Architect, planner and theoretician, Charles Correa was Principal and founder of Charles Correa Associates of Mumbai, India, and the A Farwell Bemis Professor, School of Architecture & Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA.
Born in Secunderabad, India in 1930, he studied architecture at the University of Michigan and MIT. He died in Mumbai on June 16, 2015 aged 84 years.
His work combines architecture with issues of low-income housing and urban planning. Projects include the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad; the State Assembly building for Madhya Pradesh; and housing projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru (Bangalore).
Over four decades, Charles Correa undertook pioneering work on urban issues and low-cost shelter in developing countries. From 1970-75, he was Chief Architect for “Navi Mumbai”, an urban growth center of 2 million people, across the harbor from the existing city. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanization.
In private practice in Bombay since 1958, his work covers a wide range, from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram, to the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, and the State Assembly for Madhya Pradesh. His work also includes projects in townships and public housing projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Bangalore) and other cities in India. Recent notable works include the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada; the Brain Science Center at MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA; and the Champalimaud Centre in Lisbon, Portugal.
He founded the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai that is dedicated to protecting the environment and improving urban communities in 1984.
Charles Correa was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1998, Praemium Imperiale for Architecture (Japan) in 1994, Gold Medal of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 1990 and the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 1984. He was acclaimed as “India’s greatest architect” by RIBA when it mounted an exhibition on him in 2013.
He was a member of the jury of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (1993-98) and a member of the jury of the Aga Khan Prize for Architecture in 1989.
Charles Correa held visiting professorships at leading universities including the University of California at Berkeley, Tongji University in Shanghai, and Harvard University, and has been the Sir Banister Fletcher Professor at the University of London, the Albert Bemis Professor at MIT, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor at the University of Cambridge.
Charles Correa was Head of the Holcim Awards global jury in 2009.