...a homage by
“…Certainly Architecture is concerned with much more than its physical attributes. It is a many-layered thing Beneath and Beyond the strata of function and structure, materials and texture, lie the deepest and most compulsive layers of all…” - Charles Correa
My Personal Tryst with Charles Correa and his Work By Preeti Goel Sanghi My first acquaintance with Charles Correa’s work was while still a student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi in 1985. Our very first project was an architect’s house. In the case study exercise, a fellow student, presented a house designed in 1972 by Correa for textile designer Riten Majumdar. Built on a 200 sq yd plot in a conventional New Delhi colony, the house was built around a central ventilation system enhanced by sloping surfaces, quite unlike anything I had seen in Delhi’s hot-dry climate. To me, it also seemed very visually quite stark and I wondered what the teacher found praiseworthy about it. The LIC Centre had been growing slowly for years around Connaught Place (CP) and it never failed to catch my eye, as I passed it daily on my way to SPA. Finally completed in 1986, the building was undoubtedly a landmark architectural icon. While I understood the media reports on the angry reaction of the Delhi sahibs who complained about what this building had done to Russel’s CP, and its long cherished colonial grandeur, I was amazed at the reaction of the academicians at SPA. It became commonplace to hear opinions everywhere in SPA: ‘an urban disaster’, ‘no respect for Lutyens’ Delhi’, ‘a glass curtain wall in CP’ were some bandied about. ? I felt these reached ridiculous heights when the faculty set a problem that projected the LIC as having been ‘bombed’ and invited students to design around its remnants. At this time Correa also had unwittingly accepted an invitation to speak at SPA and as a young spectator in the auditorium I witnessed my fellow students asking some of the most abusive questions. It was easy to be swayed by these ideas and I too echoed these doubts for some time. 6
I was introduced to another project of Correa’s just a year later. It was the Rajendra Place District Centre that he had designed the in the early’ 70s. How it grew incrementally, in bits and pieces was beyond my comprehension, though I appreciated the visual vocabulary that it maintained throughout its growth. Another ongoing affair of his that excited me was the Crafts Museum in Pragati Maidan. The stacking and shelving of exhibits in the most attractive manner, the large-as-life works of art, craft and architecture are themselves arranged to create spaces, courtyards and passages- a metaphor for an Indian village street. The result here was a unique ambience wherein, if one were to visualize its parts inhabited by people in local regional attires, it would be like a living tableau of history. Even though I looked forward to seeing more of Correa’s work, as a student with limited resources, I could not go too far. In my third year we went to Goa and I saw the Cidade de Goa and Lalit Kala Academy. Both these projects created a contemporary identity and reinterpreted elements of the clustered village and the public street. At the hotel I imagined myself as a guest here and from this point of view the experience was not too comforting. The open un-doored and un-windowed barlounge was deserted because it is difficult to inhabit. The way to reach one’s room through a tangle of levels and zigzag corridors, however reminiscent they may be of a Goan habitat, was more tiresome than exhilarating. But the visual impact of Cidade emerging from a hill overlooking the bay like a quaint, ochre-splashed Portuguese hamlet with terraced rooms and overhanging balconies along 7
with the exuberant use of colour and its trompe l’oeil murals and painted facades was a very innovative concept. The Kala-project had a modernist plan-form on an orthogonal grid that offered the necessary variation demanded by a programme that makes use of several performance halls, exhibition galleries, informal public gathering places, etc. Here also Correa merged illusion and reality by the use of the realistic perspective of the street murals resembling the elaborate backdrops of a typical tiatro, a highly popular and successful form of Konkani theatre. The next project of Correa’s that I physically experienced in my housing semester was the Tara Apartment in Delhi an experience that left me rather confused. In the overall organization of vehicular and pedestrian circulation, in creating large landscaped courtyards, and by aligning the orientation to take advantage of the wind direction and sun angles, this project set new standards of design for the mushrooming housing complexes. It also offered a rare sense of privacy for all residents. None of the flats at Tara Apartments look into another flat, however, the residents, were none too happy with the linear railway compartment like plan of the flats, not particularly conductive to family living. My exposure to his work also gained momentum through a series of architectural publications and exhibitions. Correa’s projects had begun to be published in foreign journals subscribed to by the SPA’s library. In addition Ram Sharma who was a much liked professor at SPA, had helped curate the first Festival of India Exhibition on Indian Architecture, which was held in France in 1985. A result of this exhibition was a substantial catalogue Architecture in India, published by Electa Moniteur. In 1986, an international design competition, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts 8
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur 9
(IGNCA) was held by the Indian Government’s Department of Arts, and to coincide with this an exhibition ‘Kham: space and the Act of Space’, was curated. Later all the competition entries were displayed and a book about the competition was published titled ‘Concepts and Responses’. The ‘Golden Eye’ exhibition was set up in 1986 to attempt to bridge the gap between the past and future of India’s craft industry and designers and architects. Charles Correa conceptualized the second Festival of India Exhibition, held in Russia in 1987. Called ‘Vistara: The Architecture of India’, this exhibition also resulted in the publication of a richly produced catalogue. His approach to the conceptualizing of the exhibition was indeed an eye opener. All had presumed that like so many other bureaucratically patronized exhibitions this would be yet another compilation of projects, old and new. However, unlike other efforts, Correa had decided to use this opportunity to delve into the myths, symbols and traditions of India, expressed through its architectural manifestations. What is more, the exhibition sought to understand their relevance today. The vastupurusha mandala became the theme of the exhibition, and through its cosmic and material intonations the entire breadth and vastness of its traditional and contemporary implications were dramatically put on display. When I joined the journal Architecture + Design (A+D) after graduation in 1991, I was thrilled to see that the first issue I saw in progress was one on him. It was here that I noticed how he literally imbued the mandala with contemporary symbolism in the design of the Jawahar Kala Kendra at Jaipur. He had chosen to use the assembly of the nine squares to tell a story of his own. Each of the nine grahas have been named after a particular planet and designed to express its spatial quality. To achieve this, the functional programme of the Kendra has been disaggregated 10
into nine separate groupings, corresponding to the mythical qualities represented by each planet. And finally, as an allegory of Vidyadhar’s plan of Jaipur, Correa snatches away one of the modules from the perfect square, and placing it in a diagonal configuration with the rest, creates a dynamic entry forecourt. My attention was thereafter totally diverted to a serious reading of books on the subject of architecture and many other books which I had earlier turned to only cram for the exam. Amongst these my favourite books was Vikram Bhatt and Peter Scriver’s ‘Contemporary Indian Architecture - After the Masters’ and a Mimar book on Charles Correa by Hasan-Uddin Khan. In 1994 I moved to Mumbai and one of my assignments with A+D was doing an issue on New Bombay. It was in this project that gave me my first one-to-one interaction with Charles Correa, whom I interviewed. After much trying and failing to get his office to reply with a confirmed date and time for an interview request, I was advised to fax a list of questions to his office. This led me to a research on the background and original ideas for New Bombay. I read the Marg Issue of 1969 which had first published the dream of Charles Correa, Shirish Patel and Pravina Mehta who had proposed the idea of urban development striking out on to the eastern mainland instead of perpetuating growth in the northern direction as the city of Mumbai was growing. The idea was a big one, a city on the water with people working and living in close proximity, of the government setting a new centre symbolizing progress and incidentally, saving Bombay. Also I saw the many experimental large scale housing projects that architects had designed here, along with the Artists’ Village at Belapur. Here also Correa had used the mandala wherein the vary patterns in the clustering of houses were manipulated within the nine square 11
geometry. This is also around the time I had read ‘The New Landscape’. The response to my faxed questions was immediate. I remember, how one afternoon, in his office in September 1996, he spoke about the new landscape for him not being merely an exercise in propaganda but the means to convert ideology into physical from. I realised that probably in the course of designing Ulwe, an urban realm in the commission to design a large section of CIDCO’s New Bombay that Correa finally trained his guns on the boarder issues of the emerging and rapidly changing urban scene in India. To me his ideas on urbanity in India ignited a new feeling of purpose in being an architect in the third world. On this note I joined the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), where Correa was a trustee as a projects director. In 1998, while working on the seminar, exhibition and other related events for the workshop titled ‘Architecture for a Changing World’, I was introduced to his Bharat Bhawan at Bhopal. This was one of the four Indian architectural projects which had won the Aga khan Award for Architecture. While researching and compiling the 100 canonical architectural works of the 20th century from the South Asian region for a publication published by the Architectural Society of China titled ‘World Architecture: A Critical Mosaic 1900 - 2000’ I began to recognize the seminal value of Correa buildings. Kanchenjunga Apartments in Mumbai, British Council Headquarters in Delhi, IUCAA in Pune, IDBI in Hyderabad were all inspiring solutions that lay well within the dynamics of India’s materialistic and spiritual energies. They augmented well in the context of the contemporary Indian culture not intimated by an imperial hangover. Subsequently, every talk in the various architectural institutions, every lecture of his that I attended, every meeting with him during my work 12
at UDRI, has been an experience I cherish, for there was always something new and refreshing agitating his intellect that he shared along with his thoughts enthusiastically and lucidly. Through his own easily comprehensible vocabulary he demonstrated the true meaning of equity in the Indian urban context, the means to achieve it, and showed how it could lead to a very lively urban scene. Teaching design at an architectural school, I took a study trip in 2001 to Ahmedabad, the Medina, (if Chandigarh is the Mecca,) of modern architecture in India. Even here a comparatively small project of Correa’s, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya at the Sabarmati Ashram, never failed to catch any professional eye, in spite of the overwhelming presence of the Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn mega structures. The potential of modernism to express such diverse moods though the architectural language is best illustrated here. In 2008, when I was working in Ahmedabad, I was surprised to see Correa at the Ashram. He had come for a meeting with the management to discuss the expansion of the library and I was surprised by his meticulous concern with not only the creation and personal supervision of each of his projects, but equally with ensuring the development of live institutions in them. His anxiety to ensure the correct guardianship for his child was openly expressed. To me this was expressive of the way Correa looked at a building being meaningful only if it became a living part of a larger social organism. The last interaction was on his talk at NCPA in November 2013 where he talked about his new book, ‘A Place in the Shade-The New Landscape and Other Essays’ along with fellow architect Sen Kapadia. Intensely articulate, he relished the stimulating dialogue, and to me his ideas on urbanity in India had the ring of the voice of a Messiah. I realised that it is only through the process of distilling readings, conversations and writings that ideas derive definition. 13
Preeti Goel Sanghi is an architect with experience in design, journalism, teaching, research, planning and development. She has a Master’s in Sustainable Development from Staffordshire University, UK, and has worked in the development sector for over 15 years. She was associated with the journal Architecture+Design; was Director Projects at the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI); was consultant to the Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and the NGO Architecture & Development. She teaches at the L S Raheja school of Architecture, Mumbai. She also works with the corporate social responsibility arm of the JSW group of companies and is a partner in SPIN (Sustainable Planning INitiatives) Consultancy Services for urban and regional planning.
