Book: Chandigarh 1956, by Ernst Scheidegger
The most remarkable thing about this new monograph of historic images of the construction of Chandigarh is just how contemporary everything feels, from the washed out colours of the prints to the stark concrete forms rising above dusty plains.
The pictures were taken in 1956 by the Swiss photographer and publisher Ernst Scheidegger for a book that never materialised; now, over half a century later, the publishing house he founded in 1962 has finally compiled a monograph to chronicle the birth of this remarkable city.
Chandigarh was not nearly as well publicised as its contemporary, Brasilia, which had its own magazine as well as the attention of the world. As von Moos notes in his introduction, Chandigarh’s ’public buildings were never part of a nationwide marketing effort on a scale or of a scope comparable to that bestowed upon Brasilia’.
Instead, Chandigarh emerged rather more organically. The book is part scrapbook, part monograph, with sketches and memoirs from Corbusier and his co-architects Drew and Fry, as well as the pencilled mock-up of Scheidegger’s original publication.