Contemporary Architecture

Charles Correa – Kanchenjunga apartments


  • The building had to be oriented east – west to capture  prevailing sea breeze and views to the city.
  • But also the orientation for hot sun and heavy rains
  • Solution in old bungalows – wrapping a protective layer of verandahs around the main living areas
  • Kanchanjunga an attempt to apply these principles to a high-rise building
  • This building has 32 different apartments with 4 types of flats varying from 3 to 6 bedrooms.
  • Interlocking of these variations expressed externally by shear end walls that hold up the cantilevers
  • Minimalist surfaces cut away to open up double-height terrace gardens at the corners
  • Complex spatial organization of living spaces
  • Superficially, this 28-story tower, with its concrete construction and large areas of white panels, bears a strong resemblance to modern apartment buildings in the West
  • Tower’s proportion 1:4
  • (21 sqm and 84 m high)
  • Garden terraces actually a modern interpretation of a feature of the traditional Indian bungalow: the verandah
  • Each apartment provided with a deep, two-story-high garden terrace that is oriented away from the sun so as to afford protection from the elements

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

If you found The Archi Blog interesting, please like our Facebook page…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contemporary Architecture

Hafeez Contractor – Lake Castle


  • BORN -Mumbai 19 June 1950.
  • FAMILY– Parsi / Zoroastrian lineage included his mother Roshan,who was a teacher and his father Sorab Contrator , a business man.
  • Education-He did his Graduate Diploma in architecture from Mumbai in 1975 and completed his graduation from Columbia University New York (USA) on a Tata Scholarship.


  • Hafeez Contractor commenced his career in 1968 with T. Khareghat as an Apprentice Architect and in 1977 he became the associate partner in the same firm
  • Between 1977 and 1980 Hafeez has been a visiting faculty at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. He is a member of the Bombay Heritage Committee and New Delhi Lutyens Bungalow Zone Review Committee.
  • His practice had modest beginnings in 1982 with a staff of two. Today the firm has over 350 employees including senior associates, architects, interior designers, draftsmen, civil engineering team and architectural support staff.


  • The architects believes that a company’s beliefs, visions, and values can be epitomized in a 3-D built form and its interior ambience.
  • His designs are provocative and unpredictable.
  • Hafeez is full of surprising and revolutionary ideas. His uncanny ability to change his architectural style from one commission to next is also a significant reason why his work is sought  after by so many.
  • He explains “architecture can give form to beliefs,and can make building into a real and arresting symbol of brand intent.”


  • Previously he was more inclined towards a form based architecture but later on he designed in very mathematical manner.( site condition, client’s requirements, construction methodology and economics.)
  • He has no style, he works according to clients need; if client want work according to Vaastu then he incorporate that in the design.
  • He doesn’t do many details (but he wants) because of time and cost his forms so powerful that the building still looks detailed.
  • He believes that your building should really reflect your socio-economic and climatic relations.
  • Extensive use of glass and metallic panels on the facades confirms to the high tech expressions business seek to achieve.
  • Never fixed plan
  • Have axis but not always.
  • Give stress on landscaped terrace.
  • He picks elements from various typologies and use them as adornments for the exterior skin of the building.
  • He always treats the the corner of the building.


  • Location – Powai,Mumbai.
  • Client – Hiranandani Const. Pvt. Ltd.
  • Lake castle a residential apartment building ,nested in green surrounding of powaii,just a few miles away from main Bombay is one of the most spectacular product of eighties boom.
  • The dominant feature of Lake castle is its massive scale. 183 m. linear  length ,strikes you as an ocean ship going linear of a building with multiple decks anchored on the banks of powaii lake.
  • Tower block is surrounded by large garden and 8 acre forest park,all the flats faces the lake.
  • Creating a stepped mass profile ,which compliments the hills in the backdrop.
  • The architectural form is mean to symbolize a city silhouette that is made of a varying shapes  and sizes.
  • The building is almost like a mirror reflecting the densely layered profile of the city itself.
  • Lake castle is especially interesting because of a combination of ‘POP’ aesthetics, with conventionalized classical stylistics .
  • Egyptian motifs are used in building facades ,like the treatment given to the columns,the friezes and the details of the iron work.
  • The crescent shape projecting balconies ,curved projection and egyptian columns on the facades relieve the monotony into which building would have otherwise slipped .
  • Large French windows are repetitive  features on the facades.
  • To mitigate the  broadside effect of the  cliff of the building ,it has been punctured with significant cutouts known as sky decks.
  • further these the dramatic view of the sky though the building
  • The stepped profile and two huge cutouts further add to lighten the building.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contemporary Architecture

