Pierre Jeanneret Chandigarh Desk

Rare Pierre Jeanneret Desks From Chandigarh

Who is Pierre Jeanneret And Why Should I Care?

Pierre Jeanneret (1896 – 1967) was a Swiss born architect, designer, and artist who most notably collaborated with luminaries such as Le Corbusier (aka Edouard Jeanneret, and also his cousin) and Charlotte Perriand. It was through these collabs that some of the most iconic furniture and architectural pieces of the 20th century were created.

Le Cobusier Perriand and Jeanneret
Charlotte Perriand – Pierre Jeanneret – Le Corbusier

It was through these collabs that some of the most iconic furniture and architectural pieces of the 20th century were created. One of the most ambitious projects that Jeanneret was involved in during his career was the huge undertaking of designing a new city, Chandigarh, in Panjab (in the newly independent India) with Le Corbusier. Read more about it HERE.

PL Varma Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret
PL Varma – Le Corbusier – Pierre Jeanneret

Rare Pierre Jeanneret Desks

In this project, Le Corbusier was responsible for most of the layout of the city and Jeanneret handled the finer details of the metropolis, designing several of the municipal and residential buildings. Along with structures, Jeanneret went on to design furnishings such as chairs, tables, bookcases, stools, and desks for the inhabitants of these new buildings. I have assembled a comprehensive list of the desks he designed (often with others) for the Chandigarh project. Enjoy! 

Jeanneret Z element table

Pierre Jeanneret Rare Z Element Desk

Designed for administrative buildings, Chandigarh.

Made of: teak. 

Year: 1957-1958

Jeanneret demountable table

Pierre Jeanneret Demountable Administrative Desk

Designed for secretariat and administrative buildings

Made of: teak.

Year: 1957-1958

Jeanneret desk bookcase (1)

Pierre Jeanneret Desk Bookcase (Pigeonhole)

Designed for administrative buildings, Chandigarh.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1957-1958

Jeanneret executive desk (1)

Pierre Jeanneret Executive Desk

Designed for secretariat and administrative buildings

Made of: teak.

Year: 1958-1960

Jeanneret Student Desk

Pierre Jeanneret Student Desk

Designed for Panjab University and College of Architecture.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1960

Jeanerret working desk

Pierre Jeanneret Working Desk

Designed for Panjab University and College of Architecture.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1960

Jeanneret rare administration desk

Pierre Jeanneret Rare Administration Desk

Designed for administrative buildings, Chandigarh.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1960

Jeanneret rare secretariat desk

Pierre Jeanneret Rare Secretariat Desk

Designed for administrative buildings, Chandigarh.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1960

Jeanneret Console

Pierre Jeanneret Console

Designed for administrative buildings, Chandigarh.

Made of: teak.

Year: 1963

How Much Do Pierre Jeanneret Chandigarh Desks Cost?

One would be hard pressed to find decent reproductions (hence less expensive) Jeanneret Chandigarh desks in the market. The best ones I found were a hybrid of the secretariat and the administration desk (found HERE) for $3,000 and a version of the student desk (found HERE) for $1,000. If you are in the market for a true original, you will be paying from $28,000 for an original secretariat (found HERE) or $10,000 for an original student desk (found HERE). What kind of student works at a $10k desk? I wonder….

What Is An Authentic Jeanneret Chandigarh Piece?

Authentic, in the case of the Chandigarh pieces, would refer to something that was originally constructed and used in the Chandigarh project. The Chandigarh furniture plans were given to the local Panjab/N. India manufacturers who were given permission to alter design and materials based on their judgment. Therefore, two desks manufactured in different studios could actually differ slightly in construction/design. There is no trademark for the design (and the designs were frequently designed with or by designers other than Jeanneret), so the pieces manufactured today are “homages” to the original designs. Check out some markings below.

Original Jeanneret Desk Markings
Original Jeanneret Desk Markings

Chandigarh Furniture Collaborators

Pierre Jeanneret collaborators in Chandigarh
Pierre Jeanneret and Indian Design Collaborators

Although Jeanneret gets most of the credit for the design of the furniture that was produced for Chandigarh, there were numerous other Indian designers on the project who contributed. Some notable designers were:

Eulie Chowdhury – an Indian architect, landscape designer, and furniture designer. She was also fabled to be the first female architect in Asia. She worked closely with Le Corbusier in the construction of the city and with Pierre Jeanneret on several of the furnishing designs. Most notably, the library chair. 

Eulie Chowdury
Eulie Chowdhury

Jeet Malhotra – in addition to contributing to many of the architectural design of the buildings of Chandigarh, Malhotra was a major contributor to the design of the Armed Chairs from the High Court.

Jeet Malhotra - Advocate Chair
Jeet Malhotra

Aditya Prakash – an Indian architect who designed one of my favorites in Chandigarh – The Tagore Theater, and was instrumental in the creation of the amazing Theater Armchair.

Aditya Prakash - Theater Chair
Aditya Prakash

What Material Is Jeanneret Chandigarh Furniture Made Of?

Pierre Jeanneret was a devout pragmatist and utilitarian. He had to make thousands of pieces of this furniture and had to use the materials that were local and easily accessible. Teak (Burma teak, to be specific) and sissoo (also known as N. Indian rosewood) were readily available and made up a lionshare of the “bones” of furniture from the Chandigarh project. The teak wood was ideal, since it was resistant to humidity and bugs. 

Burma Teak

 Cane was used in many of the chairs and iron was used as support in many of the stools. Leather and  fabric upholstery was also used for some of the original Chandigarh pieces. 

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