Architect, planner, activist and theoretician, Charles Correa is one of the few contemporary architects who addresses not only issues of architecture, but of low-income housing and urban planning as well. His work covers a wide range, from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur and the State Assembly for Madhya Pradesh, to housing projects and townships in Delhi, Bombay, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. He was Chief Architect for â€˜Navi Mumbaiâ€™ the new city of 2 million people across the harbour from Bombay, and was appointed by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as the first Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanisation. Correa has taught at several universities, both in India and abroad, and currently spends part of his time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is Farwell Bemis Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning. He has been awarded the highest honours of his profession, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Praemium Imperiale of Japan, and the Gold Medals of the UIA and the RIBA 14
EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
1979 American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC 1985 Academie d’ Architecture Francais, Paris 1987 International Academy of Architecture, Sofia, Bulgaria 1990 United Architects of the Philippines, Manila 1992 Finnish Institute of Architects, Helsinki, Finland 1993 Royal Institute of British Architects, London 1993 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Mass 1997 Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Dublin 1998 American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY 1999 Trinidad Institute of Architects, Jamaica 2002 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
1974 – to date Council of Architecture, India
1964 – to date Fellow, Indian Institute of Architects
1953 – 1955 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.Arch)
1949 – 1953 University of Michigan (B.Arch)
1946 – 1948 St. Xavier’s College, University of Bombay
1939 – 1946 St. Xavier’s High School, Bombay
2002 Consulting Architect, Government of Goa
1999 President, World Society of EKISTICS, Athens, Greece
1998 Chairman, Committee for Textile Mills in Bombay, Government of Maharashtra
1997 Chairman, National Commission on Urbanisation, Government of India
1993 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Mass
1993 Executive Committee, BMRDA
1992 Chairman, Housing Urban Renewal & Ecology Board, Bombay Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA)
1990 Consulting Architect, Government of Karnataka
1987 Board of Directors, CIDCO (New Bombay)
1985 Chief Architect to CIDCO (Government of Maharashtra) for development of New Bombay
1979 Invited by the Government of Peru and the UN to design PREVI low–cost housing project in Lima
• • • • • •
1985 Prepared alternate Master Plan (with Pravina Mehta & Shirish Patel) proposing city of New Bombay
1979 In private practice in Bombay BIO–DATA included in:
Who’s Who, A & C Black, London Who’s Who In India, The Times Of India, Bombay Contemporary Architects, St. James Press, London Who’s Who In America, Marquis, New Providence, N.J. Who’s Who In The World, Marquis, New Providence, N.J. International Who’s Who, Europa Publications, London
2005 – to date Chairman, Delhi Urban Arts Commission
1976 Consultant to Director–General of UN HABITAT Conference, Vancouver
1999 – to date Steering Committee, Aga Khan Award for Architecture
1996 Member, Secretary–General’s Advisory Group for HABITAT II Conference, Istanbul
1984 – 1986 Chairman, Committee for “VISTARA: The Architecture of India”
1984 Founder Member, Trust for Urban Design Research Institute, Bombay
1983 Founder Member, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
1982 – 1985 Member, Economic & Planning Advisory Council to the Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka
1981 – 1988 Member, Board of Advisors, MIMAR
1980 – 1984 Member, Urban Conservation Committee, Hyderabad Urban Development Authority
1977– 1986 Member, Steering Committee, Aga Khan Award for Architecture
1976 Consultant to UN Secretary–General for planning of, new capital of Tanzania
1975 – 1989 Board of Directors, CIDCO (New Bombay)
1975 – 1984 Western Board, Reserve Bank of India
Member, Bangalore Urban Arts Commission
1975 – 1978
BOARD MEMBERSHIPS & COMMITTEES
2002 – to date ‘Praemium Imperiale Asian Nomination Committee’, Tokyo
2000 Venice Biennale Jury, Venice – June
1999 New Campus of American University at Cairo
1998 – to date Prins Claus Awards, Netherlands.
1997 Chairman of Jury, New Constitutional Court, Government of South Africa.
1998 Jury Member, National Housing Competition, China
1994 AIA / Otis Housing Competition, Washington DC
1993 Juma Al–Majid Centre for Culture & Heritage, Dubai
1993 National Landmark for State of Kuwait
1992 – 1998 Pritzker Prize for Architecture
1991 Chairman of Jury, Samarkand Competition, Uzbekistan
1989 Kuwait Pearls Competition, Kuwait Real Estate Company.
1988 – 1991 Master Jury, Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
1976 Pahalavi National Library Competition, Iran.
JURIES OF ARCHITECTURAL PRIZES / COMPETITIONS
2001 to date A. Farwell Bemis Professor, MIT, Cambridge
2000 Friedman Professor, University of California, Berkeley
1998 MIT, Cambridge
1995 Washington University, St. Louis
1993 Tongâ€“ji University, Shanghai
1992 Visiting Aga Khan Professor, MIT
1989 MIT, Cambridge
1987 National University of Singapore
1987 Harvard, Cambridge
1985â€“86 Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, Cambridge University, U.K.
1984 Columbia University, New York
1982 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
1981 MIT, Cambridge
1979 Arthur Q. Davis Professor, Tulane University, New Orleans
1976 J.J. School of Architecture, University of Bombay
1974 Harvard, Cambridge
1974 Sir Banister Fletcher Professor, University of London
1962 Albert Bemis Professor, MIT, Cambridge
1989 Festival of India: The Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
1987 Festival of India: travelling to Moscow, Leningrad & Tashkent
1986 VISTARA, Nehru Centre, Bombay
WORKS IN EXHIBITION
1985 Festival of India: Ecole des Artes, Paris, France
1984 *British Council, Bombay
1984 A Celebration of Architecture, Cumbria, U.K.
1984 *Royal Institute of British Architects, London, U.K.
1983 Third World Architecture: The Search for Identity, Pratt Institute, New York
1982 Venice Biennale, Italy
1975 Contemporary Architecture in India, USA.
1995 Scriptwriter and Director for Video The Blessings of the Sky
1986 Scriptwriter for Audio-Visual VISTARA: The Architecture of India
1976 Director and Scriptwriter for documentary City on the Water, Films Division, Government of India
1955 Scriptwriter, Animator, Photographer and Director for You & Your Neighbourhood, Masters Thesis, MIT
FILMS BY CORREA
(* denotes ONE-MAN SHOW)
2003 ‘Sky High: Vertical Architecture’, Special Show on Tall Buildings, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
2000 Gokyuzunun Kitsanmasi, ‘Blessings of the Sky’, Istanbul, Turkey, May - June ‘Thirty Years After’, Budapest, Hungary
1999 *Akademe der Bildenden Kunste Wein, Vienna
1999 *Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki, Feb- March
1998 ‘At the End of the Century: One Hundred Years of Architecture’, MOCA: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, travelling to Tokyo, Mexico City, Cologne, Sao Paulo and New York
1998 *’Models of the Cosmos’, ifa Gallery, Stuttgart, Bonn & Berlin
1997 An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia’, The Architectural League of New York, N.Y.
1996’ La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1996 ‘VI Mostra Internazionale di Architettura
1995 *’Blessings of the Sky’, Gallery MA, Tokyo
London 1994 British Council, travelling to Delhi, Bombay and Madras
1993 *’The Ritualistic Pathway’, The Architectural Association,
1992 World Architecture Exposition, Museum of Nara, Japan
1991 Festival of India : Berlin Cultural Centre, Berlin
1980 Honorary Doctorate, University of Michigan, USA.
Charles Correa Associates:
1984 Sir Robert Matthew Prize, International union of architects (UIA).
1972 Presented the Padma Shri, by the president of India.
1984 Presented the RIBA Royal Gold Medal by HRH Prince Charles at Hampton court, UK.
1974 Featured in TIME magazine cover story on New Leadership (150 person from around the world).
1986 Chicago Architecture Award, American institute of architecture, USA. 22
1987 IIA Gold Medal, Indian Institute of Architects.
1990 UIA Gold Medal by the International Union of Architects.
1991 Master Architect Award, J K industries, India.
1997 1st Prize, International Competition for the Museum of Islamic Arts, Doha, Government of Qatar.
