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Charles Correa
Charles Correa.jpg
Correa in December 2011
Charles Mark Correa

(1930-09-01)1 September 1930
Died 16 June 2015(2015-06-16) (aged 84)
Alma mater University of Mumbai
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Michigan
  • Architect
  • urban planner
Monika Correa
(m. 1961)
Children 2
Buildings Jawahar Kala Kendra, National Crafts Museum, Bharat Bhavan

Charles Mark Correa (1 September 1930 – 16 June 2015) was an Indian architect and urban planner. Credited with the creation of modern architecture in post-Independent India, he was celebrated for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor and for his use of traditional methods and materials.


Early life

Charles Correa, a Roman Catholic of Goan descent, was born on 1 September 1930 in Secunderabad. He began his higher studies at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He went on to study at the University of Michigan (1949–53) where Buckminster Fuller was a teacher, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953–55) where he obtained his master's degree.


In 1958, Charles Correa established his own professional practice in Mumbai. His first significant project was the Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial) at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad (1958–1963), followed by the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Bhopal (1967). In 1961-1966, he designed his first high-rise building, the Sonmarg apartments in Mumbai. On the National Crafts Museum in New Delhi (1975–1990), he introduced "the rooms open to the sky", his systematic use of courtyards. In the Jawahar Kala Kendra (Jawahar Arts Centre) in Jaipur (1986–1992), he makes a structural hommage to Jai Singh II. Later, he invited the British artist Howard Hodgkin for the outside design of the British Council in Delhi (1987–1992).

From 1970–75, Charles Correa was Chief Architect for New Bombay (Navi Mumbai), where he was strongly involved in extensive urban planning of the new city. In 1984, Charles Correa founded the Urban Design Research Institute in Bombay, dedicated to the protection of the built environment and improvement of urban communities. During the final four decades of his life, Correa has done pioneering work in urban issues and low-cost shelter in the Third World. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanization.

From 2005 until his 2008 resignation Correa was the Chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.

Later, Charles Correa designed the new Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada, which shared the site with the Aga Khan Museum designed by Fumihiko Maki, and the Champalimaud Foundation Centre in Lisbon, inaugurated by the Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva on 5 October 2010.

Final years

He died on 16 June 2015 in Mumbai following a brief illness.



Charles Correa designed almost 100 buildings in India, from low-income housing to luxury condos. He rejected the glass-and-steel approach of some post-modernist buildings, and focused on designs deeply rooted in local cultures, all the while providing modern structural solutions under his creative designs. His style was also focused on reintroducing outdoor spaces and terraces.

In 2013, the Royal Institute of British Architects held a retrospective exhibition, "Charles Correa – India's Greatest Architect", about the influences of his work on modern urban Indian architecture.


Photo Date Name Location Notes
Gandhi Ashram 1227.JPG 1958–63 Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial
Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
1958–59 Cama Hotel Ahmedabad substantially altered later by owners
1961–62 Tube House Ahmedabad demolished
1961–66 Sonmarg apartments Mumbai
Madhyapradesh Legislative Assembly.jpg 1967 Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly Bhopal
Kovalam Beach Resort Leela Hotel Balcolnies.jpg 1969–74 Kovalam Beach Resort Kovalam sloping architecture that blends into the landscape
A view of Kala Academy, Goa, the main venue for the inaugural ceremony of the 35th International Film Festival of India-2004, (to be held from 29th November to 9th December, 2004).jpg 1970 Kala Academy Panaji
शिल्प संग्रहालय का प्रवॅश द्वार.jpg 1975–90 National Crafts Museum New Delhi
R&D facility of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai
1980–97 Vidhan Bhavan
Bharat Bhavan Bhopal inside-1.JPG 1982 Bharat Bhavan Bhopal
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, Rajasthan.jpg 1986–92 Jawahar Kala Kendra
Jawahar Arts Centre
The Jeevan Bharati building at Connaught Place, New Delhi.jpg 1986 Jeevan Bharati
Life Insurance Corporation of India
On the 2018 World Monuments Watch list of "50 Cultural Sites at Risk from Human and Natural Threats"
British Council Delhi Headquarters, launch of Mix The City, 6 April 2017.jpg 1987–92 British Council Delhi
Buckyball, JNCASR, Bangalore, India.JPG 1989 Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research Bangalore
Parumala Church.jpg 2000 St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Parumala Parumala, Thiruvalla
McGovern Institute for Brain Research 2018.jpg 2000–05 McGovern Institute for Brain Research MIT, Boston, US
2004 City centre Salt Lake City, Kolkata
Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (6).jpg 2007–10 Champalimaud Centre for The Unknown Lisbon, Portugal
Ismaili Centre, Toronto - Prayer hall.jpg Ismaili Centre Toronto, Canada
Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Banking and Finance Hyderabad


Personal life

Charles Correa married Monika (née Sequeira), an artist, in 1961. Together they lived in one of the flats of the Sonmarg apartments in Mumbai. They had two children.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Charles Correa para niños

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