KUKJE GALLERY
Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret: Chandigarh, India,1951-66
Apr 26, 2016 - Jun 12, 2016
K2 Seoul
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In Chandigarh, Pierre Jeanneret had the thankless task of supervising, step by step, the creation of the new capital city, of sticking to the plans and carrying them through when the path was difficult and strewn with obstacles. I am very appreciative of it and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Le Corbusier 


As a part of the annual design exhibition program[1], Kukje Gallery is pleased to present Swiss-Franco modernist, architect, and designer Pierre Jeanneret (1896-1967) in the exhibition Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret: Chandigarh, India, 1951-66. The exhibition will take place at the gallery’s K2 space from April 26 to May 29, 2016.

As a celebrated architect and designer, Pierre Jeanneret pursued a progressive architectural philosophy that integrated design into everyday living. His ideas were practical yet driven by a refined aesthetic, and he expanded the boundaries of design in the 20th century, moving it beyond the privileged classes and improving peoples’ standards of living through innovation. Jeanneret is best known for his more than fifty-year collaboration with his cousin, the architect Le Corbusier, and their numerous high profile architectural projects such as Villa Savoye (1929), and the Pavillon Suisse of Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris (1932-33). 

Jeanneret also collaborated with his cousin and famous modernist architect Le Corbusier for fifty year on a variety of architectural projects. While introverted and sensitive compared to his more well-known and charismatic cousin Le Corbusier, Jeanneret was robust with imagination and also a skilled artisan. He made many contributions to the realization of designs in his partnership with Le Corbusier.   All of the work featured in Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret: Chandigarh, India, 1951-66 was designed by Jeanneret to be used in the new capital city of Chandigarh in the state of Punjab in Northwest India. Initiated in 1951 following India’s independence from Britain, Jeanneret and Le Corbusier were charged with building a brand new capital and creating a master plan that harmonized the city with its native Indian culture. The Indian government commissioned Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, and later the English husband-and-wife architects Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, to complete this ambitious project from scratch, giving them a tremendous opportunity to forge an innovative and ambitious concept. Using simple, straight roads to divide the 1,200 by 800 hectares into sections, they arranged the city according to function, designing sectors around the National Assembly, Parliament, Secretariat, High Court, and other major administrative buildings.   For the Chandigarh project, the architects aimed to incorporate modernist philosophy in both the design of the city as well as every aspect of its day-to-day functions, including, most notably, all of the furniture and interior design. They hoped to create a plan that both balanced India’s unique culture and climate conditions, and the demands for a vibrant civic and administrative center. With this as a framework, they modeled their design on the proportions of the golden ratio and Le Corbusier’s “Modulor” theory, which sought to create an innovative ergonomic relationship between architecture and the human body.

Installed in K2, this exhibition frames the collaboration between Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier by presenting one of the largest cohesive groupings of furniture from this historic site, providing a rare opportunity to see their avant-garde ideas. The exhibition includes a vast and cohesive grouping of furnishings including chairs, cabinets, cots, sofas, and desks, all of which were produced as a part of the project.

Pierre Jeanneret lived in India and oversaw the execution of the project as its supervising director for fifteen years. The designer committed himself to designing not only the furniture and interiors for many of Chandigarh’s most iconic buildings, but also to supporting local industry and craft, thereby integrating traditional Indian tradition and materials into the fabrication of his designs. This commitment led to a marriage of form and function that emphasized the value of the art of practicality, and established a body of work that is celebrated today not only as a unique modernist legacy, but as one of distinctive Indian heritage. Combining strong minimal forms and simple materials such as wood, cane, and steel, Jeanneret’s designs integrated modern ideals with the rural spirit of the Indian craftsman’s work, a mélange that can be seen most strikingly in the exquisite use of local teak and rosewood. Specific engineering solutions and formal attributes in the furnishings, for example in the “Library Table” and “Kangaroo Chairs”, share an instantly recognizable geometric language. Often utilizing the basic shapes of “x” “u” and “v”, these forms can be seen clearly in the support structures and legs of these iconic works. Pierre Jeanneret’s simple designs and use of modest materials made it possible to mass-produce the pieces, and people, no matter of their social standing, were able to use the furniture easily and conveniently. This generous spirit continues to characterize the pieces today, and they have become one of the most iconic designs of the 20th century.

Pierre Jeanneret was born in Geneva in 1896 and graduated from École des Beaux-Arts in 1921. In 1923, he opened an architecture firm at 35 rue de Sèvre in Paris with his cousin Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, best known by his pseudonym Le Corbusier. Gentle in temperament, Jeanneret helped to design many of the most famous European buildings of the 20th century such as the Villa Savoye (1929), and the Pavillon Suisse of Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris (1932-33) with his more driven friend and partner, Le Corbusier.
Jeanneret possessed outstanding craftsmanship and the ability to use any material for creating models and prototypes. In 1982, his close friend and fellow designer Jean Prouvé stated, “If there were a cataclysm and only a handful of architects were left on earth among the stones and the trees, they would die very quickly because they would not know how to use a tree or a stone. But I think Jeanneret, whatever happened, would always build something.”
In 1928, Pierre Jeanneret exhibited furniture pieces designed with Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier at the Salon d’Automne, an annual exhibition that marked the debut of Parisian artists. Jeanneret received attention for his commission work for the furniture company Knoll in 1946, where he created Model 92 Scissors Chair in the form of two overlapping V’s. 

In Chandigarh, Pierre Jeanneret managed all aspects of constructing Le Corbusier’s master plan. He designed and manufactured the furnishings for various sections of the city, from major administrative offices to public spaces. He made further contributions locally as the principal of the Chandigarh Architecture School, and the advisor of the chief architects and urban research team for the northwest state of Punjab; he also fostered the growth of a younger generation, contributing to the establishment of India’s modern architecture and teaching notable figures such as S. D. Sharma. 

