THIRD EDITION OF ANNUAL CHARLES CORREA MEMORIAL LECTURE ORGANIZED BY AMBUJA NEOTIA GROUP
Kolkata, 3 July 2018: The architect-fraternity of Kolkata and Ambuja Neotia Group organized the 3rd edition of “Charles Correa Annual Memorial Lecture” at the Royal Bengal Auditorium, City Centre Salt Lake, in the presence of eminent guests and delegates.
This year the memorial lecture was delivered by internationally acclaimed architect Kashef Chowdhury, Principal Architect, Urbana, Bangladesh. He has received the Architectural Review EA Award 2012 in London, and Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016 in Geneva. Chowdhury’s work mirrors the geo-cultural and socio-political contexts and pays special attention to the often-fragile natural environment where the work is destined to exist. His works, in many ways echo Charles Correa’s concerns and values.
Architect Uday Joshi who had worked with Charles Correa in the seventies was the special guest. He recounted his association with the master.
Paraguayan architect Solano Benitez delivered the inaugural memorial lecture with Correa’s wife, Mrs. Monika Correa being guest of Honour and Architect Rahul Mehrotra, Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design the special invitee. The second memorial lecture was delivered by architect Richard Hassell, cofounder of WOHA, a Singapore-based architecture practice and Mr. Kamal Hadkar, CMD, Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services was the special invitee.
Correa’s connection with our city of joy is unique. Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia shared a special bond with the architect and when the two visionaries met, they carved out ‘City Center’ a shopping mall that reflects lifestyle; thoughts and culture of the people of Kolkata. The alleys and walkways inside city center remind us of the traditional shopping streets and even the images of New Market.
Mr. Ashish Acharjee, noted architect from the city and host for the evening said, “I had worked (87-90) with Charles Correa on some of his landmark projects across India. When I proposed, after his demise in 2015, the Annual Memorial Lecture as homage to Correa, to Mr. Neotia, he wholeheartedly supported the idea. This year he extended his support to an exhibition of Correa’s works. Neotia, a connoisseur of Art and architecture himself, is the only client in Kolkata who had commissioned Correa for a large private project – City Center, that went on to become both an architectural landmark as well as an icon in the city. The primary idea of this annual lecture in his memory is not only to remember his legacy on a specific day but also to encourage research and practice of his values in Architecture throughout the year”.
“Charles Correa’s vision of an eco-friendly and human-centric urbanization in India is of utmost relevance today. While I initially had a hard time getting him convinced to build a commercial project, eventually I ended up learning many essential values of work from him. He never tolerated mediocrity and in his own assertive style always enriched the person he worked with. ” said Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group.
Mr. Neotia went on to add “We are extremely happy to host this annual Charles Correa Memorial Lecture for the third consecutive year. This year we have also supported the initiative of bringing to Kolkata from Mumbai, a special exhibition entitled “Living Ideals: Designs for housing by Charles Correa in partnership with the Indian Institute of Architects, West Bengal Chapter. Scheduled to open on July 4, 2018 and run up to July 25, 2018 at the IIA West Bengal Chapter Building, the exhibition is a rare opportunity for architects and students to sight the works of the master because it will permanently move out of India by end of this year”.