1994 Presented the Praemium Imperiale for Architecture by H.I.H Prince Masahito Hitachi, Tokyo, Japan.
1998 Presented the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by H.R.H. King Carlos of Spain, Alhambra, Spain 2006 The second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan given by Government of India
Charles Correa – Rethinking Inspiration THE ERA OF RADICAL ARCHITECTURAL REFORM IN INDIA We all know Charles Correa as the India’s Greatest Architect. Amidst the demand for generic human lifestyle that was perceived by people as evolution is the architecture of Charles Correa which goes beyond the technological progressions. On his return to Mumbai from the USA understanding the problems faced by people of Mumbai around 1970’s his proposal through a film “ City on Water 1975 “ explains his sensitivity to the urban needs and population. What entices me about his work is the use of open spaces, courtyards, ritualistic pathways that weave through the built spaces, the movement in this pathways that form an significant part in the experience of his buildings. All these served as a framework to me in architecture and design. Correa’s work is inspired from the different phases of Indian Civilizations evolution furthermore the understanding of deeply rooted Indian Cultural and Religious background along with climate resulted in the interpretation of his architectural vocabulary of open to sky spaces, courtyards, articulation of building through the unbuilt, material and texture
experience, mandala systems of Hinduism and Buddhism. His very first project The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Ahmedabad that I had visited as a part of study tour. As I approached the building I could see only pathways leading to different directions wondering where am I supposed to head to .... walking past a few rooms I came across a pool where I stopped by and gazed at the water, while the serenity prevailed around. The beautiful play of materials as concrete, brick walls, and stone flooring tiles not only showed Gandhiji’s simplicity but along with play of shadow at the open to sky courts had a dramatic effect on the skin of the building. I was drawn more to the outside of the exhibition rooms as for the many layers of drama of people interacting, observing involving themselves in the space. The pathways seemed more lively and compelling than the rest of the areas. The understanding of how a person would arrive to an architectural space, the experience of a random pathway defining points of meet and the significance of play and pause moments has helped me in considering the flexibility of an space 24
which allows the users to walk and pause in the space. This project helped in understanding the many layers one has to think of while designing museum spaces and yet the end result is simple and engaging. This project made me understand to be context specific, as in I being visited many exhibition spaces e.g.: The Jahangir Art Gallery wherein the people visit to have look at many forms of art and sculpture, but the way of approach was directly falling in to the many exhibition spaces from a main core where a person tracks down the walls of the exhibition room which then lets you out from the room. The essence of the space that the person would grasp and retrospect the art work forms essential part of the exhibition or museum spaces ! As Charles Correa always spoke about the Indian relationship of people with the climate, relating to the way people in India preferred using the unbuilt space around the built form which articulates the breathing spaces in a building and his architectural expression has always been a response to such people sensitive lifestyle and climatic considerations. One such of his projects is the Incremental Housing 25
at Belapur which is high density low rise housing project which is a group of seven houses arranged to form a common courtyard and is open to sky. Such a pattern is repeated multiple times to form a series of hierarchy of open spaces. These generated patterns were helpful in defining the community experience of spaces also the pattern served as a paradigm to me to deal with the housingtypologies by having a shape grammar or a pattern language. Charles Correa has always been influenced by the architecture of the past, that is Akbarâ€™s Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipurâ€™s City planning done by Jai Singh the local materials used in the construction of cities which have been unique indicators of civilizations, the rock cut caves at Ajanta and Ellora depicting a non-building, rather something that is carved out to form a space. This approach had highly influenced the architecture of Bharat Bhavan Bhopal. I remember my evening at this building on a visit to Bhopal. On entering the site I hardly could see any aspiring building form other than the concrete shells that projected. I presumed it to be
some under-used space. On further going down the steps was a court from where I understood that there is a lot to it than the non-rising up above of any building. The building is has spaces connected by courtyards which form the play and pause moments through a series of time period. I moved about courts to find something grand or opulent with my previous visit being to Vidhan Bhavan at Bhopal which had different scale, courtyard proportions and multiplicity of light and shade , colours and materials. Bharat Bhavan was modest in the built and devoted to brick construction. As I walked around the courtyards I had an interest in understanding the people trail pattern about the courtyards which seemed very interesting wherein the activities ranged from people waiting in a queue for a classical music show to people waiting for some relative to join them in an exhibition to a student sitting under a tree trying to capture the diverse gamut of play and pause of the people in and around the courtyards ! The unique aspect of Bharat Bhavan were the terraces which overlooked the courtyards as well as formed a laid back
activity area which concluded into an amphitheatre overlooking the Upper Lake. The vertical visual engagement of the terraces and the courtyards is what I found amusing. After certain reflective dissolution I could conclude my interest towards the public realm of the built form through the unbuilt environment especially through Charles Correaâ€™s works. To further compose my understanding of this relation I continue to visit many places to explore these unspoken benevolent characteristics of the voids in the solids. The one work of Charles Correa that had a substantial influence on my this understanding is Kala Academy, Goa. I had visited this place earlier this year. On approaching the Kala Academy a high laterite wall with rustic appearance stands tall recalling the walls of the forts of Goa, a little further I see a few men in the lobby engaged in their laptop, a few chatting with friends seated on the low sit-outs later realising that this institution is open to everyone, which I think is the design intent to stimulate a public space in a manner to bring soul to the 26
unbuilt realm of the building. Further, from the central double height area one can view the murals on the walls which creates illusions, of either the murals being reality or the people being part of the murals. The constant melodrama of people and the murals create a delusion of the space continuing, though the walls physically limit the space. At the end of the pathway, out is the open court which faces the Mandovi river. People walk through the different spaces having paintings, made to pause under the skylight of double volume, all through the careful manipulation through orderly framework of vistas, volumes, frames, colours, light and shade. At every stage a person is involved in the dynamics of the space by individual expression of the activity through play and pause. The Kala Academy is expression of Goan identity, with reinterpreting the elements in the modern context.
understanding of the people and the patterns of movement his works not only make me rethink, but also revisit his buildings and as a student redefine my understanding of our India’s past rich cultural and religious background and its correlation to built form and unbuilt environment. As he had rightly said “Over the centuries, a sense of sky has affected profoundly our relation to the built-form. This is why in Asia the symbol of education has never been the little red schoolhouse of North America, but the guru sitting under the tree.” Despite paradigm’s being inspired from Charles Correa’s works, what is left to be ascertained is how would these paradigms work when the parameters affecting these paradigms change according to time in the coming future whether is it of technological adaptations or response to the cultural environment.....?
Charles Correa has been influential architect to me especially when it is about dealing with the unbuilt spaces and its usage by the people. While it can be observed that Correa’s works display a good
As a part of tribute to Padma Vibhushan Ar. Charles Correa ETACETECH hosted a Essays Competition on the theme: Thinking Charles Correa : Rethinking Inspiration Jury Date: 23rd October Friday 2015, 15 Member jury team Venue : Auditorium of BVCOA Navi Mumbai
Architecture is not a queue in which we all have to line up, with perhaps the Americans ahead, or the Chinese behind. No, each of us has the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of where we live. No one else can do that. Itâ€™s up to us to understand that opportunity.
Sanjay Puri Sanjay Puri Architects He commenced his firm Sanjay Puri Architects in 1992 which now has a strength of 72 people. The firm has won 65 international awards. The firm believes in exploring spatial relationships innovatively and evolving contextual sustainable design solutions. I was 17 years old when I had decided to become an architect and I remember standing on the Kemps Corner bridge in Mumbai sketching the only building that I found unique in the city. My sketch was of Kanchanjunga apartments designed by Charles Correa and it was my first introduction to his architectural repertoire. I have lived on the same road as Kanchanjunga apartments now for 2 decades and I yet admire its design while passing it daily. Charles Correa looked beyond tradition and yet imbibed the Indian ethos in the form of colour, punctuations, courtyards & light & shading principles while evolving a contemporary language.
Reza Kabul ARK Reza Kabul Architects Pvt. Ltd. Reza Kabul established Reza Kabul Architects Pvt. Ltd. in 1988. In 2011, the studio marked its milestone of 25 years in the industry with the launch of Archlights, an initiative that profiled and highlighted his contribution to architecture and real estate development. The firm has now grown into an international practice with offices in Mumbai, Pune and San Francisco. In a career that spanned the design of great buildings and cities, Ar. Charles Correa shaped the future of modern design through his work, writing and philosophy. A lateral thinker and pioneer, his love for unobstructed spaces focused on the local context of project and material, earning him the title of Indiaâ€™s Greatest Architect.
Neelkanth H. Chhaya Academic and Practicing Architect. He has taught at various places and retired as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at CEPT University in 2013. At present he is an Adjunct Faculty at Srishti School of Design, and holds the position of Academic Chair at the Goa College of Architecture. From the earliest projects to the last works, the work of Charles Correa shows a humanism and a sense of repose that lifts his architecture into the realm of the sublime. Every aspect â€“ space and light, colour and form, material and detail â€“ works together to create experiences that enrich the senses and satisfy the search for simplicity and order. His was a mind that could think simply as well as in the abstract, but also a mind that revelled in imagination, story, and human meaning. His deep roots in all the arts were evident when he made architecture or talked about it. His intensity was stimulating to all who met him or worked by his side or heard him deliver a talk. His concern for issues of great importance for making better lives made him an effective and tireless advocate of change without losing the diversity of life. His thoughts about life in our cities will guide us for decades.
Dr. Bimal Patel, HCP Design Planning & Management Pvt. Ltd. Charles Correa started his practice in the early sixties in Ahmedabad, with Gandhi Ashram as his opening salvo. This was followed by a number of other innovative projects in the city. He then moved to Mumbai where he embraced and made the most of that city’s expansive, inclusive and cosmopolitan culture. During his visit last year to CEPT, the first in nearly 35 years, Correa requested that I show my work at his conference in Goa. I was thrilled that, frail as he was, he attended my session. “Architects and planners, like engineers and doctors, have to be problem solvers.”, he said when we talked later. “They have to be optimistic; believe that the difficult problems that people and societies face can be solved. They have to show what can be done through their projects. They have to offer design and planning solutions, not analyses as social scientist do, or words of wisdom as philosophers do.” His note appreciating my work will remain a prized possession.
Parul Zaveri & Nimish Patel Abhikram & Panika Our design practices, Abhikram & Panika, has been exploring the design directions, and processes, which make the built environment, functionally, psychologically, environmentally and spiritually, more contextual and more comfortable for all, since 1979. “Charles Correa was the talk of the city during our formative years at the CEPT, along with B. V. Doshi & Achyut Kanvinde, the three stalwarts of architecture who transformed the architectural milieu of Ahmedabad. Charles was the youngest and was certainly more playful than his seniors. All three were the role models, but Correa was special because he was only 28 when he designed the Gandhi museum. He was an example of an independent mind in search of his ‘Dhyeya’, through his creativity. His concerns for contextual response, internal courtyards, air circulation for comfort made him more humane than many others. He was a huge influence on our growth & development, particularly his designs of Gandhi Museum & Kanchanjungha apartments”
Krishna Rao Jaisim Jaisim Fountainhead To write a synopsis on a legend is asking the Mahabharata in a para. It is best to say MAHABHARATA and leave it at that. Correa is an EPIC. Correa liberated Indian contextual architecture from its bonds. His expression created a transformation that related the culture of a people to their present. He was a brave soul spirited with acknowledging the spaces of human activity of a Democratic Republic. In Bangalore he dared the stuck in colonial and imperial history the Vidan Souda building by rising next to it the bare nude exposed LIC tower expressing in a subtle manner the wealth of this state which was the mines and the people, in a modern transformation. The tower resembles a mine shaft of modern times and yet houses the treasure of lives insured in its offices. But he was as constant as the Pole Star. What he believed in he strongly expressed. No compromises. No popularism. An idealist and his Architecture expressed it in every nerve.
