IT’S A stunning sight, one that many of us may not have witnessed in spite of being in the city for years: the buildings of the Capitol Complex bathed in different hues of the night light, and the Complex wearing a new look and feel, with the buildings cleaned, and the surrounding areas cleared of unwanted vegetation. The sheer space and the genius of the design of the buildings mesmerise the onlooker, as the Open Hand is also illuminated. For the next four days, the Capitol Complex will be lit up and open to the public for viewing, walks and the inaugural event of the international symposium, ‘Celebrating Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh’, on the 50th death anniversary of legendary architect and planner Le Corbusier.
“The objective of the symposium, which will have leading architects and authorities on Corbusier from across the world, is to reflect on Corbusier’s contribution to modernism, his myriad talents as an artist, architect, theorist and writer,’’ said Rajnish Wattas, the academic convenor of the symposium.
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The function, open to residents of Chandigarh, will have a photo exhibition, ‘Capitol Complex 2015’, showcasing pictures of the Capitol Complex in various phases, and as it stands today. Another attraction will be a full-scale, almost 70-ft mock model of the façade of the Governor’s Palace, at the site originally allocated for this sculptural building, which would have completed Corbusier’s unfinished symphony. “There will be a presentation — Capitol Complex, Chandigarh’s Crowning Glory Restored — highlighting the development works and tourism promotion initiatives carried out by the administration. We have already conducted tours of the place, and these too, will now be done regularly. The evening will also see a sitar recital,’’ said Kavita Singh, Director, Tourism.
Referring to the Complex as a place for people interactions, Singh added that they had planned a series of events and performances at the plaza here, with one planned in the trench of the Open Hand on November 30. “People should enjoy the beauty of the place, with the night lighting, specially done by Prof Bhagat of the Chandigarh College of Architecture. We are calling the citizens of Chandigarh to celebrate Corbusier’s legacy and heritage, ‘’ said Home Secretary Anurag Agarwal.
Sessions of the symposium at Tagore Theatre are open to the public from October 10 to 12. “The last day will be an interaction of the public with the experts, and the people of Chandigarh can address their concerns about the city, and understand the development of the city, from Corbusier’s time to now,’’ added Agarwal.
With the Swiss and French governments supporting the symposium, a French delegation, headed by the Ambassador of France, will be in the city on October 12 to look at how Chandigarh can be a city of the future.
The inaugural event is on October 9 at the Capitol Complex, 5.30 pm onwards.