History of the Chandigarh Chair

Iris | 09 - 20 - 2022

What is the Chandigarh chair?

Origin of Chandigarh chair

Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French architect who planned and worked on building the city of Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, India. The first Prime Minister after the independence of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, initiated the building of the city. Architect Pierre Jeanneret of Switzerland, the cousin of Corbusier, joined in the establishment and structuring of the city with his contribution to designing and making furniture. The public buildings, libraries, and state courthouses needed furnishing. Furniture which was sturdy, durable, and stood firm was the requirement. Pierre, then came into the scene and designed the Chandigarh chair. These chairs were hand-made chairs by local artisans out of Burma teak wood and had cane-woven backrests. The wood was carved into a V- shape with armrests and straws braided top part. They were also bug-resistant.

The Chandigarh chairs took their place in the public offices and secretariats. Along with these chairs, Pierre also designed other furniture like cupboards, stools, and conference tables. 

Towards modernism

When India gravitated toward modern furniture of that time, these Chandigarh chairs lost their charm among people. These chairs were piled and left on the streets and sold for a low price. Even when in use, in the 50s and 60s, no one thought this chair will gain popularity and make it to such huge prices. It was manufactured many in numbers and not maintained in any special way. The chairs were plain without any cushions, just the straw braids. 

The Chandigarh chair was designed by?
  • A. Pierre Jeanneret
  • B. Le Corbusier
  • C. Otto Koenigsberger
  • D. Frank Lloyd Wright

Interesting facts about the Chandigarh chair

From the streets to the Kardashians

In the late 80s, designers from several other parts of the globe made their way to Chandigarh and got their hands on these pilled valuables. The original items that Pierre developed and produced, as well as the duplicates made from the originals, have their place in the world. These rescued Chandigarh chairs made their way to Design Miami. That’s when the seats manufactured for the Indian public space made several dollars. In a recent auction, about ten pieces of this furniture made about GBP 2,21,260. 

The chairs that remained in piles in the streets and public buildings turned into a luxury statement. Apparently, Kourtney Kardashian owns about 12 of these historic chairs. Also, BTS RM was spotted using this chair. This chair is now a prestige symbol and is owned by celebrities now, the value and price increased. 

Chandigarh chair traveled from the public buildings to the streets and trash and now as a luxury statement. Check out our quiz to test your knowledge about Chandigarh chairs.

Related Quiz Test Your Knowledge
Read Next