Formal Analysis of Chandigarh

Studio project at The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), instructor Anna Neimark, 2013

This project looked at Le Corbusier’s Palace of the Assembly in Chandigarh, India, through a formal retrospective. It decomposed geometrically the building’s primary plan so as to reveal intrinsic relationships among regulating lines.

As the project progressed, a special emphasis began to birth itself around the placement of the Palace’s brise soleil. These agents of supposed function cram themselves along the facades in a meager attempt to hide their ornamental function.

Deceptively depicting some kind of dynamical dichotomy with the sun, it is important to realize that their true function as proposed by Le Corbusier (that is, to block the sunlight) only performs its role during specific times of the day. Throughout all other hours, they function on a purely aesthetic level, becoming autonomous bits in the ontology of the building as a whole. In a mangled Modern interpretation, they remain pragmatic; in a Postmodern one, ornamental.

It becomes of importance to inspect the puritanical reading intended by the architect while being cautious to find oneself deep inside a Venturian conspiracy. By injecting a higher level of integrated functionality into their design, they derange both hypotheses. Neither purely practical nor expressively embellished, they become problematically elaborate.