Charles Correa – Church At Parumala and Belapur Housing

CHURCH AT PARUMALA

  • The church can accommodate 2000 people inside the walls and 3000 outside.
  • The form of the church has been derived from  tri-partite structure of  Coptic  and Syrian traditions .
  • However the rituals themselves , with the faithful sitting and kneeling on the floor are completely indigenous.

BELAPUR HOUSING

  • Project demonstrates how high density housing (500 people per hectare) can be achieved in a low-rise typology, while including open to sky spaces and services, like schools, that the community requires
  • Overriding principle – to give each unit its own site to allow for expansion (Incrementality)
  • Consequently, families do not share walls with their neighbors , allowing each to expand his own house (Participation)
  • Houses constructed simply and can be built by traditional masons and craftsmen – generating employment for local workers (Income generation)
  • several plans exist that cover the social spectrum, from squatters to upper income families (Pluralism)
  • Yet, the footprint of each plan varies little in size (from 45 sqm to 70 sqm), maintaining equity (fairness) in the community
  • Scheme caters wide range from the lowest budgets of Rs 20000, Middle income groups Rs 30000-50000 and Upper income Rs 180000.
  • Though ratio of costs is 1:5 the variation of plot is much smaller , from 45 to 75 square metres.
  • Seven units are grouped of 8×8 meters
  • 3 cluster combine to form a larger module of 21 houses surrounding space of 12×12 metres
  • 3 such modules interlock to define the next scale of community space approximately 20×20 metres
  • The houses are structurally simple , can be built and altered by local mistries
  • Scheme caters wide range from the
  • lowest budgets of Rs 20000, Middle income groups Rs 30000-50000, Upper income Rs 180000
  • Though ratio of costs is 1:5 the variation of plot is much smaller , from 45 to 75 square metres.
  • Seven units are grouped of 8×8 meters
  • 3 cluster combine to form a larger module of 21 houses surrounding space of 12×12 metres
  • 3 such modules interlock to define the next scale of community space approximately 20×20 metres
  • The houses are structurally simple , can be built and altered by local mistries

Charles Correa:

Education

  • 1946-1948 inter-science. St. Xavier’s college, university of Bombay
  • 1949-1955 B.Arch., University of Michigan.
  • 1953-1955 M.Arch., Massachusetts institute of technology.

Professional Experience

  • 1955-1958 partner with G.M. BHUTA associates
  • 1958- to date in private practice.
  • 1964-1965 prepared master plan proposing twin city across the harbor from Bombay.
  • 1969-1971 invited by the govt. of Peru
  • 1971-1975 chief architect to CIDCO
  • 1975-1976 consultant to UN secretory-general for HABITAT
  • 1975-1983 Chairman Housing Urban Renewal & Ecology Board
  • 1985 chairman dharavavi palnning commision

About him:

  • Born into a middle-class Catholic family in Bombay
  • Became fascinated with the principles of design as a child
  • At Michigan two professors who influenced him the most – Walter Salders and Buckminister Fuller.
  • Kevin lynch , then in the process of developing his themes for image of the city triggered Correa’s interest in urban issues
  • ‘India of those days was a different place, it was a brand-new country, there was so much hope; India stimulated me.’
  • —Architect, planner, activist and theoretician, an international lecturer and traveler.
  • —Correa’s work in India shows a careful development, understanding and adaptation of Modernism to a non-western culture. Correa’s early works attempt to explore a local vernacular within a modern environment. Correa’s land-use planning and community projects continually try to go beyond typical solutions to third world problems.
  • —India’s first man of architecture has a very simple philosophy: “Unless you believe in what you do, it becomes … boring,”

AWARDS:

  • 1961 Prize for low-income housing early
  • 1972 Correa was awarded the PadmaShri by the President of India
  • 1980 Correa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Michigan
  • 1984 He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal          Institute of British Architects
  • 1985 Prize for the Improvement in the Quality of Human
  • Settlements from the International Union of Architects.
  • 1986 Chicago Architecture Award.
  • 1987 the Gold Medal of the Indian Institute of Architects
  • 1990 the Gold Medal of the UIA (International Union of Architects)
  • 1994 the Premium Imperial from Japan society of art.
  • 1999 Aga khan award for vidhan sabha, bhopal

Diversity

  • In Bombay – Salvacao Church at Dadar ; Kanchanjunga Apartments
  • In Goa for the Cidade de Goa Hotel and the Kala Academy,
  • In Ahmedabad – Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya ; Ramkrishna House
  • Delhi – The LIC Centre; British Council Building
  • Kerala – Kovalam Beach Resort Hotel
  • Andamans – Bay Island Hotel in Port Blair

Architectural utility and grandeur spread over the subcontinent

Principles

  • Few cardinal principles in his vast body of work;
  • incrementality
  • pluralism
  • participation
  • income generation
  • equity
  • open-to-sky space
  • disaggregation.

Belapur housing being the one project where he has literally used these principals

Correa and Corbusier

Like most architects of his generation he has been influenced by Le Corbusier , but by his response to the Mediterranean sun with his grand sculptural decisions he believes that Corbusier’s  influence in the colder climates has not been beneficial because these heroic gestures had to withdraw into defensible space, into mechanically heated (and cooled) interiors of the building.

On way back to Bombay in 1955 – saw the Jaoul House (le Corbusier)  in Paris under construction

‘I was absolutely knocked out . It was a whole new world way beyond anything being taught in America at that time .then I saw Chandigarh and his buildings in Ahmedabad . They seemed the only way to build.”

Correa and Gandhi

  • Gandhi’s goal for an independent India had been a village model, non-industrial, its architecture simple and traditional
  • In these early works Correa demonstrates uncompromising execution of an idea as a powerful statement of form

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