So here we are on the last day of our trip, on the road to visit the Capitol Complex; the heart of Chandigarh, designed (partially) by Le Corbusier in the late 1950’s. An ode to modernist architecture that we have been longing to visit for years.
Well not quite; aside from the bad planning (in my own opinion) of our travel agent, visiting Chandigarh is a bit more complicated than we thought. So apart from the 3 sites cited in my last post, there is nothing organised to visit the habitations buildings and finally you have to go through a guided tour to visit the Capitol Complex.
This is not quite all : the two main buildings on the Capitol, the High court and the Assembly are in use (why should they not be after all?). So you cannot enter the High Court and you are lucky (we were) to enter the Assembly ( but no photos inside).
Add bye the time the guide assembled the small crowd of tourists we started our visit by mid morning, time was starting to be short and the light was quite bad for taking pictures.
As you can see above the high court is in use with layers in their work outfits.
In the opposite site of the plaza from the Hight court, the Palace of Assembly has a better lighting. It is overseeing a large pond and offers a spectacular view.
The holes in the front walls give nice perspectives and see through views.
Patterns on the assembly walls, reminding that man is the scale of the construction.
Getting out of the Assembly House the inevitable Ambassador car, now a civil servant official car, which used to be common taxis.
Our visit was accompanied by Mister Mohan, from the tourist Police who turned out to be a friendly person.
A few more things:
For the habitations buildings there are no restrictions to go and visit them, ask inhabitants,… we met some passionate french people who were spending a full week there. But Chandigarh is a big city so you better plan for what you want to see.
You can “pass by” on a road at the back of the Open Hand monument, in a certain distance, without getting into a tour and then be able to take picture at better moments (I did not)
The tour of the Capitol Complex is a bit rushed through, you are not welcome to wander around or take too long with your photography nonsense,
You do not see on the pictures, the parking lots, the vans, the 20 Spanish tourists of our tour, the barriers,…
How did I manage to take so poor pictures of a site I longed to visit for decades? It shows (if needed) that some skills need working on.
Camera geekerry : color shots Leica M262, black and while Leica M6, Summicron 28 and Summicron 50
The Phul or Phool cinema is a theater in Patiala in Punjab.
It is an impressive Art Deco building erected in a rather large compound in a rather busy traffic junction in the city.
I first spot it from the car when we passed by, and as we were having some samosas on the other side of the road I could not resist to cross the junction for a closer look.
India the (other) land of cinema! Our guide discussed with a man that looks to be the guardian or operator or both of the cinema and he happily showed us around. The art deco fixtures are beautiful. Not only could we see the entrance, but also the upstairs foyer and the projection room.
The old projectors are now at rest replaced by a digital device. We could even peep into the room where Judwaa 2 was showing.
The highlight of the visit was when our host (below) showed us to the top of the building.
Thank you very much sir for the visit.
All shots in very poor light with Leica M262 and Summicron 50mm. I did not wand to loose time changing lens, but the the view of the roof top with the moon and the projectors view would have benefit from a wider lens. For the poor light, I have to consider if a faster would help. Maybe a 35Lux sometime?
I am just printing the portrait above and posting it to the cinema today.
The city of Kapurtalha is 70 km or 1 and half hour drive from Amritsar. Is used to be a princely state in British India, and its late Maharajah, Jagatjit Singh built a certain number of monuments in the 1930’s, making the city a “Little Paris”.
The Mosque was build by French architect M. Manteaux, who had also designed the Jagatjit Palace in the city. The intention of the Maharajah was to offer his Muslim subject the best place of worship in order to preserve balance between the cults.
The mosque’s architectural design is based on the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh ( Morocco ).
The building is beautiful outside and inside;and in very good condition, we were just surprised to it empty. The man in charge was very nice and happy to show us around.
The courtyard is of marble; the interior patterns were originally made by artists from Lahore.
Kapurthala, looks like a very nice city, probably of 200000 inhabitants, with a lot of other buildings of architectural interest. Among them the Jagatjit Palace (Palace of the Maharajah), inspired by Versailles and the Jagatjit Club. The palace is now a military school and unfortunately cannot be visited without a prior authorization that we did not get. But just looking around in the street around the mosque a lot of smaller buildings are worth a look.
The other place of interest of Kapurthala is the Rail Coach Factory, but also requires an authorization and our trip organizer was ignorant of it so we could not access it, in spite of the efforts of our guide, bit of disappointment on my side.
