Chandigarh Administration hosts delegation’s meeting on preservation of Capitol Complex : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh Administration hosts delegation’s meeting on preservation of Capitol Complex

Chandigarh Administration hosts delegation’s meeting on preservation of Capitol Complex

Members of the UNESCO delegation with officials of the UT Administration on Friday. Tribune Photo



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8

A delegation from seven countries arrived here today to give suggestions on the conservation and preservation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) heritage site in Chandigarh — the Capitol Complex.

Members of the delegation are currently on a two-day visit to the city to attend the seventh International Standing Conference on the architectural works of the Le Corbusier transnational nomination in UNESCO.

Delegates today discussed in detail the decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding heating, ventilating and air conditioning ancillary structures, the holistic development of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the multi-level basement car park project.

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO had in October finally halted three key projects of the Capitol Complex, despite the UT Administration seeking a reconsideration of its earlier draft decision. The Chandigarh Administration today hosted the conference of the seven countries, namely France, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland and India, at the UT Secretariat.

The conference is being held on the architectural works of Le Corbusier, an outstanding contribution to the modern movement, and attended in person by the delegates present: Brigitte Bouvier and Bénédicte Gandini from Fondation Le Corbusier (Paris), Benoît Dubosson of Switzerland, De Graef Rudy from Belgium and Kazuho Nakatani from Japan. The other state members joined the meeting through video-conferencing. Each state party delivered presentations on the works of Corbusier.

At the 40th World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul, Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2016) as part of the transnational serial property under the title 'The Architectural Works of Le Corbusier’.

Chandigarh hosts a marvelous example of the Le Corbusier architecture, including the Capitol Complex. Since India has assumed the presidency this year, the Fondation Le Corbusier secretariat decided that Chandigarh would hold the seventh International Standing Conference of the seven countries concerned.

UT Chief Engineer CB Ojha delivered a detailed presentation on the conservation of the Capitol Complex and on the Heritage Impact Assessment given by the Chandigarh College of Architecture. Representatives of the state parties lauded the presentations.

Chandigarh Cultural Affairs Director Sorabh Kumar Arora accorded the delegates a welcome. The state parties exchanged their views on the instruments of restoration and preservation being used by them.

The decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding heating, ventilating and air conditioning ancillary structures, the holistic development of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the multi-level basement car park project were discussed in detail. Members of the delegation today visited the museum in Sector 10, the Le Corbusier Centre and Sector 17. Tomorrow, they will head to the Capitol Complex.

In September this year, three major projects at the Capitol Complex in Sector 1 were suspended. This decision was based on the negative impacts identified in the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) reports. Alternative locations and solutions that do not impact the outstanding universal value (OUV) are being sought.

The three suspended projects were an underground multi-level parking lot, a holistic development plan for the Punjab and Haryana High Court and AC chiller plants. UNESCO emphasised that the recommendations from the ICOMOS Technical Review of the proposed projects be implemented before any construction work begins.

Designed by Le Corbusier, the Capitol Complex symbolises the three pillars of democracy — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary — standing together.

On agenda

  • Delegates on Friday discussed in detail the decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding heating, ventilating and air conditioning ancillary structures, the holistic development of the High Court and the multi-level basement car park project
  • UT Chief Engineer CB Ojha delivered a detailed presentation on the conservation of the Capitol Complex and on the Heritage Impact Assessment given by the Chandigarh College of Architecture. Representatives of the state parties lauded the presentations

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