Kamal Malik â€“ Arjun Malik Malik Architecture MALIK ARCHITECTURE is a 30 year old design practise based in Mumbai practising design & architecture. A few months ago I was in Lisbon and at the site of one of Charles Correaâ€™s last works. On a water front that is strewn with a bevy of architectural gems from masters like Alvares Siza the Champalimaud Center was unique in that it integrated with sublime sensitivity both the memory of the place as well as the echo from the land where the architect lived. I wandered through the fluid matrix of the design that connects the site with the Mediterranean. The seamless flow of levels as the structure literally emerges from the water and then flows in to the two blocks flanking the plaza, the amphitheatre, the lower pool, the reflections and the sea: I had to tear myself away to re-join the group I was with. One day, in a light moment, sitting on the verandah at the B-6 he said he had two regrets: the first that he would have liked to do only one project at a time in his life and the second that he felt that he should have designed more homes.
Rahul Kadri I. M. Kadri Architects He assumed directorship of Kadri Consultants Pvt. Ltd in 1995 and since then has designed & executed several architecture & town planning projects under his leadership. Over the years he has honed his skill & passion to create places where people and nature thrive. Charles Correaâ€™s architecture was delightful to experience because it usually surprised me! The most crucial aspect of his work was his broadening of the clients brief, his understanding of what was really needed to further the goals of the function. He deeply understood that form follows function and therefore he radically reinvented, and questioned to essence of the function. At Bharat Bhuvan in Bhopal, his understanding of how the artistic process and the contemplation of art lead to a very fresh set of spaces, linked by courtyards, following the contours gently along the hill. His quest was to allow people to thrive, as individuals, as family, as community and on the scale of the city. Of course he was a master at scale, his courtyards were magical, proportions delightful. And beauty in his work was striking, but the real richness came from widening the scope and weaving art seamlessly into his buildings.
In His lecture at RIBA in May, Correa poetically described the layer of culture and ideas in the project, and the wider relationship of architecture to art, film and sculpture. “Architecture is sculpture” he asserted, “but it also needs to be used by human beings. Doors and Windows shouldn’t diminish it, but should complete it.”
Noshir Talati Talati and Panthaky Associated Designers LLP Noshir Talati is the Founder and Chairman of Talati and Panthaky Associated Designers LLP a design firm that over the past 50 years has grown to be a diverse company offering numerous services designing spaces from universities to corporate offices. A pioneer of Modern architecture Charles Correa will be remembered for many generations for his authentic and universal approach to architecture. His designs are widely cherished for being a coexistence of the traditional and the modern- mixing ideas, materials and methods seamlessly. He has in his illustrious lifetime created many unique and iconic structures that have forged an identity of postindependence Indian architecture giving it a place on the global stage. His emphasis on social responsibility in architecture is inspiring and will continue to teach and inspire young designers and architects from around the world. We are fortunate to be able to call him our own.
Manit Rastogi & Sonali Rastogi Morphogenesis Our approach is inspired by the evolutionary processes in nature and our belief in creativity shapes all our projects and forms the consistent theme in our designs. Charles Correa is an architectural legend, but what I would like to talk about is his role as an academician, as a thought leader and his advocacy that almost bordered on architectural benevolence. Charles Correaâ€™s engagement with society through his profession directly or indirectly has had deep impact and continues beyond him through various organizations that he incepted. His architecture whilst being regionalist in some way caught the imagination of the world, that too in the days where todayâ€™s digital medium was not all pervasive. The reach of his work and its influence was a lot greater than a lot of architects before and after him. In that sense, his global impact and global leadership is something that one can only aspire to.
Revathi & Vasant Kamath Kamath Design Studio Studied architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London, 1965 to 1970. Worked at the Hillingdon Borough Council in London and then with Kanvinde and Rai in Delhi on his return to India in 1971. In 1969, as a 4th year student of architecture, I did a brief 7 month internship at Charles Correa’s office in Bombay. My science background and my rationalist architectural education until then, had conditioned me to look at design as a disaggregated problem solving process, where the various issues of function, structure, thermal comfort, light, materials etc. had to be understood and ‘solved’, to arrive at a design. In Charles’ studio, my mind was opened up for the first time to architecture as form and the drama of space, composition and light; where a strong conceptual idea synthesized the functional needs and yet went far beyond, to make a powerful statement …. I began to understand what architecture was all about!
Nitin Killawala Group Seven Architects & Planners He strongly believes that advantage of good design should percolate to the masses. He has been actively involved with NGOsâ€™ in spearheading movement for integrated transport plan for the City of Mumbai. It is incredible that over five decades an architect could constantly re-assert his belief, his thoughts and his ideas from a small house to nothing less than a universe, so eloquently, consistently and with conviction.Charles Correa was a great communicator whenever we heard him articulating on variety of issues - whether planning or governance or humanities - backed up by clarity of thought and strong vision . He also documented very well, whatever he did and made it visible for the benefit of everyone. We feel proud and privileged that our generation of architects have actually grown with this great man. His inspiration was so deep that many times we wonder how he would have reacted if ever he would have visited our site. He was one of those rare architects whose building, lecture or an article in a magazine have constantly connected and touched thousands of architects across the globe. This is because his works truly reflect timelessness. 43
Prem Nath Prem Nath And Associates Ar. Prem Nath, practicing on PAN India basis under the name & style of Prem Nath And Associates a Total Design Group, an ward winning firm, since nearly 50-years, handling Architecture, Master planning, Interiors, Structural, MEP, Landscape & Project Management Consultancy services Architects ‘Do Not Die’, they remain Living Ledgends for time immemorial, their work their structures keep them alive – similar to Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and many more, Ar. Charles Correa too shall remain a Living Legend. Charles Correa, an Architect with high qualification, well groomed personality and a charismatic presence created awe amongst us, way back on 1960s – he was then, an Architect who virtually represented India on a global map of Architecture. I personally shall cherish good memories of time spent with him, he always expressed his liking towards me whenever he met me – we had the opportunity to collaborate during my days as IIID President, wherein he would ensure his presence in the events as an encouraging icon.
Shirish Beri Shirish Beri & Associates Ar. Shirish Beri’s works, which tend to reflect his values in life, strive to address his life concerns of man moving further away from nature, from his fellow human beings and from his own self. They have been widely published and have won him a number of national – international awards. My first encounter with Ar. Charles Correa’s architecture was in the late sixties through his Sabarmati ashram…. when I was studying at CEPT in Ahmedabad. Though I was only in my second year, the place touched me deep within. In all his projects, I experienced living spaces that almost spoke to me and became embodiments of the immeasurable values of life. What I also admired in Charles was his quick, incisive understanding of an issue, his wit and his direct response without mincing any words. Once, when he presented his works in Kolhapur, there was some malfunctioning in the projector (which was most common during those days); so someone suggested that to avoid this, he could carry his own good projectors as some other architect did. Charles’s reply was quick, blunt and direct – “I am not a salesman.”
Shona Jain UCJ Architecture & Environment Since completing an M.Arch. (Architectural Design) at The Bartlett, UCL, London in 1998, Shona Jain, has been working with UCJ architecture & environment, Bombay. Charles Correa, India’s truly international architect pervaded every architecture students’ mindspace! Charles Correa reinvented the Indian Vernacular to create a contextual Indian Modern. Deep rooted in Indian tradition and culture, his work imbibed it without mimicry; his emphasis on the ‘local’ (material/ craft/ climate/ culture), playing intimately with light & shade, made his work extremely relevant for every strata of society. He took architecture a step beyond its mundane function. An architect and planner, Charles Correa’s ideas were always extremely contextual. Stressing on social and urban planning issues, his concepts and designs were of significant value to the current and changing scenario in the country, always being way ahead of their time.
Romi Khosla Romi Khosla Design Studios Romi Khosla is a very well-known architect with an international reputation who has worked on large-scale international projects as well as Indian ones. He was not a modernist, but radiated hybridity In the history books from which young architects learn about the story of Modern architecture, there is no space given to Asian architecture. It is as if the Modern architecture of the world belongs to the Caucasian civilizations. Charles Correaâ€™s ideas and work sit in that â€˜no spaceâ€™. Correa was not a great Modern architect despite many critical works that have tried to wedge him into the story of Modern Architecture. He was arguably the most significant contemporary architect of Asia. His work was neither modern nor traditional, and the significance of his Asian identity as an architect far outweighs that of him being an Indian architect. Although he had a faultless pedigree steamed in the hot houses of MIT and Michigan University, Correa remained deeply Asian in his sensibilities. It was a sensibility that was grudgingly accepted by the guardians of the history of Modern Architecture. When the British Crown honoured him with a gold medal in 1984. 47
Correa’s work strikes a delicate balance between responding to the specifics of the site - “representing the truth of the place” as he rightly puts it and certain firm principles, such as the “the empty centre” and the ritualistic pathway. A man who never used glass in his buildings, went on to be known as, the man with open-to-sky-courtyards, to create a sequence of different atmospheres and ideas in the same building.
Kamal Hadker Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Kamal Hadker graduated from University of Mumbai in 1963. In the years that followed, he was actively involved in the structural design of several prestigious projects in the country as well as abroad. His innovative approach to design and constant search for efficient structural solutions earned him an excellent reputation. Charles was an expert in designing Institutional buildings. He was educated abroad and used to visit universities around the world. With his knowledge and rich experience he could design institutional buildings with ease. I have learnt a lot from Charles. He enriched my professional career by giving me opportunities to work on a large variety of projects. He encouraged me to think beyond the traditional boundaries of a structural engineer and brought out the architect in me. Merely designing an economical, safe and stable structure is not enough. The overall impact created by the built form must be a positive one for the end user. I shall always remain grateful to him for the lessons I learnt
Ashok B Lall Ashok B Lall Architects (Abla) His architectural firm is committed to an architectural practice based on the principles of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. I was with Neelkanth Chhaya and Kamu Aiyer, when the three of us went to meet him, some two months ago, after the Jury for the Charles Correa Gold Medal for Student’s Thesis. He was not able to attend the Jury as he was weak and his voice was failing. He talked of the different sensibilities of the complete composition in western classical music an indeterminacy within the framework of the Raag and how one needs to develop an ear for the music. What’s happening to Mumbai with the new Development Plan? I asked. The energy returned swiftly. There was something important to say! The computer screen was switched on – this was the talk that explained with utmost clarity the rationale of the principle of limiting densities. “Look at this Google picture of Isfahan” it is the distribution of accessible open space throughout the dense fabric of the city that makes the city work. The principle is self-evident!
