• Le Corbusier: Album Punjab 1951
    Maristella Casciato
    Francesco Passanti
    Lars Müller Publishers, 2024
    Maristella Casciato

Le Corbusier surveying the site of the future Chandigarh with a jeep, 1951. Photo: Pierre Jeanneret. Courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The publication documents and examines Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret's first trip to Indian Punjab during the winter 1951. It consists of two sections: (1) a facsimile of Le Corbusier's sketchbook; and (2) a bilingual scholarly study of the work, including transcription and translation into English of Le Corbusier's annotations, an introductory essay historically situating the sketchbook, and a series of photography taken by Pierre Jeanneret. Le Corbusier's “Album Punjab” of 1951 documents Le Corbusier's serious and sustained effort to understand the local culture in relation to his architectural ideas, as well as Nehru's intention behind the commission. While Le Corbusier sketched the scenes and landscape that his eyes captured, Pierre Jeanneret moved around the Punjab plain holding a Rolleicord camera taking photographs of many of the same scenes and places. The sketchbook and the photographs together provide a unique effort of the creative process that led to design Chandigarh. Francesco Passanti, who has published on Le Corbusier's urbanism, transcribed Le Corbusier's accounts and will translate them into English.

Maristella Casciato is senior curator and head of architectural collections at the Getty Research Institute. From 2012 to 2015, she was associate director of research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. She is formerly professor of the history of architecture at the University of Bologna, a Fulbright Fellow (1992), a Chercheuse Associée aux INHA, Paris (2004), a Mellon Senior Fellow at the CCA (2010), and chair of DOCOMOMO International (2002–10). Her scholarly studies focus on the history of the twentieth-century European architecture and the theory of the conservation of our recent past. Since the late 1990s, she has been engaged in a research project on Pierre Jeanneret and his involvement in the design and construction of Chandigarh. She previously cocurated, with Stanislaus von Moos, the exhibition Twilight of the Plan: Chandigarh and Brasilia (2007); contributed to the book Chandigarh 1956, in collaboration with Ernst Scheidegger (2010); and was cocurator and coauthor, with Tom Avermaete, of Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization (CCA and Park Books, 2014.)