UT to hire conservation architect for upkeep of Capitol Complex

For conservation, restoration and management of buildings and monuments in Capitol Complex and capacity building of its engineering and architecture department, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to appoint a conservation architect.

Written by Vinod Kumar | Chandigarh | Updated: September 20, 2016 4:30 am
capitol-complex-759 Most of the balconies in the Secretariat building, which is part of Capitol Complex, have been covered. Express archives

FOR CONSERVATION, restoration and management of buildings and monuments in Capitol Complex — one of the finest works of French architect Le Corbusier — and capacity building of its engineering and architecture department, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to appoint a conservation architect.

The Capitol Complex, which bagged the prestigious world heritage tag of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in July, has three main buildings: Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and Punjab and Haryana High Court, besides an open-hand monument and martyrs’ memorial raised in remembrance of the martyrs of India’s freedom struggle. The condition of the buildings and monuments has deteriorated due to excessive use over the years.

As part of the management plan in the dossier submitted to UNESCO, the administration had commitment for protection, conservation and management of all the elements of the complex. The administration has invited express of interest (EOI) with September 26 as the last date for applying. The term of contract will be one year.

The secretariat, Assembly buildings and high court house the administrative, legislative and judiciary of the states of Punjab and Haryana. These three buildings are being used extensively. The pressure on the infrastructure of these buildings has increased manifold. Due to limited space, a large number of internal and external changes have been made to the buildings to meet the requirements. The concrete has also weathered due to extensive use and extreme tropical climate.

UT chief architect Kapil Setia said that the conservation architect would have to provide technical expertise for the conservation and management of the entire Capitol Complex and its buffer zone. The architect will have to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan, keeping in mind the universal value of the site. The consultant will have to conduct 3D scanning using light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology.

The consultant will also have to carry out disaster and risk assessment of the entire site and its elements, besides condition assessment of interior of the buildings. Chief architect Kapil Setia said that they were committed to implementing every thing which had been mentioned in the management plan. “The conservation architect will assist us in achieving our goal,” he said.