Yatin Pandya Footprints E.A.R.T.H. (Environment Architecture Research Technology Housing) Environmental sustainability, Socio-cultural appropriateness, Timeless aesthetics and Economic affordability are key principles of his work. He is the Master artist whose first stroke on a blank canvas was as bold and complete art in itself. An architect who dared, Dared to think and stick his neck out to chart the path or even counter the flow. One of the first to look at Indian urban scenario and propose ‘multiple use of space’ on new streets to accommodate the hawkers. Daring ‘humility’ to bury the building, not to lose memory of lake and continue civic activities on roof top despite construction at Bharatbhavan in Bhopal. One of the few architects who rather than creating objects within the compounds took up the challenges of urbanity head on. One of the first to demonstrate ‘high-rise as bungalows in the sky’ with integration of outdoors at Kanchenjunga.
Salil Randive SR+A Architects Salil Ranadivé - Graduate in Architecture from CEPT, has studied at the ETH in Zurich, and is a member of AA London. He has to his credit several noted projects – of varied scales and typologies, acquired from a range of works - Corporate, Educational, and Residential Campuses. The ability with which he has been able to reinterpret and reintegrate the past into an extraordinary versatile body of works is incredible.‘That Architecture’ - when a building and a culture come into contact, and connect in such a way that something valuable happens. ‘Opento-Sky’, pergolas and his own unique depiction of ‘Indianness’ - are a pervasive theme in his architecture that has stimulated a whole generation of architects. His deep understanding of socio-economic realities, adaptation of modernism within the regional context, perception at the macro level, sensitive urban planning solutions have become the cornerstone on which we can approach our Urban Landscape.
Oscar & Ponni Concessao Oscar & Ponni Architects They both worked in New York City with leading architects specializing in Skyscrapers, Institutional buildings, Hotels, Hospitals and Stadiums. They returned to India and settled in Chennai, and have won more than 68 International, National and State Awards for Architecture & Interiors Charles Correa, an American-trained visionary legendary architect, urban planner who returned to his native India to pioneer a new, indigenous architectural style, built a substantial legacy melding 20th-century modernism with Indian traditions. He said that he did not want to imitate Western Modernism, but to “fuse it with India’s history and culture to create something new.” Over a six-decade career, Correa became a leading voice in the world of international architecture and an influential figure in post-war India. His buildings, known for an open style that embraced climate and made dramatic use of natural light and connection to the sky, “stand out in bland landscapes like an exclamation point,” “Just as there is writing and then there is literature, there is construction and then there is architecture. Great architecture can change society,” 54
Vivek Bhole Vivek Bhole Architects Vivek Bhole is one of the leading Architects in India. With an impressive profile of around 450 completed projects and over 500 ongoing projects across the globe includes Hospitals, Institutional Campuses, Mega Townships, Stadiums, Cultural centres, Mixed Use Development, Airport and Hospitality. Since my college years, I was highly impressed by painting of Piccasso with his unique style of Cubism and Mondrianâ€™s paintings with two dimensional grid compositions I used to relate all that I learnt out of theses appreciation with the work of Architects Charles Correa. Almost every day, I used to pass by Kanchanganga while I was doing my professional practice and used to have very intense discussion about it with my first boss and my design guide, Mrs. Hema Sankalia who was associated with Mr. Correa for quite some time. I learnt a design philosophy from her which she used to claim that she has acquired from her boss that is Mr. Correa. The depth of design, planning process detailing and sincerity towards the practice, almost every department in our profession, I got influenced in.
Zarir Mullan & Seema Puri Zarir Mullan & Seema Puri Architects Having completed their Government Diploma in Architecture (G.D.Arch) from Rachna Sansad’s “ACADEMY OFARCHITECTURE”, Mumbai in 1991; He worked for a number of years before setting up his own practice in 1994. The year is 1986, it’s my first year of Architecture, our first Fun fair at Academy Of Architecture . There’s huge excitement as the opening lecture was being delivered by none other than Charles Corrrea !!!!! Twenty-nine years back he was definitely the most celebrated Indian Architect and there wasn’t a seat free for the latecomers. After much fanfare and ushering he finally started and there was pin drop silence , students and Faculty of all five years were straining to not miss even a single word of word of Design . He was simply outstanding , with his impeccable English , perfect delivery and his perception of Design . He started talking about his low rise, high density affordable housing project which he had just finished -The Artists Villag . The way he explained the need for transitional spaces typically seen in the Courtyard type Indian Home which are so well suited to our tropical climate, starting from open to semi open to fully covered spaces. 56
Ajinkya Dhumal Infinity Group Infinity Architects & Interior Designers is a 15 years young design house. His design principle comprises with traditional heritage, cultural symbolic themes, environment and cultural demands of modernizing societies. We have seen many architectural and urban solutions in post-independence contemporary architecture of India by this master architect. Rendering a vast canvas of wide ranging projects from low cost housing at Belapur to uniquely designed piece of high rise ‘Kanchanjunga’ or ‘Vidhan Bhavan’ at Bhopal to recently completed ‘Champalimaud centre for unknown’ at Lisban, every project in its own contextual manner & spatial relationship with built environment.
Kayzad Shroff SHROFFLEoN Educated at Cornell University, Kayzad is a partner at SHROFFLEoN, an emerging award winning practice, with a growing reputation. His studio has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades â€“ iGEN50/2014, NDTV Design Awards, TATA Tiscon Raise2, as well as represented India at Backstage Architecture, Italy. Charles Correa was the ambassador of Indian Architecture, and the face of Indian Architects, to the world. He was instrumental in both, formulating a new post-independence aesthetic - a modern vernacular adapted to our climate, as well as structuring forums such as the Urban Design Research Institute, that supported intellectual interactions between architects, urban designers and planners.
Rohini Mani R. Mani & Associates R Mani & Associates is a boutique firm, involving in projects from conception to completion. “Quality in Architecture & planning” he said, “is the result of understanding constraints, not of ignoring or avoiding them”. I have tremendous admiration for the way he created a unique rhythm of interwoven spaces and an element of surprise of open & closed areas, allowing natural light to flow to the Innermost crevices. I was to fortunate to be given the chance by Ar. Correa, to design the interiors of the “Vidhan Bhavan - Bhopal”, in collaboration with another Architect. I admired the fact that he will discuss the overall concept with us, but will not get involved in the nitty gritty. I remember reading that “Built form is a series of energies, connecting the inside to the outside and vice versa, setting of vibrations between the building form and the building users - a Yin Yang relationship. The association with him has left a profound impact on my thinking and the way I approach Design& deal with the 3 major forces that influence design - Technology & Economics, History & Culture & context to the present.
Over the utilitarian brief of design of their building by British Council, daring Correa explored the opportunity to reconcile the dichotomy of the two cultures, representing two pasts, India and its British rule. View of the sculpture by Stephen cox installed in the British Council Library, was his idea to express the three basic cultural identities that have shaped contemporary India; Hindu, Muslim and European. He accomplished this by creating three separate courtyards. Cox’s sculpture adorns the Hindu court at the point of “Bindu” or unity.
Annkur Khosla Annkur Khosla Design Studio Annkur Khosla has graduated from Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. She has done her Post Graduate Diploma in Indian Aesthetics at Jananapravaha and a brief stint at the NYSID ( New York School of Interior Design), New York. She has undertaken architectural building, bungalow and interior projects in India and abroad where she believes in creating dynamic spaces. The seminal interaction with Architect Charles Correaâ€™s work began with constant curiosity and peeking into Kanchanjunga apartments from the flyover close to it whenever one drove past it. The terraces always seemed to be talking to each other and it would stir several questions and thoughts. As I progressed into the profession of architecture, the world of Architect Charles Correa opened in front of me and his ingenuity and visionary qualities unfolded. I realized that his larger than life spirit was reason for his unsurpassed cultural contribution to the nation.
Shresht Kashyap KNS Architects Pvt. Ltd. KNS Architects, a multi-disciplinary, national & international awardwinning design firm, was established in 1997 with an objective of creating contextual, artistic & bespoke design solutions. Charles Correa is the pinnacle of Indian architecture. What Tagore is to poetry, Charles Correa is to Architecture. His philosophies and ideologies of design,Â his understanding and redefining of architecture has been exemplary andÂ have been instrumental in shaping and relocking of architecture in India. He has been a major reason of putting Indian architecture on the global map.His ideology of marrying the traditional Indian principals of design to the modern context has been inspirational.Personally, have had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Correa on a few occasions, each time the learning has been unparalleled and an experience to carry through. For a whole generation and many to come, his work is and will be an encyclopedia of architecture.
Dipak Thaker DID Consultants Interarch Having established in the eighties and sailed through changing trends, Architect Dipak Thaker and his twin firms DID Consultants and INTERARCH has specialized in architectural planning and interior design. Being an architectural student of eighties, it was inevitable for me and the likes to have grown up discussing, appreciating the great architectural works and innovative ideas of Charles Correa. The most lasting contributions to Indiaâ€™s architecture history and urban planning is by Charles Correa. I salute him for his vision and contribution towards urbanization. His vision gave rise to the need of a satellite city near Mumbai for decentralization. Correa was involved in setting up the whole area of Navi Mumbai. He was also an advisor to CIDCO for a long time. If it was not him, Navi Mumbai would not have been what it is today. All his works display a combination of traditional and modern features in order to create cutting-edge designs. He had a vision for the important social issues and the need for quality low-income housing. He always articulated issues that were relevant to India. 64
Chitra Vishwanathan Biome Graduated in 1989 from CEPT and since have been working in Bangalore, designing ecological structures along with a team of twenty architects and water professionals. Biome as the office is popularly known has mainstreamed ecological architecture. Architects leave behind ideas and visions so it is difficult and unfair to enunciate about them in past tense. So for me Correa is an architect as well as an urban visionary. As an architect he exemplified rootedness to a context and this for me is visible in two very different projects those of Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati Ahmedabad and Champalimaud Foundation on the banks of---Lisbon. Gandhi Ashram evoked the personality within and related to the river as a reverential contemplative space in Chamaplimaud the interior became the calm by introduction of the greenhouse landscape and the exterior becomes the new public realms of the city of Lisbon while almost in a very nuanced way suggesting the built as the borderline and commencing the confluence of Tagus and the Atlantic. As an urban visionary he championed the concept of equity, the scale of planning with respect to climate and the respect to the use of resources and energy. 65
Ahmed Shaikh Ahmed & Associates I started my professional practice in 1988, for almost a decade I worked with various well known architects and designers before establishing my firm Ahmed and Associates It is always an honour to feel the inspiration and power remembering the legend again and again whenever I look at his works at times passing through his marvelous attempts whether it is the extra ordinary KANCHENJUNGA, or at times passing by the Salvation Church, Prabhadevi, and the remarkable satellite city Navi Mumbai a new face to urbanization which I wonder in my life I would do. Provoked out of the design the inspirational principles by the legend will ever be the iconic reviews streamlining architecture to new grades that blend and fuse Architecture, People and the Nature in one.
