Charles Correa #3: Belapur Housing

In addition to being a renowned architect, Charles Correa also took part in a great deal of urban planning. He was a big part of creating a new section of Mumbai called “Navi Mumbai” which was initially designed to create more affordable housing and reduce slums in the quickly expanding city. The effectiveness of this is debatable, and it never quite turned into Correa’s dream, but his intent can be seen all over the area, and his dedication to helping the urban poor of India is clear. One example of this is the Belapur Housing. This housing was built as partially affordable living, but really designed to be mixed income and high density, which he did partially to encourage a sense of community among different classes of people. The buildings are built around courtyards to build on that idea and to allow for outside space in the dense city.

https://d2eohwa6gpdg50.cloudfront.net/media/singapore/galleries/2013/08/life-after-charles/the-belapur-housing-project-in-navi-mumbai-organises-homes-around-shared-courtyards/29792-1-eng-US/The-Belapur-housing-project-in-Navi-Mumbai-organises-homes-around-shared-courtyards1_gallery_image_big.jpg

Its architecture is heavily influenced by traditional Indian housing, with features suitable to the climate of the region, like low sloping roofs that allow for rain runoff during monsoon seasons. It’s style isn’t just for practical reasons; he built it partially in retaliation to the ultra-modern skyscrapers in Mumbai that looked similar to many other major cities. As part of making the housing seem unique the buildings are customizable. This allowed for the complex to provide continual work for local builders, as well as to encourage local character.

https://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/india/belapur-housing-r270313-2.jpg

References:

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/artbeat/building-in-the-vernacular-charles-correa-and-the-idea-of-india

http://www.firstpost.com/india/navi-mumbai-was-charles-correas-dream-heres-how-it-turned-into-a-nightmare-2301976.html

Charles Correa – Church At Parumala and Belapur Housing

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