Contemporary Architecture

Charles Correa – Parekh house

Parekh house

  • ELEVATION : 53 m
  • LATITUDE : 23 04N
  • LONGITUDE : 72 38E

About the building:

  • Two pyramidal sections from housing types developed for Cablenagar
  • Summer section – to be used during daytime; protects interior from heat
  • Winter section – to be used in early mornings and evenings; opens up the terraces to the sky
  • Since site faces east-west, house consists of 3 bays
  • Summer section sandwiched between winter section and service bay (for circulation, kitchen and toilets)
  • Bearing walls made brick .

Climatic conditions:


  • summer: 45 °C – 30 °C
  • winter: 24°C – 5 °C
  • max. in last 18 years: 47 °C
  • min. in last 18 years: 5 °C


  • avg.: 76 cms
  • max. in last 122 yrs.: 145 cms
  • min. in last 122 yrs.: 13 cms

So the temperature shows that the city is hot and humidity shows that its dry.

Design concept:

Functional Aspects:

  • cubical composition
  • arrangement of spaces as per their time of use.

Passive features

  • A void is provided
  • Louvers
  • Level differences

How sun effects the design…?

  • Sun path : N-E to N-W
  • Exposure of east and west façade to the sun.
  • Hence the design came…the three block system..

Other features:

  • Over head pargolas-helps in shading the wall during the day time.
  • Recessed or Sunken windows-allows only diffused light into the building.
  • Louvered doors-it also cuts off the heat and direct sun coming from the entrance.
  • STEP PYRAMIDAL form of spaces inversing with respect to the season.
  • Garden space in front of the house.
  • Material chosen-concrete and brick covering.
  • Good climatic responsive building since 37 years of its construction

Charles Correa:


  • 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

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7 thoughts on “Charles Correa – Parekh house”

  1. Its in my nature to learn from others. I apply a similar learning approach for blogging as well. A few week ago I started a blogging series by writing things that I have learned, Put to action and seen results.
    Thanks for sharing another sooper post.


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