Charles Correa, widely considered to be one of India's greatest living architects, died yesterday in Mumbai at the age of 84. Correa, who was also a respected urban planner and renowned activist for the quality of cities, had been the recipient of the RIBA Gold Medal in 1984, the Praemium Imperiale in 1994, and the 7th Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1998. His work had also been recognised with one of India's highest civilian honours, the Padma Shri, in 1972. In 2013 Correa donated over 6000 drawings and 150 models from his archives to the RIBA in London.
Mr. Charles Correa's architectural marvels are widely cherished, reflecting his brilliance, innovative zeal & wonderful aesthetic sense: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 17, 2015
"The thing about architecture is that you cannot teach it. You can learn it, but you cannot teach it. And a good school is a school which makes you passionate about architecture and that teaches you how to ask questions. [...] If you know how to ask the right questions, you will develop your own philosophy and your own visual vocabulary." (in conversation with Angela Brady, 2013, shown below)
To coincide with the donation of a large proportion of his archive, the RIBA held one of the first major retrospective exhibitions of Correa's work in 2013. The event showcased some of his most important work, including the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Museum, India; the MIT Brain and Cognitive Science Centre, USA; the InterUniversity Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India; and the Champalimaud Centre for the Study of the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal. The exhibition also highlighted Correa’s designs for housing (such as the the Kanchanjunga Apartments in Mumbai) and cities in relation to climate change and affordable housing. It also examined some of his projects to improve cityscapes, including his urban masterplan for Navi Mumbai (New Bombay).
Throughout his life Correa was a well known critic of the way that modern cities have been, and are being, designed. TIME have quoted him as saying that "market forces do not make cities, they destroy them."
News via Times of India