Following Chandigarh, Jeanneret also participated in urban planning projects for other Indian cities including Sundar Nagar, Delhi, and Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western state of Gujarat. In 1965, the designer returned to his native Geneva due to his worsening health, and died in 1967. According to his will upon his death, the architect’s ashes were spread on Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake.

       

[1]Through its annual design exhibitions, Kukje Gallery has been a pioneer in introducing influential designers and master artisans to Korean audiences. Past exhibitions have included masters of 20th century French modernist design Jean Prouvé (2005), Charlotte Perriand (2007), and Jean Royère (2013).




국제갤러리는 매년 개최되는 디자인 전시의 일환으로 오는 4월 26일부터 5월 29일까지 스위스계 프랑스인 모더니스트이자 건축가 겸 디자이너인 피에르 잔느레 (1896-1967)의 «르 코르뷔지에, 피에르 잔느레: 인도 찬디가르 1951-66» 전을 2관에서 개최한다. 

피에르 잔느레는 건축가이자 디자이너로서 진보적인 건축철학을 추구해왔다. 그는 실용적이면서도 미적인 디자인을 구현하였으며, 당시 특정계층만이 향유해왔던 디자인의 저변을 확대하여 도시 빈민지역 개발 및 문화적 복구를 위한 공공적 건축 프로젝트들에 주요하게 참여한 바 있다. 
잔느레는 그의 사촌이자 널리 알려진 현대 모더니즘 건축의 거장 르 코르뷔지에와 50여 년간 협업하며 다양한 건축 프로젝트를 추진하였다. 당시 국제적으로 유명세를 얻은 르 코르뷔지에에 비해 잘 알려지지 않은 잔느레는 실제로 적극적이고 리더십이 있었던 르 코르뷔지에와 달리 섬세하고 소심하지만 상상력이 풍부하고 손재주가 많았던 인물이였으며, 르 코르뷔지에와의 협업을 통해 그의 디자인의 실제적인 구현에 많은 기여를 하였다.  

이번 전시는 피에르 잔느레와 르 코르뷔지에의 대표적인 공동 프로젝트이자 20세기 중반 인도의 독립 이후 진행된 산업화의 역사를 보여주는 찬디가르 도시 계획 프로젝트를 통하여 그들의 이상적인 건축 사상을 살펴볼 수 있는 일련의 디자인을 소개한다. 주요 전시 작품으로는 당시 프로젝트의 일환으로 실내건축에 따른 가구 및 공공 디자인에 참여되었던 간이침대, 서랍장, 소파, 도서관책상 등이 있다.

1951년 시작된 찬디가르 프로젝트는 인도 고유의 문화와 삶의 방식을 존중하는 동시에 진보적이고 새로운 도시를 건설하는 복합적인 도시계획 프로젝트이다. 1947년 영국으로부터 독립한 인도는 기존의 도시들을 개발하여 국가의 새로운 출발을 목표로 인도 북서부에 위치한 펀자브(Punjab) 주의 찬디가르 시(市)를 국내의 세종시와 같은 정부 관할 행정 지역으로 기획한다. 인도 정부는 1950년 피에르 잔느레와 르 코르뷔지에에게 이 프로젝트를 의뢰, 이후 영국 출신 부부 건축가인 맥스웰 프라이(Maxwell Fry)와 제인 드류 (Jane Drew)와 팀을 구성하여 프로젝트를 실행하게 된다. 

이들은 찬디가르를 새롭고 현대적인 건축 철학을 반영하면서도, 인도 정부의 재정적인 문제로부터 자유롭고 장기적인 유지보수가 가능한 디자인을 발표하였으며, 인도의 특수한 기후 조건들을 충분히 고려한 건축물들을 완비함으로써 인도 현지인들의 높은 삶의 질을 보장하는 도시로 만들고자 하였다. 피에르 잔느레는 찬디가르 건축사무소의 책임자로서 15년간 인도에 머무르며 프로젝트의 실행과 관리감독을 총괄했다. 대표적인 건축 사례로는 간디 도서관(Gandhi Bhawan) 을 비롯하여 공립학교, 문화시설, 그리고 서민을 위한 다세대 주택단지들이 있다. 뿐만 아니라 잔느레는 인도의 문화와 생활 방식에 빠르게 적응하여 현지실정에 맞는 디자인을 연구했다. 그 예로 습하고 더운 인도의 기후에 따라 통풍이 원활하도록 모든 건물 앞에 베란다와 현관지붕을 설계하였고, 인도의 전통 공예와 재료를 접목시킨 가구 디자인을 도입, 지역에서 흔히 구할 수 있었던 목재, 대나무, 줄기 그리고 건축자재들을 활용한 책상, 의자, 책장, 스툴, 소파, 램프 등에 이르는 다양한 가구들을 디자인 및 제작했다. 

특히 잔느레의 고유한 X, U, V 형상의 미니멀한 가구디자인은 인도 현지의 토속적인 재료와 장인들의 전통적인 공예기술의 결합으로 독특한 지역적 정서를 보여준다. 견고하고 균형 잡힌 형상적 미감은 티크 목재 와 자단(紫檀) 을 정교하게 가공한 사례로써 “실용적인 것의 미학”의 가치를 잘 드러낸다. 이 가구들은 단순한 디자인과 최소한의 재료들을 활용하여 이후 대량생산을 가능하게 했으며, 카스트제도의 잔재가 남아있는 인도 내 사회에서 계급에 상관없이 누구나 쉽고 편리하게 사용할 수 있는 경제성을 우선적으로 고려하였다.
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