The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. Photo: Wikipedia

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. Photo: Gary Otte/Charles Correa Associates

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Photo: Barnabas Bozoki/Charles Correa Associates

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon. Photo: Charles Correa Associates

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Parumala Church, Thirvalla, Kerala. Photo: Wikipedia

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. Photo: Naresh Kumar / Charles Correa Associates

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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Salvacao Church, Mumbai. Photo: Arnout Fonck/Flickr / Charles Correa Associates

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

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MIT Brain Center, Boston. Photo: Charles Correa Associates, Courtesy The British Architectural Library, RIBA

The original master of Make in India: Charles Correa

Catch Team @catchnews

"Everything has left architecture, except whimsy and fashion," said Charles Correa to The Guardian in an interview in 2013. "We have surrendered more and more to engineers, who manage to prop up any design and manage any shape."

That statement tells you more about Correa's design philosophy than any elaborate treatise on his work. He called the high-rises of the cities 'idiot buildings'. His thinking was local, traditional, ecological; his designs global, contemporary, functional.

It's impossible to avoid the words 'open to sky' when talking of Correa, it was paramount in his design philosophy. He emphasised the use of local materials, especially to deal with weather conditions. He designed buildings that didn't need air conditioning or heating and worked with the elements. Each is distinct, but the philosophy is unified.

The earthy Gandhi Museum in Sabarmati has brick walls, stone floors and a ceramic roof. The Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur exhibits a stunning fluidity of line and shape. The National Crafts Museum in New Delhi is built as a vast interconnected space, giving the visitor a feel of walking through a village.

His Belapur housing project in the '80s in Navi Mumbai showed how high densities could be accommodated with courtyard homes.

When questioned about his influence Correa famously laughed: "No one could have a lasting influence in India - it is far too big."

He'd be surprised, today, to see how much India cares.

Text and image editing by Priyata Brajabasi

Catch Team

Catch Team @catchnews