Chandigarh 1956

Chandigarh 1956

Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Jane B. Drew, E. Maxwell Fry

Chandigarh 1956 is Ernst Scheidegger’s early book project on the construction of Chandigarh, India, during the 1950s.


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Title Information

Edited by Stanislaus von Moos. Photographs by Ernst Scheidegger. Essays by Maristella Casciato, Verena Huber Nievergelt, Stanislaus von Moos, and Ernst Scheidegger

1st edition

, 2010

Text English and German


272 pages, 145 colour and 132 b/w illustrations

26 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-222-3


One of the most ambitious undertakings of legendary architect Le Corbusier was the complete design of Chandigarh, the capital of the Indian state of Punjab. Swiss photographer Ernst Scheidegger traveled to India several times during the 1950s to witness the construction of the city, and now the photographs that he took on his visits are collected in this volume.

Chandigarh 1956 is a testament to Scheidegger’s efforts to promote architecture and urban planning through photography. His striking images show Chandigarh in its raw, evolving state, as he not only documented the rising government buildings and the unfurling streets of the growing new city, but also captured images of the local people and their working and living conditions. The volume also features a facsimile of Scheidegger’s original mock-up for this book of 1957 and essays by Maristella Casciato, Verena Huber Nievergelt, Stanislaus von Moos, and Scheidegger that bring both the city and book projects into focus.

A captivating account of architectural history, Chandigarh 1956 forges crucial connections between the pioneers of modern architecture and photography and the future of architecture and urban planning.

Authors & Editors

Maristella Casciato

, born 1950, is an architect, professor of architectural history at the Faculty of Architecture “Aldo Rossi” at Cesena, University of Bologna, and Associate Director Research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. She has also carried out extensive research on the architect Pierre Jeanneret and his involvement in the planning and construction of  Chandigarh.

Verena Huber Nievergelt

Stanislaus von Moos

, born 1940, has been a professor of art history at University of Zürich 1983–2005 and a visiting professor of art history at Yale School of Architecture since 2010. He has published widely on architectural history, including monographs on Le Corbusier and Robert Venturi.

Ernst Scheidegger

 (1923–2016). After attending the photography class at Zurich School of Art and Design, he worked as a freelance photographer for the Magnum agency. He taught at the School of Design in Ulm and established a school of design in Ahmedabad in India. He was picture editor at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung 1960–1988 and has also been active as a painter, documentary film-maker, gallery owner, book designer, and publisher. He was the founder of Scheidegger & Spiess Publishers.


“For those who have not been to Chandigarh, and for those who think of Le Corbusier as the conceptual source of all crimes against urbanity, in other words for most people, the photographs by Ernst Scheidegger in Chandigarh 1956 will come as a relevation.” The Architect’s Newspaper


“These photographs form a fascinating insight into how so-called International style modernism was momentarily adopted by India.” Arlis news-sheet


“This is a stimulating and provocative book that engages the reader through the immediacy and power of Scheidegger’s images.” EAHN Newsletter


“In 1956, a young Magnum photographer travelled to India with an ambitious project in mind. Ernst Scheidegger’s intention was to use his camera to document the erection of the new capital in stages and publish the pictures in a series of books. The project went unrealized (…) Finally, a georgeous new book, Chandigarh 1956, collects the images, along with texts and other materials and brings the original project to completion. Classic photo-reportage at its best, it provides a personal account of a crucial moment in social and architectural history.” 032c


“Chandigarh 1956 also includes a facsimile of the original mock-up for Chandigarh 1956, a fascinating document of visual communication of architecture.”


«PS: The photographs in this remarkable book were for years consigned to the archives and are now published for the first time. A big thank you to the publisher!» Hans Durrer,