BHOPAL : 84-years-old Charles Correa a renowned architect and urban planner died on June 16 in Mumbai. He is considered to be ‘India’s greatest contemporary architect, who designed three popular buildings of city of lakes including ‘Bharat Bhawan’, ‘Vidhan Sabha’ and ‘Paryavas Bhawan’. He is also known as founder of Navi Mumbai.
He also designed several government buildings, academies, resorts and low-income housing units across India, and was the chief architect of the suburb of Navi Mumbai, built across the harbor from Mumbai proper. He was a staunch critic of the way modern cities were designed, once saying: “Market forces do not make cities, they destroy them.” “I’ve never designed a glass building,” he’d said once. “I’ve never felt the need to. I’ve used glass, but I wouldn’t say I’ve ever designed a glass tower. I wouldn’t be so stupid as to do that.” Some city architect and artists spoke to Free Press and shared their experience about Correa.
“Charles Correa was master man. He was not only popular in India but world wide too by his work and got many awards. I met him once in 1993. His intimacy was with Bhopal and use to feel very close to Bhopal. We are very lucky that he designed three world class buildings in Bhopal and Bharat Bhawan is one of them where legendary artists of country used to perform here. And due to this building only Bhopal is known as one of the cultural capital city of India. His contribution is lot in Bhopal,” says Ajay Katariya, a senior architect.
” He was not only an architect but a great planner too with ultimate vision and Navi Mumbai is its best example. He took two years to make it. He used to build organic building. He was academician too and used to teach children world wide. We have lost world level contemporary architect”, Katariya added.
“He was very creative architect and amazing person. He defined the Indian architectural in a traditional and modern way beautifully and Bharat Bhawan, Vidhan Sabha and Paryavas Bhawan are best example of his work. In 80s, ten museums were selected from across world and Correa got prestigious award for designing Bharat Bhawan in 1989 or 99,” says senior artist Akhilesh.
He also adds that “He was great art lovers too. He has his art collection of legend artist across world and I feel lucky that my work is one of them. He always keeps in touch with artists. He made a church in Mumbai and which was painted by noted painter Fida Hussein. It is great loss for Indian society which we can’t be fulfilled.”
“He came last time Bhopal during the inauguration of Vidhan Sabha in 1995. And he made a lot of work in ceramic workshop which held in Bharat Bhawan. He built Bharat Bhawan with Courtyard planning by using local material which is great thing of him. He was best modern architect and had mastery on it. He was very polite and down to earth person,” said Devilal Partidar, in-charge of ceramic department of Bharat Bhawan.
“He was state architect of MP. He designed central hall of Vidhan Sabha and Antrang hall of Bharat Bhawan amazing. He also designed the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur on the basis of Bharat Bhawan. He used to build the building by using local material. He was recognized in India as great architecture and is being taught in syllabus of Architecture. As many as 5,000 architect students across country use to visit Bharat Bhawan every year,” said deputy director Rupankar, Bharat Bhawan.
In the same vein, administrative officer of Bharat Bhawan, Premshanker Shukla said, “We have lost the renowned architect of India who has vast knowledge on world ancient architecture. He had great imagination as well as vision. Bharat Bhawan will remain debtor of this great architect and pay tribute to him. We are very sad to hear his death news.”