Soumitro Ghosh Mathew and Ghosh Architects’ Educated at CEPT Ahmedabad, the principal architects / partners Nisha Mathew Ghosh and Soumitro Ghosh set up ‘Mathew and Ghosh Architects’ partnership in 1995. Charles Correa, architect, has been one of the most prominent anchors of the architecture of post independent India. Having shaped the image of modern architecture of / for Indian architecture is well known much beyond its national borders. Correa’s work was a leap of faith but based on strong conviction. Faith in humanity, faith in commitment to bring environments that could find connect in a complex & diverse culture like the one we live in and faith in that archetypal role of the heroic modernist - constantly striving to imagine ways to liberate human destiny. Grounded in the spirit of modernism and its desire to break out of shackles of the past - this was the driving force for Correa - a belief in finding unique socialist ways to negotiate the past and the present. The negotiation clearly being conceptual.
H.S. Pakhar & Kunal Pakhar Designers Firm specializes in providing Architectural Consultancy for – Luxury Hotels, Resorts & Spa Projects, Commercial Mixed use Schemes, Landscape & Interior Designing Projects. An influential architect credited for the creation of modern architecture in post-Independence India, he was celebrated for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor and for his use of traditional methods and materials. A proponent of ‘open-to-skies’ spaces, he liked using local techniques and aesthetics in his buildings. Rooted both in modernism and the rich traditions of people, place and climate, Correa has played a pivotal role in the creation of an architecture and urbanism for post-war India. Correa’s work melds modernism with traditional, or vernacular, forms of design fitting with their context. They are characteristic of the super-modernist aspirations of the architects who are determining the nature of India’s burgeoning cities today.
Yatin Patel DSP Design Associates Pvt. Ltd. Yatin established the roots of DSP Design Associates in 1988, with a vision of a pan India, multi-disciplinary design firm. Yatin’s design philosophy is “one size does not fit all”, that every building should tell a story – it should convey its purpose of existence. Charles Correa has played a pivotal role in transforming fabric of modern architecture in India – he has elevated Indian vernacular design principals to solve the modern day housing challenges. With his love for local material, his astute use of courtyards and climatology responding to designs of tropics – he fused the concepts of modern design to culture-rooted ideas and married it to the changing urban scape.
Arun K. Bij & Abhishek Bij Design Plus Design Plus is the only Architectural Firm in India to win 6 National Design Competitions since 2011. Design Plus believes in creating environments that are contemporary, multi-layered and sensitive to contextual conditions. Mr. Correaâ€™s portfolio was a demonstration of several novel strategies for the present time. Sometimes one of them dominated (Foreground of art work at British Council) and at other times different strategies collaborated (Built-open Relationship + Visitor Experience + Village planning for Gandhi Ashram). His work although borrowed influences from several other masters like Corbusier, Kahn and then later BarragĂĄn but always stood in its own identity. It is a marvel that with such a vast diversity of scales, regions and complexities; his buildings boast of an unmistakable Charles Correa style. His work has always been playful, modern and yet rooted in concepts of Indian Architecture. He was critical of conventional architectural planning systems which is clearly visible even in his later works. For Example, City Salt Lake in Kolkata was an anti-thesis to an omnipresent inward looking mall design.
Ninad Tipnis JTCPL Designs Ninad with his dedicated team has taken JTCPL Designs from its budding stage to a stage, where the firm is one of the best known workspace design practices in India. An out-and-out Mumbai professional with a Goa background, his architecture practice drew inspiration from both sources. Correaâ€™s forms have always been a reincarnation in the dreary landscape. His expression of ideas renewed buildings with a new order of freshness. An influential architect credited for the creation of modern architecture in post-Independence India, he was celebrated for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor and for his use of traditional methods and materials.. He drew with great ease from a deepening well of history and tradition, while simultaneously seeking a fearless approach to experimental living. His simplicity, honesty and timeless compositions make him a reference point for the next generation. Shaping the future of modern architecture through his buildings and writings, he is commendable for highlighting the need to design quality builds in areas of economic despair.
â€?Museums are culture free unlike Housingâ€? In his own words, when re-interpreted in Indian context, speaks volumes about his devoted career for the people of Indian soil with his contributions in housing, public buildings and cities, like New Bombay.
Pallavi & Sabyasachi Sen Sabyasachi Sen & Associates SSA runs a successful practice in New Delhi Since 1995 & has completed a variety of acclaimed projects ranging from Educational institutions, to Corporate offices & from glitzy interiors, to hard core Industries ‘Charles Correa is a phenomenon; a burst of creative energy that overwhelmed us beyond our wildest dreams. The 3 years that we spent at his office, were like a whirlwind; the experience…..beyond our imagination.’ For two young architects, just out of university, the exhilaration of walking into Charles’ studio through that ‘little red gate’ was nothing short of stepping into heaven through the pearly gates. The three years that followed were like one continuous roller coaster ride. Drawings, sketches & polystyrene models were prepared & discarded faster than one could say Jack Robinson. New ideas would flood his mind even as we could begin to grasp & awe at the beauty of the previous idea… & then we would start all over again. It is here, that we got our fists glimpse into the secrets of space visualization, scale & proportion. Charles would always say that a building is only as good as the user experience.
Brijesh Kanabar Lewis & Hickey India Pvt. Ltd Brijesh Kanabar heads the India office for Lewis & Hickey Architects, with wide ranging experience in mixed use development, residential, commercial and retail projects. Lewis & Hickey Architects is a forward thinking, multi-disciplinary architectural practice with over 100 years of professional experience. When one thinks of “Indi-tecture: Architecture in India”, the mind takes a first aim at one of the finest post-modern “Sthapati” of our time, Architect Charles Correa. To understand how he achieved this would be to understand his process studies and design stencils. Correa’s own designs, incorporates the language of large overhangs, wide verandahs and central courtyards. His use of local material, local technology resulted in some masterpieces of our time, such as the Sabarmati Ashram and Belapur Housing. He was an ardent explorer of climatic responsive design. He loved open spaces which he incorporated in most of his work and connected to them in a metaphysical way. His sensitivity and clever use of elements, made his projects some of the most energy efficient and sustainable projects. Charles Correa was both an artist and a sculptor. 75
Sameer Balvally & Shilpa Jain Balvally Studio Osmosis Studio Osmosis is a multidisciplinary design practice formed by Sameer Balvally and Shilpa Jain Balvally in 2010 balancing strengths combining youth, experience and creativity Charles Correa continues to be one of the most prominent figures in shaping Architecture in India. In the first few years while studying and actually understanding mere basics of Architecture and design, we would browse through Correa books among other star architects and most of us would call him a favorite architect without understanding the principles deeply. Itâ€™s only later with more in-depth understanding and practice did the philosophies make obvious sense and felt like the way to go. Integration of natural elements with architectural design detail, passive architecture and use of raw and traditional materials to their utmost strengths and weakness continues to inspire us while designing and planning our projects whether it is Architecture, Interiors or even products. His design principles, the way he incorporates simplicity with utility, and his use of materials and colours, have been really stimulating for us at various stages of our lives and professional works especially when at times one faces roadblocks. 76
Rahoul B. Singh & Lakshmi Chand Singh RLDA RLDA was established as a design studio in 1997 in New Delhi, India. Over the years the studio has successfully completed a number of projects for the retail, hospitality, commercial and residential sectors. At present their work is spread over the greater Indian Sub-Continent and the Middle East. Charles Correa was a gifted designer, a passionate teacher and an enlightened urban planner. While much has been said and perhaps more can be about his contribution to the profession and discipline, in my opinion, Correa’s greatest contribution was that he centered the debate and situated the argument firmly within the realm of the habitat, its people and its landscapes. With illuminating essays in his book “A Place in the Shade”, Correa articulated his thoughts on architecture and urbanism in a medium other than the built work. With the written word being more accessible than buildings, Charles Correa’s concern and contribution reached a wider audience, something that we are all the better for.
Kapil Handa Studio DRA Architects RIBA Chartered Architect Kapil Handa established Studio DRA Architects in 2011 in India following the setting up of a successful design studio in London and his return after working for almost a decade in Singapore and Europe. His Architecture transcended the national borders by striving for universal human appeal and he was pretty successful in achieving that. He inspired innumerable Indian architects to study and practice architecture internationally and to be able to share that experience locally here for Indiaâ€™s good. He was the most celebrated Indian Architect by The Royal institute of British Architects (RIBA) who even accorded their highest honour to him in 1984. His drawings/sketches are well preserved and documented by RIBA and here in India we are looking forward to get a close look at those through a travelling exhibition to be continually inspired by them even though he is not amongst us anymore. We , as Indians, were blessed by the great work done by Architect Correa as it brought huge respect for Indian architects post independence ....a feat that cannot be achieved by anyone in the future.
