Charles Correa, an eminent Indian architect and urban planner, was known for his innovative designs and deep understanding of the cultural context. Born in 1930 in Secunderabad, India, Correa’s architectural creations have shaped the skylines of numerous cities around the world. His works ranged from large-scale urban planning projects to public buildings and residences, all reflecting his belief in sustainable and inclusive design. While his significant contributions to the field of architecture are widely recognized, there are several lesser-known aspects of Charles Correa’s life and work that deserve attention. In this article, we will uncover ten intriguing facts about this extraordinary architect.

1. Correa’s Passion for Urban Planning

Beyond his architectural projects, Charles Correa had a great passion for urban planning. He firmly believed that good urban design was essential for creating equitable and sustainable societies. One of his notable urban planning projects was the Navi Mumbai city near Mumbai, India. Correa’s vision for the city aimed to provide better living conditions for the people and alleviate the strain on Mumbai’s overcrowded infrastructure. He emphasized the importance of creating well-designed spaces that catered to the needs of all inhabitants, irrespective of their economic backgrounds.

Another remarkable urban planning project by Correa was the transformation of the historic riverfront area in Lisbon, Portugal. He successfully converted the underutilized waterfront into a vibrant public space, connecting the city to its river and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. Correa’s dedication to urban planning showcased his belief in the power of design to improve the social, cultural, and economic dynamics of a city.

2. His Iconic Architectural Style

Charles Correa’s architectural style was deeply rooted in his Indian heritage. He blended modernist principles with traditional Indian elements to create unique and harmonious designs. His projects often incorporated open courtyards, verandas, and terraces, which allowed for natural ventilation, and emphasized the connection between the built environment and the surrounding landscape.

One of Correa’s most iconic buildings is the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, India. Inspired by the ancient Indian architectural principles of Vastu Shastra, the complex consists of a series of interconnected buildings centered around a courtyard. This project showcases Correa’s ability to combine traditional design elements with contemporary functionality.

Correa’s architectural style embraced sustainability, making use of passive cooling techniques, rainwater harvesting systems, and solar energy. He believed in designing buildings that responded to their local climate and cultural context while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Useful Links:

Charles Correa Foundation
The Guardian – Charles Correa