Swiss couple’s tribute to master architect of City Beautiful

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2015 09:37 IST
The Swiss couple at the Capitol Complex on Monday (HT Photo)

As Chandigarh celebrates the birth anniversary of Le Corbusier — who planned Chandigarh — on Tuesday, tourists from Switzerland reached the Capitol Complex on Monday to witness the creation by the master architect.

The Swiss couple Urs Unternahrer and Tanya Mezzera came specially to see the Capitol Complex on Corbusier’s birthday as a tribute to him. This is the couple’s third visit to the City Beautiful in the past 17 years. Urs, a graphic designer, said Chandigarh was a great piece of work by Le Corbusier. “I have seen his work the world over, but Chandigarh is a marvel as he came up with a wellplanned city.” He added that Chandigarh was not like any other Indian city but was way better and was properly planned with a lot of green spaces.

Tanya, a social worker, said they first came to Chandigarh in 1998 and then in 2005. “We are visiting Chandigarh after 10 years and are glad to see that things have improved,” she said. Tanya said she found the city cleaner and greener while Urs said the traffic scene had changed in past decade. “Earlier, there were more cycles than cars on city roads,” he said.

Referring to maintaining the work undertaken by Corbusier, Tanya said: “I see a lot of concrete work in the city and maintaining that would be a challenge for the authorities, given the climate in the city.”

Both have also visited Ahmedabad and admire the work done by the architect in the city. The Mill owners building at Ahmedabad is known to be Corbusier’s finest works.

Tourist attraction

The Capitol Complex is fast turning into a tourist attraction with visitors from Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand coming to see the master’s creation. Sources in the UT tourism department said more than 1,000 tourists visit the complex in a month. The UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal said: “The guided tours that were started at the complex in April this year had shown encouraging results as the number of visitors have increased manifold.” He said around 5,000 tourists visited the Capitol Complex between 2010 and 2014. But this year, more than 10,000 tourists have already visited the complex to date, he added.

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