Casablanca Chandigarh

A Report on Modernization

Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato

Casablanca Chandigarh

Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato

Distributed for Park Books

Edited by the Canadian Centre for Architecture
368 pages | 230 color plates, 160 halftones | 7 x 9 1/2 | © 2014
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9783906027364 Published August 2014 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
This richly illustrated volume invites us to think afresh about urban life and the modern city by offering images and analyses of two very different but complementary contemporary cities: the planned Indian city of Chandigarh and the ancient metropolis of Casablanca—the ancient North African harbor town developed into a modern metropolis by Michel Ecochard and a team of young French and Moroccan architects after World War II. Countering the dominant view of modern urbanism that values avant-garde ideas originating in the West over developments in non-Western regions, the book offers a more nuanced approach to the history of the modern city, and to the relationship between local knowledge and imported ideas in the rapid globalization that followed World War II.
Ultimately, by focusing on the design and inhabitation of the cities’ public spaces and housing, the book locates the essence of the modern city in its ordinary fabric and everyday life—which shifts our understanding of architecture and planning, enabling us to see it as a collective work that is necessarily the result of negotiation among a variety of actors. Chandigarh Casablanca is published to coincide with an exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.

Mirko Zardini

Cities After Planning

Yto Barrada

Casablanca, August 2013

Takashi Homma

Chandigarh, March 2013


Geopolitical Context


Jawaharlal Nehru

Ernest Weissmann

Douglas Ensminger

The End of the European Colonial Empires

Between East and West, a New Path for Development

A New Focus for the United Nations: The Technical Assistance Administration

The Political Battleground of Development Aid Missions

The Global Involvement of Non-Governmental Organizations: The Ford Foundation’s Footprint

Two Urban Experiments


Le Corbusier

Michel Écochard

Albert Mayer

Vladimir Bodiansky

Pierre Jeanneret

Architects’ Office

Mohinder Singh Randhawa

Maciej (Matthew) Nowicki

Exploring the Site: Chandigarh Before Chandigarh

Exploring Casablanca

The GAMMA Grid for Casablanca

The CIAM Grid for Chandigarh

Planning Chandigarh

Planning the Expansion of Casablanca

Governance in Casablanca

Governance in Chandigarh

Designing Chandigarh’s Civic Fabric

                Residential Sectors


                University Campus

                Medical Institute

                Hydroelectric Plant

                Workers’ Township

                The Capitol Complex

Designing the Civic Fabric of the New Casablanca


                Cité Horizontale

                Neighbourhood Centres

                Cité Verticale



Transnational Planning


Mary Jaqueline Tyrwhitt

Charles Abrams

Edwin Maxwell Fry

Jane B. Drew

Otto H. Koenigsberger

Jacob Leslie Crane

Constantinos A. Doxiadis

The Seminal Role of Conferences in Transnational Planning

Shared Tools: Missions and Reports

How Modernism Embraced New Climatic Conditions: Tropical Architecture

The Rise of a New Figure: The International Development Expert

In Conclusion

Further Reading


Copyrights and Image Credits




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