here the brise-soleils take the place of the weather-drips on a classical facade, but they cover not only the windows but the entire facade, and influence the whole structure.

Claustraus

It is the concrete screen which gives the main facade its overall unity, so that it is perceived not as an assemblage of floor levels and courtroom chambers, but as a single entity of plastically interwoven elements, in which the horizontal ground line, repeated in the two roof levels, is countered buy the powerful upward thrust of the entrance piers and the pillars between the courtrooms, whose vertical line is echoed in the roof supports.

Finish
Within sheet metal formwork one can insert swan planks, cut more or less according to ones wish. When the pouring of concrete is completed recessed moulding appear in the face of the concrete. This situation is similar to the sculptured frescos in Egyptian temples built some 5000 years ago. It is done so as to bring forth the surface and volume, the materials, their place of work, the meaning of times and also the rigorous schedule of the job site are also recognized.

Main Facade

Le Corbusier once described the complex of which the high court formed a part as "a great architectural venture using very poor materials and a labor force quite unused to modern building techniques, with the tremendous obstacle of the sun and the necessity of satisfying Indian ideas and needs, rather than to impose Western ethics and aesthetics.

Main Facade

The earliest tapestries to be designed for Chandigarh comprised a set of 9 large pieces for the courtrooms of the new high court building. The one for the court of the Chief Justice (now Court 1) covered an area of 1300 sq. ft and the other eight (for Courts 2 9) measured about 600 sq. ft each. Though the tapestries were ostensibly created for acoustical purposes "a beautiful opportunity to place in accord the architect of the reinforced concrete (resonant) and the craftsman of wool (noiseabsorbent. Despite the variation in their size, all nine tapestries were based on the same generic design compositions of a geometrical orthogonal order, "stressing the balance and preciseness appropriate to law matters", with rectangles of flat colours animated by stylised motifs.

Tapestries

Tapestries
The counterbalance of complexities and the tree as a symbol of perfection. Air-conditioning ducts puncture the tapestry indiscriminately, mutilating motifs.

In the middle, top part, the sky with a starlit night and a sun. The clouds around open on a blue sky. On the left, the meander of the rivers that signifies that its run may sometimes be very long, very agitated, very unreasonable. It is the meander of complications and of complexities.