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Sukhna Lake: Engineering dept paints several heritage light fixtures white, Adviser orders a stop to exercise

It was said that this is a major violation of the heritage status of these fixtures.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Updated: February 17, 2020 9:25:38 am
Sukhna Lake: Engineering dept paints several heritage light fixtures white, Adviser orders a stop to exercise Heritage light fixtures installed at the Sukhna Lake have been damaged by the UT engineering department by painting the concrete structures all over. (Express)

HERITAGE LIGHT fixtures designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in 1950 installed at the Sukhna Lake have been damaged by the UT engineering department by painting the concrete structures all over. UT Adviser Manoj Parida has ordered an immediate stop to the work.

These light fixtures which are in concrete are supposed to be exposed. But they were painted all over. Experts state that even if they try to reverse it, damage has been caused to the fixtures now.

On the tip-off of an official, the UT Adviser immediately ordered that the work should be stopped. But most of the fixtures have been painted. Adviser Parida confirmed that he has got the work stopped.

It was said that this is a major violation of the heritage status of these fixtures.

“They are supposed to be in exposed concrete. It is against the heritage status of these fixtures to paint them as in Capitol buildings or Sector 17. It’s just like painting the stone of Red Fort,” a senior official of the department of urban planning said while speaking to Chandigarh Newsline.

Sources said that the paint has been done on 90 per cent fixtures now and “there is no reversing”.

“If they try, they can scrub it off a bit. But now the damage is done,” the official added.

These fixtures designed by Corbusier are still much in demand abroad. One designed by Corbusier was purchased by Kanye West, American singer and husband of Kim Kardashian, some time ago.

In 2015, Kanye West in an interview to the US-based media had said how this Corbusier lamp that cost him $1.10 lakh inspired him for his new album.

All these fixtures were very intelligently and beautifully designed by Corbusier to provide indirect light on the pathways — below eye level. This was for indirect lighting from two sides on a wall.

The former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, Professor Rajnish Wattas, told Chandigarh Newsline, “This is serious damage that has been caused to the structures. I went and saw the paint that has been done. Natural concrete texture was the hallmark of Le Corbusier’s architecture. Why are we then restoring Capitol Complex… we can paint that building too then. We are spending crores on restoring the building and we could have restored these light fixtures too instead of painting them.”

He added, “They tried to use a gray paint close to the original concrete colour. They should have given the same treatment like it is being given to Capitol Complex. Corbusier’s concept was that the concrete surface be kept naturally.”

Capitol Complex is being restored at an approximate amount of Rs 40 crore. Over the time, the building surface has become dirty due to weather and it needs to be restored.

Former Chief Architect Sumit Kaur said that it is “irreversible damage”. “Once the concrete is painted, it loses its original sheen. Sukhna Lake is grade 1 heritage. They should know that they shouldn’t tamper with it,” she said.

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