An icon in distress. Petition to save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from demoliton

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Charles Mark Correa

Charles Mark Correa (1 September 1930, in Secunderabad, – 16 June 2015, in Mumbai, India) was an Indian architect and urban planner. Credited for 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.

Correa began his higher studies at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai at the University of Bombay (now Mumbai) went on to study at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1949–53) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States (1953–55). In 1958 he established his own Bombay-based professional practice.

There are two characteristics in the Correa practice; its projects were influenced by Le Corbusier’s work and the importance of the site was a constant in his work’s approach. His first important project was "Mahatma Gandhi Sangrahalaya" (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial) at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad (1958–1963), then in 1967 he designed the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Bhopal. He also designed significant buildings as National Crafts Museum, New Delhi (1975–1990), Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1982), Jawahar Kala Kendra (Jawahar Arts Centre), in Jaipur, Rajasthan (1986–1992), British Council, Delhi, (1987–92) the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Boston (2000–2005), City Centre (Salt Lake City, Kolkata) in Kolkata (2004) and the Champalimaud Centre for The Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal (2007–2010). He also designed the research and development facility of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Mahindra Research Valley) at Chennai, which is the epicentre of various R&D networks of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

From 1970–75, he was Chief Architect for New Bombay (Navi Mumbai), an urban growth center of 2 million people across the harbour from the existing city of Mumbai, here along with Shirish Patel and Pravina Mehta he was involved in extensive urban planning of the new city. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanization.

In 1984, he 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 done pioneering work in urban issues and low-cost shelter in the Third World. From 2005 until his 2008 resignation Correa was the Chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.

On 18 December 2011, the eve of the Golden Jubiliee of Liberation of Goa, Correa was bestowed with Goa's highest civilian honour, the Gomant Vibhushan.



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