Increasing Life Span of Government Housings of Chandigarh – A Need-Based Approach to Retrofit Through Prototype Study of E-Type Housing


  • PREETI PAHWA Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture, Chitkara University Punjab
  • ANISH SHARMA Anish Sharma Design Studio, #1487, Pushpac Complex, Sector 49B, Chandigarh



Retroit, 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 Shefield. The intent of the project was to identify building(s) that need up-gradation/retroit, establish why retroit is required, what kind of retroit is needed and which techniques to employ, using a case-sensitive approach. However, the scope of this paper is limited to the irst two objectives of the project and the recognition of retroit 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 modiied, and in some cases, have lost their original appeal.
The paper is essentially drafted in three parts. The irst 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.


Download data is not yet available.


[1] BAHGA, S. and BAHGA, S. (2000) Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerette: Footprints on the Sands of Indian Architecture. New Delhi: Galgotia Publications.
[2] EVENSON, N. (1966) Chandigarh. Berkeley: University of California Press.
[3] GOYAL, J. (2005) BIS Codes on Earthquakes. The Tribune, 13th May. Available from: [Accessed: July 30, 2009].
[4] JACKSON, I. and HOLLAND, J. (2014) The Architecture of Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew: Twentieth Century Architecture, Pioneer Modernism and the Tropics. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
[5] JOSHI, K. (1999) Documenting Chandigarh-The Indian Architecture of Pierre Jeanneret, E. Maxwell Fry, Jane B. Drew. Ahmedabad: Mapin Publications
[6] LE CORBUSIER (1958) Oeuvre complete 1952-1957. Zurich: Girsberger
[7] TOMAŽEVIČ, M. (2003) Structural assessment, monitoring and evaluation of existing masonry buildings in seismic regions. Proceedings of the International RILEM Workshop on On-Site Control and Non-Destructive Evaluation of Masonry Structures and Materials, Mantova, 12-14 November 2001. Bagneux: RILEM Publications, pp. 69-80
[8] WHAT CORBU HAS BEEN UP TO: BUILDING AN ENTIRE NEW CITY IN INDIA. (1953) Architectural Forum. September 1953, pp. 142–49.