Accent Architecture

Alliance Française Le Corbusier de Chandigarh


Le Corbusier and Chandigarh are synonymous. Alliance Française is a globally recognized institution and the seat of French teaching and cultural activity. The institute in Chandigarh is designed and built in the Corbusian language of clean lines, framed openings, slit windows and an efficient floor plan.

Based on the principles of the Domino House, a reinforced concrete structural frame poured in situ with simple scaffolding carries the floors and concrete staircases. Interior and exterior walls are of kiln dried brick, custom made windows and doors in wood and locally fabricated metal work is used for the rails.

Programmatic spaces covering 10,650 sq ft on an 8,888 sq ft site are arranged over three floors around a central staircase and a courtyard. The courtyard forms a heat sink in the winter and an exhaust in the summer. Floors are split creating different ceiling heights to accommodate spatial and functional requirements. An art gallery, library and café occupy the ground floor; classrooms, conference and administration the second and an auditorium with a terrace overlooking the botanical garden, the third.