Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh gets an organic addition
New business school by young Mumbai practice Planet 3 Studios takes shape on outskirts of Indian city
With its grid-iron layout and regimented clusters of 46 ‘sectors’, it has been difficult for any architect to add to Le Corbusier’s 1950s concrete Chandigarh in any meaningful way. However, Planet 3 Studios’ design for a School of Business at Chitkara University suggests something novel while honouring the footprint of the industrial shed that occupied the site, and deferring in scale to the existing campus buildings nearby.
Planet 3 Studios was founded by Kalhan Mattoo and Santha Gour Mattoo, who have carved a niche for themselves on their home turf. Who better then you might ask than some next generation locals to take on the Swiss-French godfather of modernism.
The school is conceived in the Le Corbusier mould, as a set of five clusters, each one “designed to accommodate the necessary programmed usable spaces”, according to the Mattoos. So classrooms, staff rooms, discussion rooms, tutorial rooms, auditorium, laboratories, and toilets would all be a two-minute walk from each other. But rather than linear connections between activities, Planet 3 Studio’s link-ups are rather more free-form.
Planet 3 Studio is probably best-known outside India for its refurbishment of a warehouse to create new facilities for Mumbai’s Vidyalankar Institute of Technology. If those colourful, highly graphic interiors are anything to go by, then the business undergrads at Chitkara University are in for a treat.
Le Corb's Chandigarh is, of course, one of the many projects lovingly discussed in Ideas And Forms, William J Curtis's interesting, inspiring - and also occasionally funny - book on the architect. Curtis is a truly engaging writer who's spent a lifetime bringing architecture to life for audiences and students around the globe and we guarantee you really will be entranced by his book on the master. You can take a closer look at Ideas And Forms here.