Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh, India, 1955
The plans published here represent the final version of the Palace of Assembly but contain certain errors rectified at the site during Le Corbusier's last trip to India, in March 1956. For example, the great hall of Deputies, with the seating arrangement and the place reserved for the speaker, constituted (unwittingly) an encroachment on the Indian constitutional procedure, a revolutionary incident, entirely unpremeditated, of course ! All has been restored to order by the arrangement of the seating to correspond to Indian custom, in which the Government and the opposition are situated face to face and discuss issues instead of addressing their discourse to an assembly and to a gallery filled with an eager public! Nevertheless enough information was furnished to accomplish the required modifications.

One of the interesting points to call attention to is the adoption of a circular form for the hall which seems contrary to the development of good acoustics. The Assembly Hall is made in a hyperbolic shell with an average thickness of 15 centimeters, constant throughout its surface, resulting in a very low cost and a minimum of weight (here the principle of industrial cooling towers has been applied to thearchitectural intentions). This shell does net terminate in a horizontal but in an oblique section which shall receive a metallic framework (aluminium). This framework will become a veritable physical laboratory destined to ensure the interplay of natural lighting, artificial lighting, ventilation, and acoustic-electronic mechanisms. Moreover, this framework will lend itself to possible solar festivals recalling to men, once a year, that they are children of the sun (entirely forgotten in our unfettered civilization crushed by absurdities, particularly in architecture and City planning).

As for the hall itself, it will display, by its proper geometric definition, an amazing architectural nobility. All the acoustic corrections, more or less, will be able to be made along the shell according to valid estimates. What is noteworthy in this form is that part of the surface of the shell is sound reflectant, while the other part is sound-absorbent. The air-conditioning, necessary here, works under the best conditions since the cool air is introduced from above to below, several meters above the deputies and visitors, and will descend by gravity to breathing level while the warm air will rise and be exhausted by mechanical apparatus installed in the framework of the hall.

This project will be striking by its classification into two types of framing :

1. framing of the offices similar to that of the Secretariat: brise-soleil, portico, concrete, etc.. . .
2. framing of the space called the "Forum" in the middle of which the great Hall of Deputies (Lower House) and the Hall of Senators (Upper House) are immersed. This immense promenade surface ensures, for the Deputies, the possibility for all kinds of favorable encounters-for individual conversations, or for dealings, for concessions, out of session, etc ...

The empty space above this Forum corresponds to the three floors of superimposed offices. The roof forming the ceiling of the Forum is supported by tall, slender concrete columns.

Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 6, 1952-1957
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
Photo : Lucien Hervé
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Palais de l'Assemblée, Chandigarh
Photo : Pierre Joly et Vera Cardot
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