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Remembering the activist-architect Charles Correa

His contribution is enormous in terms of both ideas and buildings, says Delhi based architect Raj Rewal.

By: Express News Service | Updated: June 18, 2015 1:30:34 am
Charles Correa, architect Charles Correa, Charles Correa buildings, Charles Correa architect, Charles Correa death Charles Correa, one of India’s greatest urban planners, died at the age of 84 (Source: Express Archives)

Raj Rewal

Architect, Delhi

His contribution is enormous in terms of both ideas and buildings. He always spoke about developing low-cost housing, and how to build with little means. We met recently in Goa, for the Charles Correa Foundation seminar. During lunch at his house, by the sea, over delicious fish curry, he spoke about his concerns for preserving the legacy of Indian architecture. I think he was an activist, not just an urban planner or architect.

Rajnish Wattas

Former Principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture

My association with Charles Correa began when he came to Chandigarh in 1999, for the “Celebrating Chandigarh: 50 Years of the Idea” conference. A great admirer of Le Corbusier’s work, he would visit the Capitol Complex again and again. But, he was also critical of Corbusier. For instance, he did not spare the planning of the sectors, and how they were all inward-looking, and covered up like women.

Hafeez Contractor

Architect, Mumbai

As a student in the ’60s, I admired his work and once I entered the profession, he was someone I always looked up to. From advocating for housing in Lower Parel to his plans for Navi Mumbai, he was a great thinker. And he always had nice things to tell me about my buildings. Whenever we would meet, he would would have something positive to say, like, “I like the top of that building” or “I like the way you did this wall”. I received my first architecture prize because of his recommendation, though not everyone agreed with him.

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