Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh

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Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh
Palace of Assembly Chandigarh 2007.jpg
Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh is located in Chandigarh
Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh
Location within Chandigarh
General information
Country India
Construction started1951
InauguratedApril 15, 1964
Design and construction
ArchitectLe Corbusier
Official nameThe Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement
DesignatedJuly 17, 2016
Reference no.1321rev

The Palace of Assembly is a legislative assembly building in Chandigarh, India. It was designed by modernist architect Le Corbusier [1][2] It is a part of the Capitol Complex, which includes the Legislative Assembly, Secretariat and High Court.[3] The Palace of Assembly features a circular assembly chamber, a forum for conversation and transactions, and stair-free circulation.[4]

The building was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.[5][6]


The construction took eleven years to complete, started from 1951 and it was completed in 1962. Then, the building was inaugurated in 1964.[7]



Entrance with set of doors painted by Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier wanted to include an assembly door. He consulted with then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru for symbols that could be depicted on the door that could symbolize the new India and its modern vision. Nehru, in turn, entrusted Le Corbusier to invent them himself.[citation needed]

The door is adorned with vibrant colors and divided into upper and lower halves. The upper half depicts the relation of man with the cosmos. It depicts phenomena like solstices, lunar eclipses and the Equinox. The lower half is populated with animals, natural forms and other cryptic elements. The desert is to depict the original order of the Earth, while the greenery induces thoughts about the "Garden Of Eden". A river sits towards the left while an abstract ecosystem is depicted with trees, bulls, turtles and in the centre the proverbial "Tree of Knowledge" flowers fruits of knowledge.[8] The nearly 25 square foot door, with its enameled panels was airlifted from Paris, France.

This entrance is opened on certain ceremonial occasions.

Architectural history[edit]

View of the building

After the partition of Punjab, in 1947 following the independence of India, the divided Punjab required a new capital as Lahore was now in Pakistan. Thus, Le Corbusier was commissioned by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to build a new city of Chandigarh as the capital of Punjab. A brief for the design was a city "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future". Subsequently, Corbusier and his team built not just a large assembly and high court building, but all major buildings in the city, down to the door handles in public offices. Today, many of the buildings are considered modernist masterpieces, though most are in a state of neglect. In 2010, chairs from the assembly building were auctioned in London; a diplomatic attempt to stop the sale failed, as the items were "condemned" and deemed unfit for use.[1]



  1. ^ a b Burke, Jason (7 March 2011). "Le Corbusier's Indian masterpiece Chandigarh is stripped for parts | Art and design". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Conserving Le Corbusier's heritage comes into focus". The Times Of India. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  3. ^ Sandhu, Khushboo (19 June 2010). "Capitol Complex, as Le Corbusier wanted it, remains incomplete". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  4. ^ "AD Classics: Palace of the Assembly / Le Corbusier". ArchDaily. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. ^ Tile: UNESCO approves all 3 Indian nominations for heritage tag, Publisher: India Today news, Published on: 18 July 2016, Accessed on: 18 July 2016
  6. ^ "Four sites inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  7. ^ Gans, Deborah; Corbusier, Le (2000). The Le Corbusier Guide. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781568981192.
  8. ^ "The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum". Retrieved 29 May 2019.

Coordinates: 30°45′26″N 76°48′24″E / 30.7573°N 76.8066°E / 30.7573; 76.8066