|Born||22 March 1896|
|Died||4 December 1967(aged 71)|
|Buildings||Gandhi Bhawan, Chandigarh|
|Projects||Chandigarh's huge civic architecture project|
Arnold Andre Pierre Jeanneret-Gris was born in Geneva. He grew up in the typical Jura landscape that influenced his early childhood and his Geneva Calvinism roots. He attended the School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva). As a young student, he was a brilliant painter, artist and architect, greatly influenced by Charles Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), his cousin and mentor for life. He was a cyclist in the Swiss Army from 1916 to 1918.
In 1922, the Jeanneret cousins set up an architectural practice together. From 1927 to 1937 they worked together with Charlotte Perriand at the Le Corbusier-Pierre Jeanneret studio, rue de Sèvres. In 1929 the trio prepared the “House fittings” section for the Decorative Artists Exhibition and asked for a group stand, renewing and widening the 1928 avant-garde group idea. This was refused by the Decorative Artists Committee. They resigned and founded the Union of Modern Artists (“Union des artistes modernes”: UAM).
Their working relationship ended when Pierre joined the French Resistance and Le Corbusier did not. However, they collaborated once again after the War, on the plan and architecture for the city of Chandigarh in India.
Jeanneret, in collaboration with the English husband-wife team of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, was responsible for much of Chandigarh's large civic architecture project. His most remarkable contribution has undoubtedly been the designing of the fourteen categories of mass-housings that constitute the living and amenity areas of Chandigarh. Jeanneret, along with Ar. Jugal Kishore Chowdhary, Ar. Bhanu Pratap Mathur and Er. Agya Ram, was responsible for a significant amount of designing for the Panjab University, including the Gandhi Bhawan and the University Library.
Jeanneret stayed on in Chandigarh after its construction, advising the local government in his appointed capacity as Chief Architect of the city. In order to commemorate his legacy, the Chandigarh Administration has restored his residence, House No. 57, Sector 5 (Type 4J), and converted it into a Museum dedicated to his contributions to the city, on his 121st Birth Anniversary i.e. March 22, 2017.
There were 8 linear meters of manuscripts, documents, photographs, drawings and letters between Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, which were collected over fifteen years during the Chandigarh project. They contain great detail of Jeanneret's responsibilities in the construction of the city. They were left to Jeanneret's niece: Jacquelin Jeanneret upon his death in 1967. They are now preserved at Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA).
Some of his major works in Chandigarh include the M.L.A. Hostels in Sector 3 and 4, Polytechnic for Men (now CCET) in Sector 26, the State Library, Town Hall and the Post & Telegraph Building in Sector 17, the Architects' Office (now Le Corbusier Centre) in Sector 19, the P.G.I.M.E.R. in Sector 12 (in collaboration with Jeet Malhotra, Aditya Prakash and H.S.Chopra), Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-16, St. John's High School, Sector 26 and the Shops on V4 in Sector 11.
On his death, 4 December 1967, in accordance with his will, Jeanneret's ashes were scattered in Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake.
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