Like most countries, India faces a perpetual housing crisis. As the world’s most populous nation, with an urban population expected to grow from 410 million in 2014 to 814 million by 2050, this becomes a pressing concern. The Indian built landscape brings further complexities in the form of a pervasive market-driven approach and the need for socially relevant housing. Looking into the future, how will India address the needs of its growing population to house the next million urbanites?
Charles Correa: The Latest Architecture and News
Ahmedabad's Iconic Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Designed by Charles Correa, Set to be Demolished
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has just announced its plan to demolish India's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP) Stadium. The structure was initially designed by Charles Correa and engineer Mahenda Raj in the 1960s. A testament to “the progressive ideals and experimental spirit that characterized India’s post-independence period,” this iconic modernist structure has hosted ample cultural events for the city.
The structure was originally built to host international and domestic cricket matches. In the 1950s, the Cricket Club of Ahmedabad was granted 67,000 sqm of land to construct a Cricket Stadium. It was the country’s first “turf ground,” hosting the first cricket match in India. For the cricket community in the country, the SVP represents a venue that has nurtured and honed young cricketers from all over the state, and it has been graced by several of India's legendary players in both test and one-day cricket matches.
“As Architects, We Don’t Discover Our Identity, We Construct It”: In Conversation with Rahul Mehrotra
Rahul Mehrotra is a practicing architect based in Boston and Mumbai and he has been teaching at Harvard’s GSD where he is currently Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and Director of the Master in Architecture in Urban Design Degree Program. Born in 1959, Mehrotra grew up in Lucknow, a city in Northern India and an important cultural and artistic hub. His father was a manager at a large machine tool company. The family moved a lot following Mehrotra senior’s frequent promotions, which led to changing residences owned by his company. Besides a few years in Lucknow and Delhi, they lived in different neighborhoods within Mumbai.
Upon becoming a sovereign country, free from British Rule, the people of India found themselves faced with questions they had never needed to answer before. Coming from different cultures and origins, the citizens began to wonder what post-independence India would stand for. The nation-builders now had the choice to carve out their own future, along with the responsibility to reclaim its identity - but what was India's identity? Was it the temples and huts of the indigenous folk, the lofty palaces of the Mughal era, or the debris of British rule? There began a search for a contemporary Indian sensibility that would carry the collective histories of citizens towards a future of hope.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Jencks Foundation announced renowned Indian architect Anupama Kundoo as the winner of this year's RIBA Charles Jencks Award. The accolade given in recognition of significant contributions to the theory and practice of architecture acknowledges Kundoo's holistic practice that marries theoretical investigations, material research and sustainable building methods.
Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis Uses Animated Film to Explain Public Participation in Urban Processes
Charles Correa Foundation has recently released several snippets of ‘You & Your Neighbourhood’, Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis at MIT, an animation film for which the architect was scriptwriter, animator, photographer and director. The thesis put forward the idea of a participatory process for the betterment of neighbourhoods, with a strong emphasis on creating a framework for improving urban conditions in a bottom-up approach.
A new petition has been started to save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from demolition by the State Government in India. The project has become one of the only government-run arts institution with a diverse set of cultural offerings across Western and Indian programming. As Goa’s cultural center, the late 1970's structure is a rare example of an equitable public building in India.
The World Monuments Fund has announced their 2018 World Monuments Watch, highlighting 25 cultural sites from across the globe currently at risk due to economic, political or natural threats. Covering more than 30 countries and territories, these monuments represent sites of exceptional cultural value dating from prehistory to the 20th century.
This episode of Monocle 24's On Design podcast, which briefly surveys the state of Indian architecture and suggests a blueprint for a 21st Century vernacular, was written and recorded by ArchDaily's European Editor at Large, James Taylor-Foster.
In the first half of 2016 an exhibition was opened in Mumbai. The State of Architecture, as it was known, sought to put contemporary Indian building in the spotlight in order to map trends post-independence and, more importantly, provoke a conversation both historical and in relation to where things are heading.
The second annual Z-Axis Conference, organised by the Charles Correa Foundation, will center on the notion of Buildings As Ideas. Held in the western Indian city of Goa at the Kala Academy, one of Correa's later projects, the conference is a tribute to his memory and belief that "buildings are ideas that manifest and take form." Jean Pierre Crousse, of Lima-based practice Barclay & Crousse, will open the conference with the keynote address; other international speakers include Camilo Rebelo, Ilze Wolff, Yung Ho Chang, Dick van Gameren and ArchDaily's James Taylor-Foster.
In the late 1970s, the Government of India launched an initiative to build in every state capital an institution to celebrate the cultural and creative output of the nation. Although the scheme was largely unsuccessful, one shining example remains: Bharat Bhavan (‘India House’), located in Bhopal.
Designed by Indian architectural luminary Charles Correa, this multi-arts center first opened its doors in 1982. More than thirty years later, it continues to house a variety of cultural facilities and play host to multitude of arts events. The design of the complex is a product of Correa’s mission to establish a modern architectural style specific to India and distinct from European Modernism. Drawing on the plentiful source material provided by the rich architectural heritage of his home country, at Bharat Bhavan Correa produced a building for the modern era which manages to also remain firmly rooted in the vernacular traditions of India’s past.
The Charles Correa Foundation is organizing its second annual Z-Axis Conference entitled Buildings As Ideas, which will focus on buildings and the nature of the questions they raise. The inaugural conference, Great City... Terrible Place, which was held in March 2015, intended to describe the city.
A year ago today, on June 16th 2015, the architectural community lost Charles Correa (b.1930) – a man often referred to as “India’s Greatest Architect” and a person whose impact on the built environment extended far beyond his own native country. Rooted in India, Correa’s work blended Modernity and traditional vernacular styles to form architecture with a universal appeal. Over the course of his career, this work earned him—among many others—awards including the 1984 RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK), the 1994 Praemium Imperiale (Japan), and the 2006 Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian honor).
Through his buildings we, as both architects and people who experience space, have learnt about the lyrical qualities of light and shade, the beauty that can be found in humble materials, the power of color, and the joy of woven narratives in space. Perhaps more than anything else, however, it was his belief in the notion that architecture can shape society which ensures the continued relevance of his work. “At it’s most vital, architecture is an agent of change,” Correa once wrote. “To invent tomorrow – that is its finest function.”
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