Publication

  • Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization
    Maristella Casciato and Tom Avermaete
    Authors
    Yto Barrada and Takashi Homma
    Photographers
    Park Books, 2013
  • GRANTEE
    Canadian Centre for Architecture
    GRANT YEAR
    2013

Pierre Jeanneret (photographer), Le Corbusier (architect), Le Corbusier looking towards the High Court Building's main façade, Chandigarh, c. 1956. Fonds Pierre Jeanneret, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, gift of Jacqueline Jeanneret. © Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The book documents two urban realities that have played a fundamental role in the imagination and redefinition of the twentieth-century modern city. Shifting away from an understanding of architecture as the construction of monumental masterpieces, the book assembles the narratives behind the public spaces, housing, and social facilities in cities, where modern plans have proven unexpectedly resilient and adaptable. This is reinforced through visuals by Yto Barrada and Takashi Homma—two photographers invested in capturing everyday urban life. Casablanca and Chandigarh appear simultaneously as exponents of and counter currents to modernization and its development perspectives. The book sets the context for reading the cities as the results of dynamic processes of international exchange driven by the engagement and expertise of a new class of design professionals. As a dossier of actors, alignments, and agendas, it contributes to an alternative historiography of postwar urbanism and to recent reflections on transnational practice.

Maristella Casciato is associate director of research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She was formerly a professor of the history of architecture at the University of Bologna, School of Architecture Aldo Rossi. Her scholarly studies focus on the history of twentieth-century European architecture with emphasis on the Dutch contribution, on Italian domestic culture and the architecture of post–World War II reconstruction, and on the theory of conservation of the architecture of our recent past. Her books have appeared in many languages and her essays have been published in renowned international journals. Since 2002 she has been engaged in a research project on the architect Pierre Jeanneret and his involvement in the construction of the new Punjabi capital, Chandigarh.

Tom Avermaete is professor of architecture at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, with a special research interest in the public realm and the architecture of the city in Western and non-Western contexts. He is the author of Another Modern: The Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods (2005) and editor of Architectural Positions: On Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere (2009), Colonial Modern: Aesthetics of the Past, Rebellions for the Future (2010), and Structuralism Reloaded: Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism (2011). He is a coeditor of OASE Architectural Journal, and coinitiator of the research and exhibition project In the Desert of Modernity: Colonial Planning and After (Berlin 2008, Casablanca 2009).

Yto Barrada is a photographer and visual artist living and working between Tangier, Morocco, and New York City. She studied history and political science at the Sorbonne in Paris and photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. She is the founder and director of the Cinémathèque de Tangier, and a member of the Arab Image Foundation. Her work has been recognized by the Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011 award.

Takashi Homma studied photography at Nihon University in Tokyo and is guest professor at the Graduate School of Tokyo Zokei University. After a period of apprenticeship in an advertising company and working in London for a fashion design magazine, he has developed most of his work in Tokyo. In 1994 he received the 24 Ihei Kimura Photography Award for Tokyo Suburbia. In 2008 he published Tokyo, a photographic documentation of the changing everyday experience of the city from the viewpoint of children.

Albert Ferré is director of publications at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Since 1989 he has explored the role of publishing as a form of cultural and architectural practice through editorial positions at the Catalan Association of Architects (COAC), the Prince Claus Fund, and with Actar, where he directed the architecture program and edited numerous publications including the Verb Boogazine series.

Founded in 1979, the Canadian Centre for Architecture is an international research center and museum founded on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Since its inception, it has increased public awareness of the role of architecture in society and promoted scholarly research. Through its exhibitions, research, collection, public programs and website, CCA has become a leading voice in promoting public understanding and widening thought and debate on architecture, its history, theory, and practice.