Postcards from Chandigarh

‘The finish is crude and rough, the raw concrete horribly stained and deteriorated.’ It was so ‘even before completion’

Corbusian Mecca

Dalrymple exclaims to the pilgrim couple next to him:

What incompetence!

The woman

opened her eyes wide, as if I had denied the prophethood of Mohammed. ‘What do you mean?’ she asked. Of the aesthetics of this hideous place I did not speak. ‘The temperature is forty-five degrees,’ I said. ‘There is no shade.’

Dalrymple claims

no particular merit in having seen at once that in a very hot climate it is best not to have large open expanses without shade, expanses paved in a material perfectly adapted to reflect and radiate heat.

That Le Corbusier did not see it

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 08.15.19is not in the least surprising in the light of his character and life’s work: his blindness was of a piece with the inhumanity that he displayed for decades and that made fascism—indeed, any totalitarianism—so deeply attractive to him. And it is his inhumanity that makes him so much a hero still in French architectural schools, liberating the architect from the need to consider anything but brute technical feasibility.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 07.48.19

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 08.13.15Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 08.14.14

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