Sunil Patil Sunil Patil and Associates Sunil Patil and Associates is an award winning architectural practice, started in 1994 and has completed number of projects which include wide range of residential, institutional, commercial and many government projects. Charles Correa is not just an Architect, but an architectural style. Any Indian architect who is sensitive about Architecture cannot remain uninfluenced by Charles Correaâ€™s work. His work proves that Architecture is beyond technology and engineering. He created spaces with great simplicityâ€Śyet so rich. His deep understanding of climate and Indian culture has always been reflected in his architecture- creating his own eternal style, which had efficient use of courtyards, verandahs, pergolas and jails, and also use of various forms of art. Correaâ€™s sense of proportions and aesthetics takes simplicity to another level. His works are the greatest examples of contemporary Indian architecture. He rediscovered the timeless elements of traditional Indian architecture and transformed them into contemporary architecture. Charles Correa has been my inspiration right from the time I started understanding architecture, and he remains one. 79
Architecture is a three - legged stool Climate, Technology and Culture â€“ Charles Correa
Colour & Architecture The above quote carries subtle yet powerful references by Correa about the sky, the air, the earth, the light and its shade. Correaâ€™s work was a leap of faith but based on strong conviction. Faith in humanity, faith in commitment to bring environments that could find connect in a complex & diverse culture like the one we live in and faith in that archetypal role of the heroic modernist - constantly striving to imagine ways to liberate human destiny. Grounded in the spirit of modernism and its desire to break out of shackles of the past - this was the driving force for Correa - a belief in finding unique socialist ways to negotiate the past and the present. The organic layout of the Artists Village, the spatial configuration of the Jawahar kala Kendra, the vibrant, festive Cidade de Goa, the play of colours in Kanchanjunga, the abstraction of space in the Portuguese Church , the contour hugging Kovalam beach resort, serene compositions in Gandhi Ashram and almost invisible planning of National Crafts Museum,â€Ś Speak of much greater restrain and application of material mediums, in magical proportions! Speaking of medium of Materials,
Colour is an expressive element in architectural design and can be used to emphasize the character of a building and create harmony and unity, or it can be deliberately contrasting to enliven or enervate. . Colour is a powerful and often underestimated or forgotten design tool. The goals of colour design in an architectural space are not relegated to decoration alone. Especially in the last eleven decades, empirical observations and scientific studies have proven that human-environment-reaction in the architectural environment is to a large percentage based on the sensory perception of color. These studies include the disciplines of psychology, architectural psychology, colour psychology, neuropsychology, visual ergonomics, psychosomatics, and so forth. In short, it confirms that human response to colour is total â€“ it influences us psychologically and physiologically. Kansai Nerolac, largest industrial paint and second largest decorative paint company of India based in Mumbai, diligently works towards making this experience with colour better and sharper. Their extensive research and analysis, offers a deeper understanding of Colour as a medium of design 82
“Over the centuries, a sense of sky has affected profoundly our relationship to built form. This is why in Asia, the symbol of education has never been the little Red school house of North America but Guru sitting under the tree ” - Ar. Charles Correa and goes to further analyze its applications on a humanitarian realm. They have been conscious promoters of sustainable, healthy paints drawing inspirations from in-depth studies, trends and research. They aim to promote sustainable environment management, contributing to environment conservation. One step towards the future is result of reflecting on three previous steps, and with this philosophy they intend to study Correa, his works, his use and play with colours, and bring out the natural, sustainable tones and further enhance them for current & future context. This tribute book is one such quintessential example of their homage to India’s Greatest Architect, ever and his play with colours as an infinite source of inspiration to follow suit. Charles Correa didn’t teach much, but thankfully he wrote, and even more profusely he built and he created what he would have meant to write. His creations became the theory in themselves! His architecture, even though realised two generations ago, remained the case studies for the teachers in their classrooms at the scale of city, neighbourhood, buildings or even elements and art, 83
as relevant and as modern even today...The real tribute to the creator is to ensure that these creations are preserved for posterity and emulated in essence to build modern India. Colour when conceived of as a material that alters our perception of space, rightly used it can enhance and alter a spatial sequence in a manner that few other materials can. Used in conjunction with light, the colour field can in fact take on spatial qualities and thus presents opportunities for exploration to architects and designers. Charles Correa used colour in his built environments to create drama, interest, character as well as artwork through murals and wall paintings. Colour combined with a cultural understanding, at the hands of a skillful designer becomes a material that can instantly situate an understanding of a space or event within the greater relevant continuum of a civilization.
Credits: It’s a cumulative take on colours and their interpretations of Correa’s works by all tribute contributing Architects & Designers. Sincere Thanks
Nerolac Color “A trend is an emerging idea that engages the imagination of people. It is a culturally-rooted phenomenon that reflects how societies change with time and how people move forward in their journey of aspiration. The colours a culture uses undergoes change with time in sync with the societal changes and the changing aspiration of people. Nerolac Colour Trends is an attempt to understand how India is changing through the expression of her people in the colours that they use to dress, decorate and most importantly, paint their houses. These changing trends reflect themselves variously. On the one hand there is a need to connect to nature, on the other hand there is the need to establish one’s individuality; one the one hand there is a desire to simply escape from everything, on the other hand there is a willingness to accept differences and cross-cultural influences. We, at Nerolac, attempted to decode the changing and emerging behavioural patterns of today’s generation in association with many a creative minds and social scientists to arrive at the colour trend for 2015.” - Team Nerolac
Jawahar Kala Kendra
Emphasizing colours -I, Identity 86
The plan is inspired by the original city plan of Jaipur, consisting of nine squares with central square left open. According to Correa, the city of Jaipur itself is â€œa mentor for the cosmosâ€?. Astronomy has influenced his work springing from a strong desire to connect the Earth to the Sky. The plan asserts the open courtyard tradition in Indian culture. It is based on the ancient Vedic Mandala of nine squares, disaggregated into eight separate groupings corresponding to the myths represented by that particular plane.
National Crafts Museum
Emphasizing colours -I, Identity 88
In this Museum building, a metaphor of an Indian street is introduced - along a diagonal axis are three courtyards of different scale and intensity. They are stunning spaces with perceptible changes of mood that make for great architecture. But it is not simple nostalgia for the past. Correa’s work has always drawn on the vernacular and ‘deep-conscious’ echoes, but it is also modern in its fusion of an underlying orthogonal grid and the internal display spaces of lofty dimensions with the open and semi-open passages covered with tiled roofs and lined with artifacts. Correa has succeeded in making the museum almost invisible. He creates an environment that is difficult to define or label. It is a journey of discovery and there is a deliberately unfinished feeling about the museum … exactly as intended. 89
Kovalam Beach Resort
Emphasizing colours -I, Identity 90
Correaâ€™s response to Indian sun and his grand sculptural decisions act as favourable climatic solutions. With Kovalam Beach Resort he has achieved not only site-specific but also site enhancing design probabilities. To preserve natural beauty of the site, the facilities are built into the hill slopes â€“ every room getting a private sundeck and sea view. Throughout the project the
vernacular with white plastered walls and red tiled roofs. These white units with red roofs beautifully sit against the contrast of green and blue. A raw, rustic and earthly design is established for the design program. 91
Light Reflections 4297
Jamacian Sea 2481
Chinchilla Fur 2948
These are the Nerolac Exclusive colour swatches hand-picked & singled-out from the Identity fan deck as homage in congruence to Correaâ€™s projects.
Chilled Wine 2209 92
Identity Colour Palette Faithful realism that connects with the uniqueness of a particular place, soil & its offering, characterise the opulence of that region. This uniqueness spills over the everyday living of individuals and radiates the warmth of belongingness. Sunbaked palette of terracotta, madder and reds, offset by green and indigo carry a world within them! 93
Architecture is a sculpture with gesture of Human occupation. â€“ Charles Correa
Cidade De Goa
Emphasizing colours - II, Shared Spaces 96
The project began as an expressionist hill town, a mythical Portuguese city, Cidade Goa â€“ City of Goa. The facades of this resort are walls of art galleries, a highly fragmented kaleidoscope series of visual sensations and design spaces. Dotted with murals all over the place, a spectacular view of Arabian Sea greets the visitor. Cidade De Goa reflects the unique amalgam of culture, music and history of Goa. It brings out the main facets of a Goan holiday, irrespective of the season.
Emphasizing colours - II, Shared Spaces 98
It is famously known as “Correa’s Innovative Vertical Bungalow Living”. Four different types of apartments interlock across the width of the block, ending in double height terrace gardens at the corners that act like party protected verandas, their internal spatial complexity expressed as semi-regular graphic cut-outs up the height of the block. These double-height terrace gardens are semi-sheltered act as recessed scoops for the breezes from the Arabian Sea. The coloured insets add wonderful dynamics to the tall structure with ever changing play of light-n-shade. 99
Panama Rose 2130
China Silk 2466
Jade Cream 2933
These are the Nerolac Exclusive colour swatches hand-picked & singled-out from the Shared Spaces fan deck as homage in congruence to Correaâ€™s projects.
Nasturtium 2070 100
Shared Spaces - Colour Palette The concept of shared spaces originates from the basic social urge & instinct of community living. The networking opportunities make way for collaborative lives, blurring privacy and hence, vivid bright blues, pinks and yellows, deep happy reds insist to come together and indulge in spaces of interaction! 101
For our habitat is not created in vacuum â€“ it is the compulsive expression of beliefs and aspirations (implicit & explicit) that are central to our lives. â€“ Charles Correa
Emphasizing colours -III, Raw 104
The building houses a number of diverse functions, including a library, an auditorium, an art gallery and the Headquarters of their offices. These elements are best interpreted as reflections of historic interfaces that have existed between Britain and India. A spiral, the energy centre of the cosmos- Bindu represents Hinduism. At the next nodal point, a traditional Islamic Char Bagh, is represented. And last courtyard represents Europen influence and their age of reason and progress. A very natural, organic and genuine colour scheme makes the element stand out as themselves and present sheer beauty. 105
Emphasizing colours -III, Raw 106
This memorial museum is sited at the Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi resided from 1917 to 1930. Built in homage to Gandhi and intended to propagate his ideas, also preserves documents that trace the freedom movement. Whilst most of the materials used in the construction are similar to the other buildings in the ashram â€“ tiled roofs, brick walls, stone floors and wooden doors â€“ a clear exception are the large reinforced concrete channels, which distinctively cap the main structure, acting as both beams and rainfall conduits. No glass windows are used anywhere in the building, instead light and ventilation floods the building by adjustable wooden louvres. 107
Pale Rust 2103
Deep Jungle 2944
Berber Beige 2891
These are the Nerolac Exclusive colour swatches hand-picked & singled-out from the Raw fan deck as homage in congruence to Correaâ€™s projects.
