Chandigarh: The UT administration has set the ball rolling for the construction of the fourth building — Governor’s Palace/Museum of Knowledge — at the Capitol Complex.
The Governor’s Palace is the only building in the original plan of Capitol Complex that has not been constructed since the last 66 years. The administration has formed a committee to explore the possibilities of constructing the building and prepare a proposal. The committee would be steered by Chandigarh College of Architecture. The decision has been taken by the heritage committee headed by UT adviser Parimal Rai.
Le Corbusier had initially proposed Governor’s Palace, which was shelved by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as it did “not go with the democratic set-up. Le Corbusier later proposed Museum of Knowledge, which also failed to see light of the day. Le Corbusier had prepared designs for both the buildings.
Over the years, there have been deliberations and discussion over completing the Capitol Complex. However, experts have not been able to arrive at a conclusion whether the design for Museum of Knowledge should be built at the earmarked site or Governor’s Palace be built. The experts have also not been able to define the usage of the building.
Realising the dream of Le Corbusier would be an uphill task for the local administration. Capitol Complex was declared a Unesco world heritage site on July 17 in 2016. After the UT administration made unsuccessful attempts to get the Unesco tag for it since 2006, the complex was included in the transnational dossier on the works of Le Corbusier, submitted by Paris-based Fondation Le Corbusier to Unesco on behalf of seven countries, including France, Argentina, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany.
Some of the experts have expressed their apprehension that the heritage status will come in way of constructing the building. According to rules, if the basic characteristics of a site for which it was included in the World Heritage list is not maintained, the site is put on the list of “world heritage in danger”.
A senior official of the administration said the committee will take up the matter with the Unesco and Fondation Le Corbusier for completing the building. The committee in collaboration Fondation Le Corbusier will take on call on whether to construct Governor’s Palace or Museum of Knowledge.