Function and Aesthetic

Pierre Jeanneret at Chandigarh

Pierre Jeanneret and his cousin Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, who would later become known as Le Corbusier, made their design partnership official in 1922. After a brief period working independently the duo reunited in 1950 to embark on the most important project of their careers, Chandigarh.

The Open Hand (La Main Ouverte) Chandigarh, India

Tasked with designing the entire capital city of the Punjab region, Le Corbusier agreed to the massive commission with one stipulation; that his cousin Pierre Jeanneret be brought on to oversee as project architect. Le Corbusier saw himself as the ‘Spiritual Director’ responsible for two main tasks, shaping the masterplan and designing the group of buildings dedicated to government. Jeanneret oversaw the design and construction of the entire project, and the creation of utilitarian yet beautiful pieces to furnish the city’s public and private spaces. Utilizing natural, inexpensive materials and simple construction in his designs, Jeanneret created a sense of harmony that was aligned with both Le Corbusier’s design philosophy and the aesthetic of the city. 

Jeanneret used this dining table in private residences as well as in the cafeteria of the PGI Hospital.  Intended for communal use, the table’s fin-shaped legs support a solid teak tabletop finished with a subtle beveled edge. Often re-painted for sanitary purposes, the present example features a rich and multi-faceted finish.

A sincere, true, and functional work will possess the aesthetic sense but it may also become a monster. The aesthetic sense will not depend…on the richness of the material or on what it is meant to be, but on the richness of spirit, imagination and invention.

Pierre Jeanneret