Digitizing the Jeanneret fonds at Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Photo : Alexander Winter, Image : Wikicommons

By

Deepak Srinath

Date

11.08.2016

Pierre Jeanneret’s archives pertaining to his work in Chandigarh are preserved at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), an international research centre and museum based in Montreal, Canada.

Pierre Jeanneret’s archives pertaining to his work in Chandigarh are preserved at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), an international research centre and museum based in Montreal, Canada. These specific archives comprise 8 linear meters of documents, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, etc. and were gifted to CCA by Pierre Jeanneret’s niece Jacqueline Jeanneret. Jacqueline Jeanneret has been the guardian of Pierre Jeanneret’s legacy since his death in 1967 and her decision to donate his archives to CCA instead of say the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris is perhaps a reflection of her desire that Jeanneret’s work must be recognised independent of the giant shadow of Le Corbusier.

A collage of personal greetings, given to Jeanneret on his 60th birthday by his colleagues in the Architect’s Office.

As I may have mentioned in other blogs, Jeanneret and his life are a subject of immense fascination to me. I was keen to figure out a way that Phantom Hands could support research on Jeanneret’s work. I started talking to CCA’s former curator of the Jeanneret archives, Prof. Maristella Casciato and the current Director of Collections, Dr. Martien De Vletter. Through these conversations we understood that digitising the Jeanneret archives was a priority project for CCA and we decided to support this.

The Feltri Armchair by Gaetano Pesce at CCA.

We made a contribution to CCA in May 2016 towards digitisation of documents and images from the archives and plan to make further donations every year. This project will make the archives easily accessible to architects, historians, students and anybody interested in the story behind Chandigarh’s creation. Every year we plan to fund a new project or research program at the CCA to preserve the legacy of Pierre Jeanneret.

Chair design drawings by Jeanneret, from his archives at CCA

In June 2016 I visited CCA in Montreal to spend some time browsing through Jeanneret’s archives. Viewing his archives gave me a very personal glimpse of the kind, gentle genius that Jeanneret was. A few images from my visit to CCA follow. The poster give to Jeanneret by his colleagues on his 60th birthday is a true gem.

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