Charles Mark Correa
1 September 1930
|Died||16 June 2015 (aged 84)|
|Alma mater||University of Mumbai|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Michigan
|Buildings||Jawahar Kala Kendra, National Crafts Museum, Bharat Bhavan|
Charles Mark Correa (1 September 1930 – 16 June 2015) was an Indian architect and urban planner. Credited with the creation of modern architecture in post-Independent India, he was celebrated for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor and for his use of traditional methods and materials.
Charles Correa, a Roman Catholic of Goan descent, was born on 1 September 1930 in Secunderabad. He began his higher studies at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He went on to study at the University of Michigan (1949–53) where Buckminster Fuller was a teacher, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953–55) where he obtained his master's degree.
In 1958, Charles Correa established his own professional practice in Mumbai. His first significant project was the Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial) at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad (1958–1963), followed by the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Bhopal (1967). In 1961-1966, he designed his first high-rise building, the Sonmarg apartments in Mumbai. On the National Crafts Museum in New Delhi (1975–1990), he introduced "the rooms open to the sky", his systematic use of courtyards. In the Jawahar Kala Kendra (Jawahar Arts Centre) in Jaipur (1986–1992), he makes a structural hommage to Jai Singh II. Later, he invited the British artist Howard Hodgkin for the outside design of the British Council in Delhi (1987–1992).
From 1970–75, Charles Correa was Chief Architect for New Bombay (Navi Mumbai), where he was strongly involved in extensive urban planning of the new city. In 1984, Charles Correa founded the Urban Design Research Institute in Bombay, dedicated to the protection of the built environment and improvement of urban communities. During the final four decades of his life, Correa has done pioneering work in urban issues and low-cost shelter in the Third World. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanization.
From 2005 until his 2008 resignation Correa was the Chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.
Later, Charles Correa designed the new Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada, which shared the site with the Aga Khan Museum designed by Fumihiko Maki, and the Champalimaud Foundation Centre in Lisbon, inaugurated by the Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva on 5 October 2010.
He died on 16 June 2015 in Mumbai following a brief illness.
Charles Correa designed almost 100 buildings in India, from low-income housing to luxury condos. He rejected the glass-and-steel approach of some post-modernist buildings, and focused on designs deeply rooted in local cultures, all the while providing modern structural solutions under his creative designs. His style was also focused on reintroducing outdoor spaces and terraces.
His work is the physical manifestation of the idea of Indian nationhood, modernity and progress. His vision sits at the nexus defining the contemporary Indian sensibility and it articulates a new Indian identity with a language that has a global resonance. He is someone who has that rare capacity to give physical form to something as intangible as ‘culture’ or ‘society’ – and his work is therefore critical: aesthetically; sociologically; and culturally.
In 2013, the Royal Institute of British Architects held a retrospective exhibition, "Charles Correa – India's Greatest Architect", about the influences of his work on modern urban Indian architecture.
|1958–63||Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial
|Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad|
|1958–59||Cama Hotel||Ahmedabad||substantially altered later by owners|
|1967||Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly||Bhopal|
|1969–74||The Leela Kovalam- A Raviz Hotel||Kovalam||sloping architecture that blends into the landscape|
|1975–90||National Crafts Museum||New Delhi|
|R&D facility of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd||Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai|
|1986–92||Jawahar Kala Kendra
Jawahar Arts Centre
Life Insurance Corporation of India
|On the 2018 World Monuments Watch list of "50 Cultural Sites at Risk from Human and Natural Threats"|
|1989||Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research||Bangalore|
|2000||St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Parumala||Parumala, Thiruvalla|
|2000–05||McGovern Institute for Brain Research||MIT, Boston, US|
|2004||City centre||Salt Lake City, Kolkata|
|2007–10||Champalimaud Centre for The Unknown||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Ismaili Centre||Toronto, Canada|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Banking and Finance||Hyderabad|
|2023-25||Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics||Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune||Architect Charles Correa's last project before he passed away in 2015 was the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA - 2) in Pune, India. The IUCAA is a premier research institution in India, established in 1988 with the aim of promoting excellence in research and education in astronomy and astrophysics.
The IUCAA building is a unique example of Correa's architectural style, which combines modernism with traditional Indian design elements. The building is spread over an area of 16 acres and is designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The design incorporates features like courtyards, terraces, and verandas, which provide ample natural light and ventilation while also creating spaces for people to interact and collaborate.
Construction of the IUCAA 2 building started in 2023, eight years after Correa's death, and will completed in 2025.
Charles Correa married Monika (née Sequeira), an artist, in 1961. Together they lived in one of the flats of the Sonmarg apartments in Mumbai. They had two children.