Modern day architect Correa gave new face to Bhopal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2015 21:17 IST

Renowned architect Charles Correa, who passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday night after a brief illness, has had a long association with Bhopal - a city where he designed several iconic structures.

Correa's, 84, association with the capital began in the 1970s when he was engaged to design Bharat Bhawan (1975-81), the centre for performing and visual arts.

Later, he was also engaged to design the Vidhan Sabha (1980-97). At the same time, he also designed an office complex, christened the Paryavas Bhawan in Arera hills (1980-92).

"Charles Correa played a great role in making Bhopal a modern city. He used to call Bharat Bhawan a non-building because you cannot see the entire building from any one point," said former civil servant, Ashok Vajpayee, who worked closely with Correa when Bharat Bhawan was being made.

Vajpayee further said Correa was perhaps one of the few architects who combined elements of Indian style with modernity, creating a vocabulary which was unique not only in India but in the world.

He recalled that the famous architect was brought in for work at Bharat Bhawan when architect and theatre personality BV Karanth and painter J Swaminathan both had not been associated with it.

Correa, however, agreed to change several designs in Bharat Bhawan on advice even though any big architect would not have agreed.

Born in Secunderabad, Correa attended St Xaviers College in Mumbai, and then did his undergraduate course in architecture at the University of Michigan and then did his masters from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006.

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