Pierre Jeanneret (1896 – 1967) was a Swiss architect and builder. He was a talented painter, artist, and architect as a young student, greatly inspired by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), his cousin and life mentor. From 1916 to 1918, he served in the Swiss Army as a cyclist.
Arnold-André-Pierre Jeanneret-Gris was born in Geneva. He was raised in a traditional Jura landscape, which influenced his early childhood and influenced his Geneva Calvinism roots.
He studied art at the School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva).
In 1920, he moved to Paris and began working for the Perret brothers’ architecture firm. He started working as an architect in Le Corbusier’s office in 1922. He worked on seminal furniture designs with Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, though his exact contribution is unknown. In 1923, he met Amédée Ozenfant, a Purist painter who significantly influenced Jeanneret’s work.
In 1930, he joined the UAM (Union des Artistes Modernes). He created his furniture, including the patented Scissor Chair, which Knoll manufactured in 1947. The Scissor chair was introduced as the No. 92. It was made of birchwood with a chromium-plated steel bolt and foam rubber cushions upholstered in a linen-and-jute fabric.
After WWII, Jeanneret pursued prefabrication studies, collaborating with Jean Prouvé on prefabricated housing and Georges Blanchon on Puteaux town planning (France).
From 1952, he worked alongside Le Corbusier on the government buildings of Chandigarh (India). He also designed several public buildings, even though his reputation was and continues to be overshadowed by Le Corbusier.
Much of Chandigarh’s massive civic architecture project was designed by Jeanneret in collaboration with the English husband-and-wife team of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. The design of the fourteen types of mass housing that make up Chandigarh’s living and amenity areas is without a doubt his most notable contribution. Jeanneret, along with Ar. Jugal Kishore Chowdhary, Ar. Bhanu Pratap Mathur, and Er. Agya Ram was in charge of a large portion of the Panjab University’s design work, including the Gandhi Bhawan and the University Library.
After the building of Chandigarh, Jeanneret remained in the district, advising the local government in his capacity as Chief Architect of the city. On March 22nd, 2017, the anniversary of his 121st birthday, the Chandigarh Administration restored his home, House No. 57, Sector 5 (Type 4J), converted it into a museum dedicated to his contributions to the region.
During the Chandigarh project, Jeanneret and Le Corbusier collected 8 linear metres of manuscripts, papers, photos, sketches, and letters over fifteen years. They go into great detail about Jeanneret’s roles in the city’s construction. When Jeanneret died in 1967, he left them to his niece, Jacqueline Jeanneret. The Canadian Centre for Architecture now houses them (CCA).
His position as a mentor to young Indian architects like Aditya Prakash, Jeet Malhotra, Shiv Datt Sharma, and JK Chowdhary was also important.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, February 16). Pierre Jeanneret. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:56, May 13, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pierre_Jeanneret&oldid=1007083054
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