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A pioneer who put Mumbai on the architectural map of the world

Charles Correa, who passed away on Tuesday night in Mumbai, was one of India’s greatest contemporary architects.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2015 01:09 IST
Manoj R Nair
Manoj R Nair
Hindustan Times
Charles Correa,Mumbai,Architect

Charles Correa, who passed away on Tuesday night in Mumbai, was one of india’s greatest contemporary architects.

But he was more than just an architect who left his legacy in great buildings and projects such as the kala academy, Goa; Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Gujarat and Navi Mumbai, the satellite city across Mumbai’s harbour. Correa wrote about architecture and urbanisation and he was often critical about contemporary urban planning in the country.

Correa did not give many public buildings to Mumbai but he drew up the vision of Navi Mumbai in the sixties and designed Mumbai’s first high-rise residential building — kanchanjunga.

“Kanchanjunga is still rated among the top buildings in mumbai, decades after it was built. this was the impact of his architecture. he put the city on the architectural map of the world,” said Sarita Vijayan, who often featured Correa in Indian Architect and Builder, the architecture magazine she edited.

In the 1960s, he, along with civil engineer Shirish Patel and others, authored the plan to decongest Mumbai by constructing a satellite town and headed the national commission on urbanisation in the 1980s.

His architectural legacy encompassed a wide range of work — from public buildings like Pune’s Inter-University Centre for Astrophysics and Jaipur’s Jawahar Kala Kendra, places of worship like Mumbai’s Portuguese church and a residential complex for low-income families in Navi Mumbai.

Correa’s architectural legacy spans the world, from Europe to North America. he designed the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, a biomedical research facility in Lsbon, Portugal, and was also the lead designer of the brain and cognitive sciences complex, building 46, at the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his alma mater, in Cambridge, United States.

In 2006, he was awarded the padma vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award and in 2013, he was named India’s greatest architect by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Correa’s funeral service will be held at 11 am on Thursday at the Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar.


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First Published: Jun 18, 2015 00:26 IST