Capitol Complex

The Capitol Complex is the main area of Chandigarh and the most spectacular work of Le Corbusier, the architect of Chandigarh. It is the seat of the government of the States of Punjab and Haryana and also a major tourist attraction. Standing aloof at the foothills of the city of Chandigarh, like the Grecian Acropolis, the geometrical concrete buildings, rise from the mounds as giant playful sculptures dominating the skyline of Chandigarh. There are three major buildings to be visited in the complex.

1. The Secretariat: It is the largest building in the complex intended as a work place for about 4000 people. This huge multi-storeyed structure has a long line of identical sun breakers, broken by varied heights and projections, together with a roof containing towers, funnels, pavilions and a cafetaria jutting out like an art object placed on a pedestal.

2. The Assembly: This building is the best of the architectural genius of Le Corbusier. An imposing portico with a hand painted Mural by Corbusier himself, is the prime attraction of this magnificent structure. The three features emerging from the roof: a powerful cupola housing the main assembly chamber; a pyramidal tower meant for the ‘upper house’ and housing the Haryana Legislature; and a simple cuboid tower providing access to the roof, combine to break the silhouette of the building and lend a certain grace to the structure.

3. The High Court: The High Court of Chandigarh is also a linear block, with the main façade towards the piazza. It has a rhythmic arcade of a parasol-like double roof, which shades the entire building in summer. Keeping in view the special dignity of the honourable judges, an exclusive entry has been created for them through a high portico resting on three giant pylons. Very much in the tradition of the ceremonial gateway of the Buland Darwaza of Fatehpur Sikri, this grand entrance with its awesome scale does manifest the majesty of law to those who enter its portals.

All the three are interlocked to one another as part of a subtle visual composition, delicately balanced, and enclosing grandiose spaces. Their ‘raw’ finish and rough concrete surfaces which Le Corbusier insisted upon has become a craze all over the world now. Between the silhouettes of these magnificent edifices is juxtaposed the Chandigarh city's most popular visible symbol: the Open Hand.

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