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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