10 Astonishing Facts About Le Corbusier – The Man Who Created Chandigarh

We all know that Chandigarh was build by Le Corbusier. A person with strange tastes and newfangled likes is never considered a genius very often. But yes, it can definitely create history in many stylish ways.

A modernist, a dreamer, a misogynist whatever people might call him but for the people of Chandigarh he was a great inventor and an iconic architect. Le Corbusier was a pioneering architect born in Switzerland and has beguiled the minds of the people of Chandigarh in a small way.

Today, this will change completely because I am bringing you some very little known facts about the life and interests of the icon Le Carbusier that will completely change the way you saw him before.

Real Name

Born as Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris on October 6, 1887, took up his grandfather’s name Lecorbésier.

As A Young Man

Le Corb learned to engrave watch cases in the early years of his life to accompany his father in his watchmaking business.

A Pitiable Creature

Le Corb’s taste was not ordinary and not the ones are understood by the common people easily. A so-called friend Salvador Dali who was really happy upon Le Corb’s death named him “a pitiable creature”. And said that he used to design ugliest and most unacceptable buildings in the world.

His Century Forward Dreams

Le Corbusier planned a series of sixty-story, cruciform(cross-shaped) skyscrapers that included plans for rooftop airports that had feature for commercial aircraft to fly between skyscrapers. But, sadly this plan never turned up into reality.

The Alchemy of Love and Art

Le Corbusier met the famous French entertainer of the 1920’s era Josephine Baker on an ocean liner on the way to Europe and started a short love affair. Corbusier, drew nude sketches of the beautiful actress while on the journey, fully aware of the fact that the actress’s husband was also accompanying her on the journey.

Disturbed Marriage And A Long Affair

After marrying a glamour model Yvonne Gallis, who used to constantly forbid Le Corb from talking about architecture and his plans on the dinner table, continued a serious long-term affair with a Swedish-American heiress.

Ingenious Painter

Le Corbusier abandoned architecture for his passion for painting for four years and formed a new movement in the field of French art called “purism”.

Strange Lover

After the death of his wife, Le Corb maintained a gory reminder of Yvonne in the shape of a vertebrae bone extracted from her backbone and kept it close to himself for eight years. He used to either slip it into his back pocket or put it on his work desk.

Designing His First Planned City- Chandigarh

Le Corbusier designed the master plan for the first planned city after the Indian independence, known as Chandigarh. He started working on the city’s plan from 1947 to 1950 that proved to exceptionally influential, mostly in the former Soviet Union. Though the city’s plan is more than great, it has also been greatly criticized because of its colossus and dreary buildings and bad layout.

Peculiar Death

Le Corbusier died in 1965 while swimming in the Mediterranean sea even after his doctor forbade him. The architect was struggling to climb up the rocks and refused to take anyone’s help around him at that time. The 77-year old’s body was later found washed up on the shore with the reason of death being a heart attack.

He was buried next to his wife and a unique concrete structure resembling his own iconic designs was built upon his gravestone.

It is not the common people who are always remembered by you and me, but those who dare dance even when everything turns against them.

Also, Check Out

21 Famous Personalities of Chandigarh That Make City Proud


Shivali Angurala

An Illustrator by profession and a writer by chance. Shivali's love for the city beautiful brought her to work as an author for Chandigarh Metro. Writing is something that she believe is as impactful as Art. She loves to mix up colors as much as she love mixing interesting adjectives in her writings. You may reach Shivali at hello@chandigarhmetro.com
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