Panjab University eyes Unesco heritage status for AC Joshi Library

Designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret in collaboration with the university architect BP Mathur, library expert BS Kesavan, and librarian JS Sharma, the library was inaugurated in 1963 by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Though UT recognises the building as heritage, the university does not receive any grant for its much-needed restoration.(HT Photo)
Though UT recognises the building as heritage, the university does not receive any grant for its much-needed restoration.(HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 18, 2018 12:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

Panjab University (PU) will soon submit a proposal to the Chandigarh administration and other government agencies for getting Unesco heritage status accorded to the AC Joshi Library on campus. The above information was shared by assistant professor Manish Sharma during a press meet on Wednesday.

“Though Chandigarh recognises the building as heritage, we do not receive any grant for its restoration. We wish the library to be recognised by the Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) so that a conservation plan like that of the Gandhi Bhawan can be formed for it.”

Sharma said the rooftop of the building, flooring, and electrical wiring need immediate repairs.

“The restoration plan will involve the repair and renovation of inside and outside of the building which will include the vegetation around the building, the lighting, and even replacement of the red sand stones wherever needed,” he said.

Architectural glory

Designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret in collaboration with the university architect BP Mathur, library expert BS Kesavan, and librarian JS Sharma, the library was inaugurated in 1963 by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The orientation of the square-shaped building is east-west diagonally, allowing adequate sunlight in the reading areas as seen in most of the buildings designed by Jeanneret. The sun breakers at the northern façade, and the five projected balconies symmetrically one above the other at the south façade are symbolic of Chandigarh architecture.

Planned on the modular concept, the whole structure stands on one hundred reinforced cement concrete pillars with no load-bearing or supporting walls.

Sharma said, “Presently, we are involved in sensitising people about the architecture of the buildings. Many tourists also visit the space which also houses heritage furniture designed by Jeanneret. We are in the process of forming a proposal and will submit it to the Chandigarh administration, government of India and other agencies.”

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022