Architecture is a visual media and when it embraces other forms of visual art like painting, sculpture it essentially comes alive! Legendary Indian architect Charles Correa does just that with his notable projects across the country. Whether its sculpture at the Gandhi Ashram or sciography as art at the Hotel Cidade de Goa his buildings are beautifully thought out and finished with remarkable simplicity.
My favorite of them all is the British Council at KG Marg in New Delhi. Being close to my college, the School of Planning & Architecture apart from housing a delectable library ensured us geeks, spending a lot of our hours in its realms. From attending concerts it its own mughal garden, to listening to eminent architects debate on the quality of our cities, or better still to lie deeply buried into a Dickens world, the British Library played canvas effortlessly. In this building too like all his others, Correa included elements of graphic art in the elevation, sculpture in the indoor spaces and landscape in the outdoors weaving in an indoor looking building amidst the bustling Connaught Place in Delhi. An oasis of a building.
There are a multitude of factors that are impressive in a Correa building, but the one that I hold tremendously dear is the confluence of all forms of visual media. Even in the British Council he expresses the inspirations of the Mughal Courtyard, the Michelangelo proportions and the very hindu symbol of infinity. Correa an avid film-maker never missed drawing up a pathway on how his building would be experienced. He has stressed on the similar roles of an architect and a film-maker. Both directing and driving the experience.
As he passed away this June, he will be remembered through his works that are both classic and timeless!