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Pierre Jeanneret, "Kangourou" chair

In the early fifties Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret set out for an urban planning project in Chandigarh, India, designing and producing low cost buildings for the community. Le Corbusier left the project mid-way and Jeanneret became the Chief Architect and Urban Planning Designer. He stayed in Chandigarh for fifteen years and the city evolved into a landmark of modern architecture.

The simple and functional furniture range designed by Pierre Jeanneret to furnish the buildings of Chandigarh directly responded to the challenges that had dominated the design of the City; economy, materiality and climate. Chandigarh marked a departure from the architect's earlier aesthetic of mass produced tubular steel furniture. Instead he chose to utilize vernacular techniques and materials, eschewing mass production for the skills of local craftsman to realize their designs.

Blueprints were circulated to these teams who each interpreted the drawings into the finished articles. The furniture therefore reveals a hands-on approach to construction with each item revealing variations in detailing, construction and fabrication. Chair legs are sometimes square edged, sometimes rounded, sometimes 1 ½ inch thick. Even the finish to the furniture varied. Often the teak was clear finished whilst on other occasions it was stained resulting in subtle variations in the aesthetic.

Object information

Solid teak with caned back and seating.
Date and place:
Chandigarh, India, 1952 - 1956
64.5 x 55 x 74 cm
Private collection, Chandigarh

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