Charles Correa

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Charles Correa
Charles Correa.jpg
Correa in 2011
Born(1930-09-01)1 September 1930
Died16 June 2015(2015-06-16) (aged 84)
Mumbai, India
Alma mater University of Mumbai
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Michigan
OccupationArchitect, urban planner and activist
Buildings Jawahar Kala Kendra, National Crafts Museum, Bharat Bhavan

Charles Mark Correa (1 September 1930 – 16 June 2015) was an Indian architect, urban planner and activist. Credited for 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. [1]

An urban planner is a professional who practices in the field of urban planning.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.


He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972, and the second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan given by Government of India in 2006. He was also awarded the 1984 Royal Gold Medal for architecture, by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Padma Shri family of awards of the state of India

Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. It is awarded by the Government of India, every year on India's Republic Day.

The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, second only to the Bharat Ratna. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is given for "exceptional and distinguished service", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The award criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" including doctors and scientists, but excluding those working with the public sector undertakings. As of 2019, the award has been bestowed on 307 individuals, including twelve posthumous and 20 non-citizen recipients.

Government of India Legislative, executive and judiciary powers of India

The Government of India, often abbreviated as GoI, is the union government created by the constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority of the union of 29 states and seven union territories of a constitutionally democratic republic. It is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.

Early life and education

Correa, a Roman Catholic of Goan descent, was born on 1 September 1930 in Secunderabad. [2] [3]

Secunderabad Twin City of Hyderabad in Telangana, India

Secunderabad is the twin city of Hyderabad located in the Indian state of Telangana. Named after Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, Secunderabad was established in 1806 as a British cantonment. Although both the cities are together referred to as the twin cities, Hyderabad and Secunderabad have different histories and cultures, with Secunderabad having developed directly under British rule until 1948, and Hyderabad as the capital of the Nizams' princely state of Hyderabad.

Correa began his higher studies at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai at the University of Bombay (now Mumbai) went on to study at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1949–53) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States (1953–55). In 1958 he established his own Mumbai based professional practice. [4] He died on 16 June 2015 in Mumbai following a brief illness. [5]

St. Xaviers College, Mumbai College affiliated with the University of Mumbai

St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, is a college affiliated with the University of Mumbai offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Arts, Science, Commerce and Management. Xavier's was the first college to be granted autonomy by the University of Mumbai in 2010. In 2006, St. Xavier's was awarded 'A+' grade by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

University of Michigan Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The institute is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university with campus extends more than a mile along side the Charles river. The institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences, engineering and architecture, but more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art as well. MIT is often ranked among the world's top five universities.


Correa was a major figure in contemporary architecture around the world.

His first important project was "Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya" (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial) at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad (1958–1963), [6] then in 1967 he designed the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Bhopal. [7] He also designed the distinctive buildings of National Crafts Museum, New Delhi (1975–1990), Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1982), Jawahar Kala Kendra (Jawahar Arts Centre), in Jaipur, Rajasthan (1986–1992), British Council, Delhi, (1987–92) the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Boston (2000–2005), City Centre (Salt Lake City, Kolkata) in Kolkata (2004) and the Champalimaud Centre for The Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal (2007–2010). [6]

Mahatma Gandhi Pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa – is now used worldwide. In India, he was also called Bapu, a term that he preferred and Gandhi ji, and is known as the Father of the Nation.

Sabarmati Ashram residences of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi during 1920s

Sabarmati Ashram is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, four miles from the town hall. This was one of the many residences of Mahatma Gandhi who lived at Sabarmati (Gujarat) and Sevagram when he was not travelling across India and was not in prison. He stayed in Sabarmati and Wardha for a total of twelve years along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi and followers including Vinoba Bhave. The Bhagavad Gita was recited here daily, as part of the Ashram schedule.

Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly State legislature in India

The Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha or the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly is the unicameral state legislature of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. The seat of the Vidhan Sabha is at Bhopal, the capital of the state. It is housed in the Vidhan Bhavan, an imposing building located at the centre of the Capital Complex in the Arera Hill locality of Bhopal city. The term of the Vidhan Sabha is five years, unless dissolved earlier. Presently, it comprises 230 members who are directly elected from single-seat constituencies and one nominated member.

Also he designed thr research and development facility of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Mahindra Research Valley)at Chennai, which is the epicentre of various R&D networks of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

From 1970–75, he was Chief Architect for New Bombay (Navi Mumbai), an urban growth center of 2 million people across the harbour from the existing city of Mumbai, here along with Shirish Patel and Pravina Mehta he was involved in extensive urban planning of the new city. [8] In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanization.

Navi Mumbai Newly planned township of Mumbai by CIDCO in India

Navi Mumbai, is a planned city off the west coast of the Indian state of Maharashtra in Konkan division. The city is divided into two parts, North Navi Mumbai and South Navi Mumbai, for the individual development of Panvel Mega City, which includes the area from Kharghar to Uran. Navi Mumbai has a population of 1,119,477 as per the 2011 provisional census.

Mumbai Megacity in Maharashtra, India

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. As of 2011 it is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million. The larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016. Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.

Rajiv Gandhi sixth Prime Minister of India

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was an Indian politician who served as the 6th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.

In 1984, he 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.

From 2005 until his 2008 resignation Correa was the Chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.

On 18 December 2011, the eve of the Golden Jubiliee of Liberation of Goa, Correa was bestowed with Goa's highest civilian honour, the Gomant Vibhushan. [9]

In 2013, the Royal Institute of British Architects held an retrospective exhibition, "Charles Correa – India's Greatest Architect", about the influences his work on modern urban Indian architecture. [8] [10]


Later career

One of Correa's most important later projects is the new Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada which is located in the midst of formal gardens and surrounded by a large park designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. It shares the site with the Aga Khan Museum designed by Fumihiko Maki. [11]

The Champalimaud Foundation Centre in Lisbon was inaugurated on 5 October 2010 by the Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva. [12] [13]


See also

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  1. An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia Archived 3 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine University of Pennsylvania.
  2. "Charles Correa". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  3. Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, James Belluardo (1998), An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia, Architectural League of New York, p. 33, ISBN   09663-8560-8, ISBN   9780966385601
  4. "Charles Correa, Britannica".
  5. 1 2 "Charles Correa – India's greatest architect?". BBC News. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. 1 2 Vidhan Bhavan, (ArchNet) Archived 8 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  7. 1 2 "Master class with Charles Correa". Mumbai Mirror. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  8. "CharlesCorrea, Gomant Vibhushan". The Times of India. 19 December 2011.
  9. "Charles Correa & Out of India Season". RIBA. 2013. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  10. "Correa, Maki Tapped to Design Aga Khan Center". Architectural Record, The McGraw-Hill Companies. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  11. Profile [ permanent dead link ],; accessed 31 October 2015.
  12. The Champalimaud Foundation – Arquitetura Lisboa,; accessed 31 October 2015.
  13. "List of medal winners 1848–2008 (PDF)" (PDF). RIBA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  14. "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013.
  15. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1714. Retrieved 1 March 2013.

Further reading