Charles Correa firmly believed that architecture and urban design were instruments for social change. A tribute by Durganand Balsavar.

Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur by Charles Correa
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur by Charles Correa

Charles Correa had the rare ability to combine pragmatic complexity with wit and humour — not only in his writings, but also in his architecture. The architect who passed away recently, was widely recognised as one of the most distinguished architects of our times, the visionary revered the notion of ‘open-to-sky’ spaces — be it the courtyard, the kund (tank), or the chattris (umbrellas) on the open terrace. With a scholarly understanding of politics and history, Correa engaged fearlessly with the polemics of the city, urban space and architecture. The quintessential Renaissance architect was an activist, urbanist, theoretician and thinker, engaged in an impatient yet rigorous search. In a distinguished career spanning over five decades, Correa believed that architecture and urban design were instruments for social change. Charles Correa, B. V. Doshi, Raj Rewal, Raje, Stein and Kanvinde, each charted a new trajectory in architecture. It’s no wonder that Correa received a gamut of national and international awards, including the Padma Vibhushan.