Marshall Strabala – Shanghai Tower


  • 1961 – Born in Seattle, U.S.
  • 1988 – Graduated from Harvard University
  • 1988 – Joined Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), Chicago
  • 1996 – Joined Gensler global architectural firm as Director of  Design


  • Burnham Prize of Chicago Architecture Club
  • American Institute of Architect Honor Awards (2004, 2005)
  • ASHRAE Excellence in Engineering Awards (1998, 1999)
  • USITT Architecture Award (2001).


  • A “Performance Designer”
  • Rather than clinging to a particular style, Strabala views his designs more in terms of their function.
  • “Style is an odd thing, mostly a category of time. I seek a timelessness in all my projects. I want to create a feeling of permanence over a particular style”.
  • He looks at every project with fresh eyes and a point of view that will allow constant discovery and continued improvement.
  • Every element of the building needs to perform two purposes. It integrates art and science, aesthetics and function, technology and beauty and knowledge and perception.“
  • There may be newer and faster computer tools and modeling systems to visualize building designs, but the ultimate tool that will create buildings is the human mind.
  • Got inspired by small Japanese and Korean architects, including Tadao Ando of Japan.


  • Shanghai Tower, a 632-meter super-tall office, residential and retail tower in Shanghai, China, scheduled for completion in 2014.
  • Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building at 808-meters
  • Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, a 420-meter office, hotel retail and apartment complex to be completed in 2009.
  • Besides Strabala has designed more than 50 prominent buildings worldwide

Case Study – Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China, 2008-2014

  • Marshall Strabala got this project for his firm GENSLER after a 21-month-long competition ended in
  • March 2008, when he beat out Foster + Partners, Kohn Pederson Fox, and even his old firm, SOM.
  • 632 metres (2,073 ft), have 128 stories, and contain an area of 380,000 m2.
  • It will be the tallest building in China and is slated to be the second tallest in the world.
  • Tower features office space, luxury residences, a high-end hotel, retail space, restaurants and a public observatory.
  • Tower features a soft triangular shape, the tower rotates as it goes skyward and concludes with an open-top design.
  • As the shape rises, a “strike” or open notch curves up and around the building which is an engineering feature to control the wind up and away from the building.
  • Uses 32 – 35% less structural materials ( concrete and steel ) than any other conventional buildings. It results in savings of 58million US$

Double skin Building:

With the double skin , the building will function like a thermos bottle.

This allows it to

  • harvest and use daylight,
  • reduce artificial lighting to a minimum,
  • increase the insulation of the building’s interior
  • reduce energy consumption and energy costs.“

The development will be separated into eight distinct bioclimatic zones, with each having its own atrium, lush gardens, indoor air controls and panoramic 360° views of city.

The building will be situated within a 10,000 sqm open green space that will become both a public park and the front entry to the tower.


  • Innovative skin technology is one of many sustainable design and renewable energy systems in the tower.
  • The spiral shape facilitates vortex shedding and creates an asymmetrical surface to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%. reducing the structural load on the building.
  • The building’s spiraling parapet collects rainwater, used for the tower’s HVAC systems.
  • Wind turbines located directly beneath the parapet generate on-site power. Thus energy consumption of building is 35-40 % less than any other conventional building.
  • 40% less water consumptioni.e. they save 675 million L/ annum =245 Olympic size swimming pools

