On the cusp of Punjab and Haryana, Le Corbusier’s ‘great experiment’, Chandigarh, sits at the foothills of the Himalayas. An archetype of modernist-European and Indian ideals, the city has a lot to offer. Even to those who live in its slums and drive its economy. ‘Type 15’ explores this potential, by proposing work-live environments on ‘prime sites’ within the city, which are currently believed to be “too valuable for these people”. It examines how providing centralised spaces for handicrafts to be practised, businesses to be run and education to take place, can not only alleviate poverty and reduce social exclusion, but also add value and amenity to the city.
The project is a fusion of the shop-house and the traditional Indian courtyard house, and is the next addition to Chandigarh’s existing 14 government-housing types. It breathes culture back into the city, deviating from its master-planned homogeneity to propose a mix of income groups and uses. It argues that in addition to its diverse and democratic spaces, cross-subsidised rental housing is key to solving the housing shortage, making it not only socially-apt, but also economically- and politically-feasible.