Preeti Pahwa and Anish Sharma
Retrofit, case-sensitive, Chandigarh, Housing, Government Housing, Pierre Jeanerret, Jane drew, Maxwell Fry, Simulation, Computer-aided, Energy, Seismic scale, Thermal comfort, Visual comfort
This paper describes a project undertaken by the authors during their post-graduate studies at the University of Sheffield. The intent of the project was to identify building(s) that need up-gradation/retrofit, establish why retrofit is required, what kind of retrofit is needed and which techniques to employ, using a case-sensitive approach. However, the scope of this paper is limited to the first two objectives of the project and the recognition of retrofit techniques is left open-ended, so as to leave room for future debates and deliberations. The city of Chandigarh has always been highlight prominently on India’s architectural heritage map. Various buildings designed by Le Corbusier and his team (comprising Pierre Jeanerette, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry) are like jewels (to be treasured) on this map. Still, ever since these buildings, especially the government housings, came into existence, no systematic procedures have been undertaken to analyse and assess their deterioration with time and usage. Passing down the streets of Chandigarh, one would observe how drastically the housings have been modified, and in some cases, have lost their original appeal. The paper is essentially drafted in three parts. The first part illustrates the conditions and political background in which these buildings were designed, so as to better understand the essence of this architecture. The second part tries to comprehend the current state of one of the many types of the Government Housings present in Chandigarh – the ‘House Type E1’ in Panjab University. Lastly, the authors use various scales, like present seismic byelaws and Computer Aided simulation tools, to evaluate how the given housing now fares in terms of structural stability and thermal & visual comfort.