Le Corbusier, Model for the Villa Chimanbhai at Ahmedabad, India, between 1953 and 1954. Wood with plastic inset and later balsa wood additions, joined with finishing nails and adhesive.

Le Corbusier, Model for the Villa Chimanbhai at Ahmedabad, India, between 1953 and 1954. Wood with plastic inset and later balsa wood additions, joined with finishing nails and adhesive.


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In 1951 the mayor of Ahmedabad, Chinubhai Chimanbhai, invited Le Corbusier to design a new house for the mayor on a site on the west bank of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad. Le Corbusier worked on the Villa Chimanbhai design from 1951 to 1954.

While studying traditional Indian architecture of the area, Le Corbusier discovered a model for the treatment of scale, form, and the organisation of space that enabled him to realise his ideal of the “house/palace.” This design is remarkable for elements such as the open plan, parasol roof, and the proliferation of cubic volumes that add a human scale to the palatial interior. Terraces would have allowed an efficient circulation of breezes year-round.

The design of this unexecuted house provided the opportunity to create ‘an architecture for modern times adjusted to the climate of India,’ that Le Corbusier subsequently pursued successfully in two other houses executed for Ahmadabadi patrons, the Sarabhai (1955) and Shodhan (1956) houses.

In addition to this model with a removable part, the CCA holds drawings, blueprints, photographs, and correspondence for the Villa Chimanbhai. They are part of a larger corpus of material at the CCA pertaining to Le Corbusier’s projects from the 1950s through 1965.


Keywords:

Le Corbusier, India