All shots with Leica M262 and summicron 28 (mostly) or 50.
Small walk to Neil Road a few weeks back to check the intriguing architecture of the old abandoned St Matthews Church.
Most of the information here is taken from Remember Singapore a great site about things of the past in Singapore.
The original church was built in the 1890’s as a place of worship for the British sailors.
It operated though all the first half of the 20th Century, including the Japanese occupation during WWII.
In the late fifties, St Matthew’s embarked on a re-building plan of its main church building.
Designed with a distinctive Modern style, the new double-storey building consisted of a prayer hall on top of a large function room. It also possessed an unique vertically protruding roof that looked like a ship’s prow, and a tall concrete bell tower that was erected beside the main chapel.
The bell was removed sometime in the 2000’s.
Also, after the war, St Matthew’s Church carried out plans to, expand its premises, including the construction of a vicarage and a kindergarten was also built in the early fifties.
The new kindergarten was designed in simple Art Deco-style; it had a sloping roof laid with terracotta Marseilles tiles and timber windows with louvers.
Color pictures Leica M262 ; B&W pictures Leica M4 with Kotak TMAX 100.
Wide angle Summicron 28mmF2 Asph ; normal lens Summicron 50mm F2 type V
For the last post of the year, I will show you pictures of a small walk I did at Dakota Crescent estate in Singapore.
Like Rochor Centre, Dakota is supposed to be demolished at the end of this year (so pretty soon). The estate belongs to the public housing administration (HDB), it was built in 1959 during the British area.
The blocks have some interesting feature, some inherited form modernist lines. The most well known feature is the “dove” play ground.
The estate is made of 17 blocks, some high rise, some lower rise, located closed between Old Airport Road and the Kaland river. Old airport road s the road that was leading to the airport that was used prior to the opening of Changi in the 1990’s I think.
As this time the buildings are more or less empty, ready to leave way for a new development (I ignore which). There will be more pictures of Dakota as I went there again last week. But that will be for 2017.
Color shots done with Leica M262 and Summaron 35mmF2.8; Back and white with leica M4 with Voightlander Color Skopar 21mmF4 or Summitar 50mmF2 on odak TMY 400 film.
The first outing of 2016 of the Singapore Photowalkers(SGPW) organized by Bernard Goh was at the newly opened National Gallery. An opportunity to bring out the Hasselblad and a roll of Rollei RPX 25Iso that I imagined well suited for Architecture.
The National Gallery is a museum displaying local collections, in a new building mixing contemporary architecture and two buildings form the colonial Area: the city hall an dthe high court.
Inside and outside the mix of the two style is visible.
Tripods are not allowed inside so all shots are handheld around 1/60s at F4. The film is very easy to scan with the old Epson V500 and the lab did not do a bad job with it.
I can let you judge the results.
I also shot a roll of Rollei Retro 400s which turned out to be so badly underexposed it is unusable. If is the second roll now, shall I blame the lab or the film? Actually I also manage to screw up another roll of 400s in the EOS1N, but I pushed that one by 1 stop. In doubt I’ll stay away from if from now on.
10 to 22nd of March was the Singapore Design Week, and during the week-ends were some Design trails, taking visitors through Design landmarks in the city-state.
We join the trail on the last Sunday,and had a first stop around our house at the Lloyds Inn, a recently renovated boutique hotel around the corner from where we live. The inside of the hotel is out-of-bounds but the garden and outside architecture is worth a look.
In a small portion of the garden is a kind or art installation, good opportunity for a close up with the Hassie.
The trail is quite well organized and a minibus was bringing visitors from one place to the next. This being sunday a couple of places were closed unfortunately. We head next to the Working Capitol on Keong Saik Road, near Chinatown. This is a very nice classic building converted into a shared working space for individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.
A bit more close up action on a showcased jewelry stand
Out final stop was up Pearl Hill, on what’ snow called number 195, but was called “the upper barracks” from the time it was housing the Sikh officers of the colonial police (I imagine the non officers were in the lower barracks). This is also a beautiful colonial era building, but which nowadays is more or less left to its own dereliction. Very close to the city center it would make a beautiful area for art display or as the Working Capitol for housing start-ups.
We met a very nice young couple doing calligraphy to the greatest joy of my son.
Al pictures taken with the trusty Hasselblad 500Cm and the 80mmF2.8. Some pictures (interior) with Kodak Tri-x 400, others with Ilford PAN 50.