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contemporary Architecture


Santiago Calatrava

  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Engineer

Early Life

  • Born on July 28, 1951 in a town of Benimamet, near Valencia, Spain
  • Attended primary and secondary school in Valencia
  • Attended the arts and crafts school from the age of 8
  • Degree in architecture from  Escuela Tecnica Superior De Architectura
  • Took a post-graduate course in urbanism
  • Post-graduate studies in Civil engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 1975

Inspiration & Styles

  • Inspired by nature’s Creativity in different forms
  • Reflection of  works of Antoni Gaudi and Hector Guimard (Art Nouveau)
  • Experimentation with materials
  • Structural Expertise blended with impressive visual style
  • Symbolic – sense of movement captured in a stationary object.
  • Stark white material and flawless use of glass and steel
  • Had a definite vision of inside and outside, the concave and convex
  • His work is like music: well orchestrated – sculptural aesthetics yet functional perfection

HSB, Turning Torso, Malma, Sweden, 1999-2005

The residential tower is meant to be seen as a freestanding sculptural element posed within the cityscape. The equivalent in the tower of the sculpture’s steel support is the nucleus off internal elevators and stairs through with  the box units communicate

– Santiago Calatrava


  • Based on a sculpture by Calatrava called Twisting Torso
  • 190 feet high tower of concrete and steel
  • Twists 90 degrees from bottom to top towards the city’s waterfront – with each of the 54 floors tilting 1.6 degrees
  • Designed for a prominent urban site on the occasion of the European Housing Expo 2001
  • The spiraling tower is composed of nine box units, each of five floors
  • Each floor consists of an irregular pentagonal shape rotating around the vertical core, which is supported by an exterior steel framework – EXOSKELETON
  • Three lifts connect to the residential area (3rd – 7th cube) , while there are two dedicated lifts for office areas


  • Glass and aluminum construction
  • Doubly curved to facilitate the twist
  • 2,800 panels and 2,250 windows
  • Following the twist of the building, the windows are leaning either inwards or outwards  by 0 to 7 degrees

Handing Wind Load

  • Dimensions of foundations optimized by wind tunnel test
  • The result is the 7 meters thick concrete structure with 30 meters in diameter
  • In a storm with a wind speed of 44 m/s, building’s top will only have a slow movement of 30 cm

Structural System

  • Exoskeleton – Welded steel  support  at the pointed end with a very thorough paint treatment for optimal protection against corrosion and supported by two stabilizers in each floor
  • 20 horizontal and 18 diagonal ”steel cigars” connected with structural walls spanning two floors at the top of each cube
  • Offices and other areas
  • 4,200m² of office space on floors 2–12, the first two cubes has its own pair of lifts, as well as separate heating, cooling and IT systems
  • top two floors have been reserved for meeting rooms
  • A separate parking block for residents and business tenants can be accessed via a private tunnel
  • Guest House, gym,  sauna, Jacuzzi, and a panorama room is located on 43rd floor


  • No typical plan – Each apartment has an unique design
  • The total apartment area is about 13,500 m², from the third to the ninth cube.
  • 147 apartments (45 m² to 190 m².)
  • Floor-to-ceiling height – 2.5 meters
  • Living Room –large and open often with views in two directions
  • Floor to ceiling ht – 2.7 m : impression of light and space


  • Energy Efficiency
    • Electricity is supplied with 100% locally produced renewable energy through the energy concept developed by   Sydkraft
    • Heat is supplied by solar cells and underground water reservoirs, aquifers.
    • All installations are energy efficient
    • Rain water harvesting
  • Waste management
    • Kitchen waste disposal unit in every apartment for grinding organic waste.
    • Waste transported though separate pipes for decomposition and biogas production at Malmö’s waste incinerator and heat plant
    • Recycling done in building itself
    • Non recyclable waste collected in a garbage chute at the basement level


  • Dynamic form
  • Structural Supremacy
  • Sculptural Aesthetics
  • Functionally Sound
  • Energy conscious design
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Judicious utilization of waterfront to create a picturesque view
  • Overall  an iconic building

This slideshow requires JavaScript.