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Pierre Jeanneret

Born in 1896 in Geneva, Pierre Jeanneret graduated from the Geneva School of Fine Arts in 1921 and moved to Paris this same year. Since then, he became his cousin Le Corbusier’s closest associate and he is perhaps better known for this collaboration. Together, in 1926, they wrote a manifesto explaining their architectural aesthetic vision, entitled ‘Five Steps Towards a New Style of Architecture’. With this book they created a new type of architectural work, breaking with old methods seen then as archaic. Their ‘Villa Savoye’ designed in 1929 is the three-dimensional manifestation of this piece of writing.

Some of their most famous buildings are the Villa Roche in 1923, the Swiss Pavilion at the Cite Universitaire in Paris in 1931, the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow and the Cite Refuge in Paris in 1932.


In 1929, he collaborated with Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand for an exhibition at Paris’ Autumn Salon. Here, he exhibited cutting-edge furniture such as tubular steel chairs, stools and a set of shelves, of which he often drew the first blueprints and was frequently involved in the more technological elements. Indeed, Pierre Jeanneret was also a distinguished famous furniture designer, heading modern design in the twenties and thirties with Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand.


But above all, their greatest oeuvre lasted fifteen years. Jeanneret worked in India as Chief Architect and Designer of urban redevelopment in Chandigarh, which then became a cornerstone for modern architecture. Most famously built here was the Gandhi Bhawan building, on the campus of Punjab University, which evokes a lotus flower floating on the water. Jeanneret stayed on in the city after everything was finished as an advisor to the local government. He designed chairs for their offices and number of private homes, too. Ever since, he remains in this country the most famous of the Jeannerets.

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