If Corbusier had designed the city of Delhi?

“The purpose of construction is TO MAKE THINGS HOLD TOGETHER; of architecture TO MOVE US.”

The above quote defines the whole era of Sir Le Corbusier’s architecture in just a line. Simple, easy to understand, and equally aesthetic, his words and his principles remain unbeatable to date. No wonder that the young and budding architects of India and around the globe remember his name and work with pride and honour. He revolutionized the face of architecture and blessed us with some marvellous radical imagination of urban life. The giant of 20th-century architecture left his imprint from Brasilia to Chandigarh.

One of the most influential architects of Modernism, when laid his eyes on Chandigarh, he made sure that the city in making will be different from any other. The fantastic grid system appeared orderly in the country whose urban life is synonymous with chaos. He connected all the 56 sectors with boulevards, made sure that every sector was designed as a self-contained unit with all the necessities located in the neighbourhood. The tree-lined avenues, landscaped parks merged with the symmetry of the city.

Even though the capital of the country was carefully planned around the central administrative area of the city with the immense virtuosity of Sir Edwin Lutyen, it’s very enthralling to think about how different would have been the heart of the nation, if Le Corbusier had designed it.

Let’s stimulate this imagination and redefine Delhi in Le Corb’s architectural language. We all know that he was fond of lines and symmetry that is totally in contrast to the principle around which the capital was designed. There would be no bedlam of the peripheries and the turns that lead to India Gate. Oh and that doesn’t mean there would have been no Connaught place, (Good Lord! Don’t be that harsh on yourself please!) But maybe, the structure would have been less chaotic, with enlargement of the means of circulation and more recreational spaces.

The other principle he believed in while designing the urban cities was decongestion at the center of the cities. So we can imagine a multiple level transport interchange, axial highways, pedestrianized streets placed at a raised level and an unobstructed cross-city movement. 

Access to green space has always been the top priority of Corbusier. He always emphasized on the design that would give the impression of being the city in a park, rather than a parkland in the city.

The multi-dimensional context behind urban planning range from location attributes to sustainability factors. Le Corb’s approach consisted of an organized and rational urban environment that would look together as a whole. With his strategy of creating vertical architecture that would create room for open and shared spaces and serve as traffic corridors, the chaotic lanes of Chandni Chowk and Laxmi Nagar may have a design solution.

We all love Sadi Dilli though! But with his vision, all we can imagine is a more organized, linear and functional capital with plenty of open recreational spaces.

Inscribing Architecture brings you the entire world of architecture and design at a single platform, capturing the essence of architecture for all. Architecture should not be exclusive to some. It should resonate with the everyday lives of the people and we make sure we bring that to you.

Follow Us

More Stories
Bridge+Boulevard proposal for Buenos Aires Expo 2023 wins the international competition