Home Magazine

Casablanca Chandigarh Exhibit in Montreal

By Dwell @dwell
The visionary French architects gallivanting the Third World of the 1950’s in their quest to seed Western Modernism, have left legacies whose relevance comes of age in one of our most contemporary concerns: how to be urban in a good way. Slideshow Photo

“These were almost anthropological studies,” says Tom Avermaete of Casablanca, “Écochard was in fact a trained archeologist – his interest in uncovering the authentic state of things, as opposed to an idealized or derogatory notion of them was so avant-garde that he was later appointed director of urban planning for the entire country. Planning that arises from indigenous conditions is dynamic by nature, it will inevitably be appropriate over time”.

Casablanca Chandigarh, on at the CCA in Montreal, exhibits a titillating take on two of the most fascinating Modernist studies from this point of view. Introduced by a round table room devoted to United Nations social, religious, migrational, medical and political inquiries into areas of India and Africa in the 1960’s, the idea of exporting Western knowledge is reformulated as a humanist model in this exhibition, whose message of practicing visionary, integrative architecture continues spiritedly throughout.

Among surveys, maquettes and hand-plotted strategy maps, Michel Écochard’s relationship to Casablanca is presented as a kind of love affair. Images include black and white reproductions of his romantic escapades on motorbike and in self-piloted propeller planes across the landscape to survey the myriad local realities. These surveys are so inclusive in their desire to see local truths and incorporate them in the urban design – that, we are told, they shocked the Western architects in their time.

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in the Indian capital of Chandigarh perform similar avant-garde investigations. In the adjoining rooms, charts that go so far as to measure the emotional and spiritual responses of locals to their living conditions, and to Western interventions, are shown. These are mounted beside Le Corbusier’s hand drawings elucidating his Urban Masterplan: the city as the capital complex, layed out like a human body, with the political head leading into the pulsating core – where his signature béton brut is de rigueur.

Co-curated by Tom Avermaete of The Netherlands and the Maristella Casciato of Italy, both scholars in Third World Modernism, this exposé is enlightening in pointing to Modernism’s forethought, and its use as a way of anticipating the future in order to build cities that grow into their futurism organically.

Casablanca Chandigarh is on at CCA, the Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal, through April 2014.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Vegetarian Meatballs with Fried Napa Cabbage

    How to make meatless 'meatballs' that actually taste fantastic and satisfy both vegetarians and meat lovers? We'll let you in on a secret... or actually two:... Read more

    5 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • What I Wore: Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans

    What Wore: Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans

    Just call me a hypocrite, or maybe a convert. Just a few short months ago I told a reader to get rid of a pair of high-waisted cropped wide-leg jeans and now... Read more

    5 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
  • Supporting Someone with Dementia

    Dementia can be a sad, stressful disease for the victim, but also for their family, friends, and carers. A diagnosis of dementia is not the end of the world... Read more

    6 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Steve Bradley
  • Oh Pep! – ‘Your Nail and Hammer’

    Pep! ‘Your Nail Hammer’

    Australian duo Oh Pep! have released ‘Your Nail and Hammer’, the third single from their upcoming second album. The short and sweet song finds the band... Read more

    6 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Spectralnights
  • Kaduna State University Postgraduate Admission List – 2018/2019

    KASU Postgraduate Admission List for the 2018/2019 academic session has been released. Candidates who applied for admission into the Postgraduate programmes of... Read more

    6 hours, 51 minutes ago by   Naijapary
  • The Trouble with Mary Pinnock

    Trouble with Mary Pinnock

    You know me, I can never leave anything alone. I am always up for a challenge and possibly the worst thing anyone can say to me is 'you probably won't find... Read more

    6 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Kirsty Stonell Walker
  • MAUTECH Yola Admission List – 2018/2019 Out

    MAUTECH 1st batch admission list for the 2018/2019 academic session has been released. Candidates who appkied for admission in the university are by this... Read more

    6 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Naijapary