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Charles Correa - The master of Indian Contemporary ArchitectureBy Vishal Kumar
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"You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly, you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: ‘This is beautiful.’ That is architecture."
Towards a new architecture
These beautiful lines by the famous architect are an inspiration for young minds and professionals all over the world. But India produced one architect whose works are superb example of modern contemporary architecture garnished with some great ideas of space determination and orientation, a combination of kindness and talent thou name is Charles Correa. The person behind the planning of the urban Mumbai city and the eyes behind the beautiful Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmadabad.
Born in secundrabad, India on 1st September, 1930 then moved to Mumbai and received early education at St. Xavier College, Mumbai then went to study at the University of Michigan (1949-1953) and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ( 1953- 1955). He started practising in Mumbai after gaining valuable knowledge from these esteemed institutions.
Charles Correa, widely known for his works in contemporary architecture ,played an important and vital role in the development of architecture in India after independence. His principles of designing include prevailing resources, energy and climatic aspects to create and determine order of space. His best works include the Champalimaud Foundation Centre in Lisbon, also famous by the name “Project to the Unknown”, the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and the Madhya Pradesh Legislative assembly in Bhopal. Craft museum, New Delhi, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur are some other examples of his intellectual knowledge.
His hat is decorated with many gracious feathers like the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the Padma Vibhushan (2006) and the Padma Shri (1972). He also received the very prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his astonishing work of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
Correa always insisted on creating spaces filled with natural air and light. He swore that he would never design a glass building, and believed in “open-to-sky” space. His ideas describe the different ways of attaining wonderful designs within the vernacular range and climatic conditions. Correa worked in a wide range of areas throughout his life. Starting from Mumbai, he had been working on projects across India and overseas. He attained fame in the world of architecture for his low cost and state of the art designs. Water recycling, energy renewal, habitat friendly systems, topographical extents with some twist of light and air are the principles behind his eye candy projects.
India lost its one of the favourite architects known for his down to earth nature and sky high thinking. We, the young people, are obliged to be inspired by the philosophy of this great man.
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