Sailorâ€™s Dream 2432 108
RAW - Colour Palette A Combination of Neutral colours have been used to include the rustic, unprocessed â€“ unaltered beauty of the adventurous & earthly outdoors. Pristine blue mountains, the greys naturally formed tones of stones, the undertones of different locale soils, all together contribute to form the RAW palette & its inspiration. The understated grandeur is wonderfully nostalgic of romantic past glory! 109
“Painting a greener tomorrow”
or decades now, Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. has been a cherished brand name in domestic as well as commercial circles across the countr y for its diversified range of products and assurance of balanced quality equations. Documented among global leaders in product innovation and widely reputed for an unmistakable conviction about environmental sensitivity, it commands a principal position in providing state-of-the-ar t solutions in décor and industrial applications. Staying true to its commitment towards safety & well being, Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd (KNPL), the countr y’s leading paint manufacturing company, has transformed its entire range of decorative paints to suit the environment and people’s health. Adopting a revolutionar y stride in the industr y in terms of ideology and significantly inspired in thought by the wide-spread consumption of paints in general, this initiative launched by Kansai Nerolac promises to endow consumers with products which are not merely unsurpassed in performance, but also minimal with regard to unfavourable environmental impacts, however minuscule in consequence. As a continuance of this objective, it extensively employs in-house technological exper tise to develop an exceptional range of water-based decorative paints which are not just Lead-Free but promise almost-zero emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It was the first company in India to manufacture lead-free paints. Lead exposure is linked to learning disorders in children as well as health problems. Prolonged exposure to heavy metals present in paints can cause many health-related issues that ranges from irritation of skin & eyes, respirator y problems to chronic blood liver & kidney disease. This new concept of Nerolac is called ‘Healthy Homes’ and all these products are lead free. An energetic input in the adver tising circuit reveals its success in reduction of the overall VOC content that not only makes the paint more pleasant to work with, but also reduces the associated health risks while initiating a movement that depicts social sensitivity and carries with it a much-required message of concern for the environment that nur tures us, an admirable initiative to transform the world into safer, healthier, more beautiful a place. In the recent past, with their focus on safer and eco-friendly paints, Nerolac launched ‘Nerolac Impressions Eco Clean’. This is an interior paint with Zero* VOC. It has low odour, is easy to maintain and stains can be easily washed. It is aimed at creating a clean and healthy environment inside your home. This range is par t of the decorative range of paints and reflects the five elements – ear th, air, water, wood and fire. These palettes are represented by colours like Sweet Blossom, Stony Creek, Aegean Blue, Arizona Sun and Honey Roast respectively. Believing in the good health of walls, and on another plane, in that of the planet, Kansai Nerolac, in its own specific niche of surface treatments, travels beyond mere superficial cosmetics, to spread a much deeper value of unit contribution to environmental conser vation, which indeed is a much-desired gesture in the present day. After all, even the longest of journeys commences with a single small step. Kansai Nerolac will continue its dialogue on sustainability with its multiple interactions to make the world a healthier place. Beginning with one as simple as that of choosing a wall paint. So, as Nerolac puts it, “Kuch Change Karein, Chalo Paint Karein”!
The Slanting Line narrates : Talati and Ahmedabad stories.
Author : Ar. Dhwani Talati-Padiyar Credits : MIT publishing, USA; RIBA publishing, UK ; speaking with Ar. Arvind J Talati.
The coffee table book on Correa’s works open. Mozart’s Sonata plays in the background. The slanting line from the sharp shadow of the ‘open to sky balcony’ slashes itself out of the pages. Is this where you are going to prison me now? I am dark. I am tall. I am powerful. Strong and steadfast, almost oblivious to the bright reflections on the glass buildings in its neighborhood. I can take many forms. From the sketches to the shadows. From the relationships to memories. From his career path to underlines. Part 01.: Me.: I’ve always belonged to Correa. (The Slanting Line refers to the legendary architect, Charles Correa) And almost dramatically, she looks up in the sky through the tower, where she was manifested. A tall tower in proportion of 1:4 (21m square and 84m high). Its minimalist unbroken surfaces cut away to open up the double-height terrace gardens at the corners, thus revealing (through the interlocking form and colour) some hint of the complex’ spatial organization of living spaces that lie within. I’ve seen the shades of red tiles and bright ceilings. I’ve seen them contextualize and re-contextualize in the city which has more shades of grey than the grayness of pollution and politics. I am here right now. On the page of 1970. At the Kanchanjunga condominium tower in the swanky Cumbala hill area of Mumbai. (Bombay then) However, I’ve been part of Correa’s creative exploration throughout. She hiccupped in his remembrance and transforms into a reflection of those louvered windows in the central water court of Sabarmati Ashram. 112
Sabarmati Ashram. She continued in devotion. The commission was the architect’s first important work in private practice. In order to reflect the simplicity of Gandhi’s life and the incremental nature of a living institution the architect used modular units 6 meters x 6 meters of reinforced cement concrete connecting spaces, both open and covered, allowing for eventual expansion. The modular simplicity of the structure is continued in the use of basic materials: stone floors, brick walls, wooden doors and louvered windows devoid of glass, and riled roofs. The units are grouped in a consciously asymmetric manner to be analogous to the Indian village with its pathways and seem¬ingly randomly placed buildings and its meeting points; in this instance the central water court. Can the rigor of the modernist box—an icon of containment—provide a more equitable life, nurture a kinder world? Spurred by this question, dozens of Correa’s subsequent projects extrapolated his impulse toward a polyamorous architecture. It’s here she says. Here, on 2nd July, 2015 at 5:30pm. That Arvind Talati, (along with cotemporaries of his time like B.V.Doshi) who came for the Correa’s memorial meeting. Part 02. Talati & Ahmedabad “Talati, an Indian architect is here to see Corbusier. He doesn’t speak French. And you know Corbusier’s English!” chuckled the secretary over the telephone receiver at Le Corbusier’s office in Paris. That was the first time I met Talati. (Ar. Arvind J Talati, currently practicing in Ahmedabad). I was the line symbolizing the MIT degree back then. The line which was the beginning of a career. Two years later, in 1958/59. I had progressed to becoming the slanting line graph of Correa’s career as an Architect. Correa was out with his friends over coffee at a small coffee house on the corner of Dalal Street in Mumbai. “Talati!! I almost jumped. “This was our second rendezvous. Correa was really happy to see Talati. He drove Talati around Mumbai in his deep green Landmaster car. (Yes, within a year or two of his passing out from MIT, he did afford this and I was rather proud of that!) He took Talati to his office opposite the gateway of India. 113
The friendship and association grew. They intersected together on various projects. Ahmedabad, with his booming Textile industry and rich mill owners, was a place-to-be for architects. Architects would work in Ahmedabad not for the fees but for the prestige attached. Talati was based out of Ahmedabad. So when Correa was commissioned with his various projects there, Talati became his obvious local support. Early 1960’s Ahmedabad saw them frequent on various sites. Correa designed three private residences — the Parekh House, the Ramkrishna Harivallabhdas house, home for former CM Dilip Parikh — and also tube housing for the low income groups, none of which exists anymore. He also designed Vadaj and Navrangpura bus stations, but only the latter stands. Talati would often witness Correa pull his hair in frustration when money prevailed design. And yet, I grew with him. I grew higher up as his career kept soaring. He, along with Talati, formed a consortium of seven top architects in Ahmedabad (back when CoA, Ahmedabad chapter was yet to be drafted). They brought in fee caps and professional ethics. Cross Ventilation in Correa’s buildings that the world writes about now, was first designed for the Cama Hotel. “Don’t be saddened, but these are the design changes the influential have insisted!” whispered Talati on the Site. The site was on the banks of river Sabarmati. When well-known textile baron and philanthropist the late Kasturbhai Lalbhai and hotelier the late Rustom Cama invited GM Bhuta Associates to plan the hotel. Correa was a partner in this firm. Eventually, Correa ended up working on the hotel independently when he separated from Bhuta to launch his own firm. I took a whole new transformation as a slanting line, when structure met aesthetics at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium in 1960. It is one of the best brutalist buildings the world has seen. Host to several international cricket matches and swearingin ceremonies for Narendra Modi as the state’s chief minister, this stadium is owned by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The stadium at Navarangpura, with a capacity of 50,000 spectators , is built on an 80,000 square yard land given by the erstwhile State of Bombay to the Cricket Club of Ahmedabad. Then city mayor Chinubhai Chimanlal had hired Correa for the project. Early June 2015, Two weeks before Correa passed away, All the newspapers in Ahmedabad, and most key journals and newspapers in the Nation covered the story that CEPT (One of the most prestigious Architectural institutes in the Nation) will archive works of Eminent architects Correa and Talati and even make it available for research. 114
Part 03. Students. The future. I am now the line that circles around his eye and slants behind his ears. I am a spectacle of a spectacle. September 04, 2014. We are at the RIBA. The institution that declared him as “India’s greatest Architect” “When the hippies first came to India in the 1960s, people got very upset,” said Correa. “The rich Indian, driving his new Mercedes, just couldn’t understand why a white person would be sitting in the road with lice in his hair. A friend of mine used to say that the hippy is sending us a signal: ‘I am coming from where you are going,’ he is saying. ‘And it’s not worth going there.’” As a teacher, Correa cautioned against snuffing out students’ creativity in the process of educating them and emphasized the need for students to draw upon experienced faculty while developing independent judgment. “We do not know if architecture can be taught — but we know it can be learnt,” Correa wrote. “For learning is a process that depends on us ourselves, and our attitude of mind.” Mozart’s Sonata softens. Curtains begin to draw. I am back to being in the shadow. The Line that defines his crisp persona. Keep me alive, keep me going.
Dhwani is an architect with Masters in Urban Management from Domus - Italy and Uni of Wales. She has worked on several prestigious urban projects such as GFH’s Mega City, Reliance’s NM-SEZ, SREI’s townships and International projects with AS, Paris. She has taught in various institutes such as JJ school of Architecture Mumbai, JD Birla Kolkata, Ilead Kolkata and Thadomal Mumbai. She also writes for several magazines such as IA&B, Domus-Italy, CoA journal and architectural newsletters. With over a decade of professional experience, she has recently ventured into a new realm of entrepreneurship. 115
His closing remarks at his lecture in RIBA London are words that will stay afloat in Indian context; It will take time for the confidence to come back to a great civilization that lost every battle for a thousand years. In India we have to reclaim modernity for ourselves. The whole world has a right to be modern – it’s not a style, it’s an attitude!
Credits and Vote of Thanks Quotes, References: Credits to RIBA, Charles Correa Foundation, Charles Correa Associates Sketches: Archives Charles Correa Foundation Essays: Sincere Thanks to all contributing Architects & Designers Concept partners: ABEC Ltd. & Kansai Nerolac
Published on Nov 19, 2015
Published on Nov 19, 2015
This tribute book is one such quintessential example of their homage to India’s Greatest Architect, ever and his play with colours as an inf...