Contemporary Architecture



  • 1946-1948 inter-science. St. Xavier’s college, university of Bombay
  • 1949-1955 B.Arch., University of Michigan.
  • 1953-1955 M.Arch., Massachusetts institute of technology.

Professional Experience

  • 1955-1958 partner with G.M. BHUTA associates
  • 1958- to date in private practice.
  • 1964-1965 prepared master plan proposing twin city across the harbor from Bombay.
  • 1969-1971 invited by the govt. of Peru
  • 1971-1975 chief architect to CIDCO
  • 1975-1976 consultant to UN secretory-general for HABITAT
  • 1975-1983 Chairman Housing Urban Renewal & Ecology Board
  • 1985 chairman dharavavi palnning commision

About him:

  • Born into a middle-class Catholic family in Bombay
  • Became fascinated with the principles of design as a child
  • At Michigan two professors who influenced him the most – Walter Salders and Buckminister Fuller.
  • Kevin lynch , then in the process of developing his themes for image of the city triggered Correa’s interest in urban issues
  • ‘India of those days was a different place, it was a brand-new country, there was so much hope; India stimulated me.’
  • —Architect, planner, activist and theoretician, an international lecturer and traveler.
  • —Correa’s work in India shows a careful development, understanding and adaptation of Modernism to a non-western culture. Correa’s early works attempt to explore a local vernacular within a modern environment. Correa’s land-use planning and community projects continually try to go beyond typical solutions to third world problems.
  • —India’s first man of architecture has a very simple philosophy: “Unless you believe in what you do, it becomes … boring,”


  • 1961 Prize for low-income housing early
  • 1972 Correa was awarded the PadmaShri by the President of India
  • 1980 Correa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Michigan
  • 1984 He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal          Institute of British Architects
  • 1985 Prize for the Improvement in the Quality of Human
  • Settlements from the International Union of Architects.
  • 1986 Chicago Architecture Award.
  • 1987 the Gold Medal of the Indian Institute of Architects
  • 1990 the Gold Medal of the UIA (International Union of Architects)
  • 1994 the Premium Imperial from Japan society of art.
  • 1999 Aga khan award for vidhan sabha, bhopal


  • In Bombay – Salvacao Church at Dadar ; Kanchanjunga Apartments
  • In Goa for the Cidade de Goa Hotel and the Kala Academy,
  • In Ahmedabad – Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya ; Ramkrishna House
  • Delhi – The LIC Centre; British Council Building
  • Kerala – Kovalam Beach Resort Hotel
  • Andamans – Bay Island Hotel in Port Blair

Architectural utility and grandeur spread over the subcontinent


  • Few cardinal principles in his vast body of work;
  • incrementality
  • pluralism
  • participation
  • income generation
  • equity
  • open-to-sky space
  • disaggregation.

Belapur housing being the one project where he has literally used these principals

Correa and Corbusier

Like most architects of his generation he has been influenced by Le Corbusier , but by his response to the Mediterranean sun with his grand sculptural decisions he believes that Corbusier’s  influence in the colder climates has not been beneficial because these heroic gestures had to withdraw into defensible space, into mechanically heated (and cooled) interiors of the building.

On way back to Bombay in 1955 – saw the Jaoul House (le Corbusier)  in Paris under construction

‘I was absolutely knocked out . It was a whole new world way beyond anything being taught in America at that time .then I saw Chandigarh and his buildings in Ahmedabad . They seemed the only way to build.”

Correa and Gandhi

  • Gandhi’s goal for an independent India had been a village model, non-industrial, its architecture simple and traditional
  • In these early works Correa demonstrates uncompromising execution of an idea as a powerful statement of form


‘Vidhan Bhavan is a public building which should say something very powerful about democracy, It is a building which has got to down with the idea of governing yourself. It has to express the role it has to play and tell people that this is your city, this is your state and you must participate in it, It must not be low-key. It should have a presence.’– Charles Correa

About the building:

  • Deep understanding of the Vedic principles
  • Won prestigious AGA KHAN award for this in 1999
  • The building is located in the centre of bhopal. Since the main access road is not axial , but swings towards the site in a rather casual manner , the plan of the building developed as a circle, so it could have an autonous unity and presence, regardless of the direction from which it is approached.
  • References of this circular form are – parliament building in New Delhi, Buddhist stupa near Sanchi.
  • The new Vidhan Sabha houses the many diverse functions crucial to a functioning democracy .
  • The plan is a pattern of gardens within  gardens, divided into 9 squares .
  • The five  central ones are halls and courtyards , while the 4 corner positions are occupied by specialized functions. The Vidhan Sabha , the Vidhan Parishad, central library, and combined hall.
  • It also contains a host of other facilities : offices, cabinet rooms, cafeterias, common rooms for security staff etc..
  • According to the requirements there are 3 main entrances-  for public, VP’s, MLA’s . These 3 main streams separated from each other experience the complex internal space of the building while moving along verandah and overlooking courtyards and gardens – as in traditional architecture of India.
  • The whole building presents as extremely pleasing vision of powerful curves and sraight vertical and horizontal lines. Whereas the building could have fallen into the trap of being merely monumental, its pristinely simple lines raise it to an altogether different plane. This is the genius of Charles Correa
  • Correa has used open to sky courtyards and a labyrinthine pattern of pathways to organise the complex requirements of adminstrative  and legislative functions.
  • The whole composition is enclosed by a wall that defines its exterior form like a circular inner city- a model of the city of Baghdad. This approach has generated an interesting roofs cape and skylines, too often missing in contemporary architecture, the use of gateways and domes and a tower to develop the imagery of this landmark complex is very much in the tradition of the harmonic order found in the traditional architecture of islam

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  1. I am glad i went through this blog. The apt words for his principles that i was looking for, is what i found here and now can relate even more well with my study..


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