Tributes paid to greatest Indian architect Charles Correa who has died aged 84

British Council

The man dubbed “India’s Greatest Architect” by the Royal Institute of British Architects, Charles Correa has died aged 84.

For more than half a century, Correa championed modern architecture, planning cities and designing nearly 100 buildings, from luxury condominiums to housing for the poor.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes to Correa, tweeting that his architecture was “widely cherished, reflecting his brilliance, innovative zeal & wonderful aesthetic sense”.

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Author Amitav Ghosh tweeted that he was “deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Charles Correa, modern India’s greatest architect and a dear friend.”

The urbanist worked on the master plan for Navi Mumbai, a satellite town of the western Indian city of Mumbai, in the 1960s.

He was also involved in several low-income housing projects where he aimed to bring individual identities to tightly-packed housing units.

He also designed the “Gandhi Samarak Sanghralaya,” a memorial museum and research center at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The project featured areas that provided what Correa called “visual quiet.”

The architect favoured the concept of “open-to-sky” spaces and said that being able to see the sky from inside a building “can make a difference between livable habitat and claustrophobia.”

Some of his other projects include the British Council headquarters (pictured) and the National Crafts Museum in New Delhi.

Born in 1930 in the southern Indian city of Secunderabad,. Correa studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai and then went on to attend the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. to study architecture.

“To work in India is the great advantage of life in the Third World. The issues are so much bigger than you are; they give you a chance to grow,” Correa wrote in his book ‘Housing and Urbanisation.’

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