Masterworks  21 November 2017

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

Pierre Jeanneret

Arnold Andre Pierre Jeanneret-Gris was born in Geneva in 1896. As a child, Jeanneret had a natural talent for the arts. He began his formal training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, graduating in 1921. Jeanneret was close friends with his older cousin Le Corbusier (born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret), and in 1922 the two opened a design atelier in Paris where Jeanneret was an active writer for the landmark avant-garde publication L'Esprit Nouveau. Jeanneret and Le Corbusier collaborated on numerous projects including Villa Savoie, the Pavillon de L'Esprit Nouveau for the Exposition Internationale des Arts-Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, and the Cité de Refuge. In 1940 Jeanneret and Le Corbusier parted ways over differences brought on by the war.

Jeanneret started his own firm in Grenoble, where he worked with fellow designer Jean Prouvé to create new concepts for pre-fabricated housing. Le Corbusier and Jeanneret reconciled following the end of World War II and in 1947, they received a commission to design the entire city of Chandigarh, India. Jeanneret moved to Chandigarh, and provided on-the-ground supervision with the set-up and construction of the buildings for more than fifteen years. Jeanneret designed the Governor’s Palace, the State Library, and the City Hall, in addition to fabricating much of the furniture and interiors after Le Corbusier decided to abandon the project mid-way through its construction. Following the completion, Jeanneret stayed on in India as the head of the architectural department at the University of the Punjab. In his later years, Jeanneret was particularly interested in urban planning and the mechanical means of controlling the environment. 

Auction Results Pierre Jeanneret

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $179,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $179,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, Committee armchairs from the High Court, Chandigarh, set of ten | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

Committee armchairs from the High Court, Chandigarh, set of ten
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $137,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, Rare Periodical bibliotheque from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

Rare Periodical bibliotheque from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $106,250

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $100,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, sofa from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

sofa from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $25,000–30,000
result: $88,900

PIERRE JEANNERET, Rare lounge chairs, pair | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

Rare lounge chairs, pair
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $87,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $75,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, set of four armchairs from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

set of four armchairs from Chandigarh
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $74,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, Rare lounge chairs, pair | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

Rare lounge chairs, pair
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $68,750

PIERRE JEANNERET, set of four chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

set of four chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $68,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, cafeteria table and four chairs from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

cafeteria table and four chairs from Chandigarh
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $65,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, sofa from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

sofa from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $65,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, lounge chair from Chandigarh, India | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

lounge chair from Chandigarh, India
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $62,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, sofa from the High Court, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

sofa from the High Court, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $60,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of rare lounge chairs from the Yves Korbendau residence, Rabat | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of rare lounge chairs from the Yves Korbendau residence, Rabat
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $60,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of Kangourou lounge chairs from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of Kangourou lounge chairs from Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $57,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $57,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, set of six dining chairs from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

set of six dining chairs from Chandigarh
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $55,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, lounge chairs from Chandigarh, pair | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

lounge chairs from Chandigarh, pair
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, sofa from Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

sofa from Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $52,500

PIERRE JEANNERET, pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

pair of lounge chairs from Punjab University, Chandigarh
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $51,250

PIERRE JEANNERET, armchairs from Chandigarh, set of eight | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

armchairs from Chandigarh, set of eight
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $50,000

PIERRE JEANNERET, file rack from the Administrative buildings, Chandigarh | Wright20.com

Pierre Jeanneret

file rack from the Administrative buildings, Chandigarh
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $50,000

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