Charles Correa was an Indian architect, planner, activist, and theoretician who studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Michigan. He taught and lectured at many universities, both in India and abroad, including MIT, Harvard University, the University of London, and Cambridge University, where he was Nehru Professor. Mr. Correa is known for the wide range of his architectural work in India and on urbanisation and low-cost shelter in the Third World, which he articulated in his 1985 publication, The New Landscape.
His architectural designs have been internationally acclaimed and he has received many awards including the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal (1984), the Indian Institute of Architects Gold Medal (1987), the International Union of Architects Gold Medal (1990), and the Praemium Imperiale for Architecture from the Japan Art Association (1994). Professor Correa was a member of the 1980, 1983, 1986, and 2001 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Steering Committees, and of the 1989 Award Master Jury. He was presented an Aga Khan Award for Architecture during the 1998 cycle as the architect of Vidhan Bhavan in Bhopal, India.
Over the past decade Correa's impact on global architecture extended far beyond India with international projects such as the Champalimaud Centre in Lisbon, the Brain Science Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ismaili Centre in Toronto.
Cantacuzino, Sherban. Charles Correa: Essay by Sherban Cantacuzino. Singapore: Concept Media Ltd., 1984
Architect, planner, activist and theoritician, Charles Correa of India has earned his place as a major figure in contemporary architecture. Trained in the West but very Asian in nature and personality, his work - at the leading edge of the profession - is receiving worldwide recognition. Although many of his projects and articles have been published both in the East and the West, this is the first publication to offer an analysis and overview of his oeuvre.
In his essay, Sherban Cantacuzino explores a major theme in Correa's work: design for a warm climate using "open-to-sky" spaces - open shaded structures as opposed to "boxes" or totally enclosed volume. He also looks at Correa's long-standing involvement in low-cost housing and ideas on creating community, using clusters of buildings and a "community spine" - a multi-functional circulation and social outdoor space. In discussing Correa's urban planning work, such as in Bombay, Cantacuzino highlights Correa's idea of "re-structuring" the city, and his attitude to change and the role of the design professional as an agent for such change.