The Charles Correa Gold Medal is an award initiated in 1998 by Indian architect and urbanist Charles Correa. Through the format of the Gold Medal, the Charles Correa. Foundation intends to not only challenge students and schools of architecture to focus on pressing issues, but also to emphasize the role that architects can play in society as “agents of change”
This year, the Charles Correa Gold Medal focused on thesis projects that addressed climate concerns through architecture design. Charles Correa coined the phrase ‘Form Follows Climate’ and often said “to build in India is to respond to climate”.
The jury for the Charles Correa Gold Medal 2022 is Kapil Gupta (Serie Architects), Rohan Shivkumar (Architect, Urban designer, film-maker), Meghal Arya (Co-founder, Arya Architects), Suhasini Ayer (Co-founder, Auroville CSR Trust) and Arthur Duff (Mentor + Principal Architect, Praxis Architects),where they mainly looked for entries that consider the site and context of the proposed project with clarity in formulation and addressal of real-life issues.
The Charles Correa Gold Medal seeks out compelling visions for the future of the built environment across architecture colleges in India. This year, the Gold Medal addresses the urgency of climate responsive architecture. Correa’s lucid intuition, ‘Form Follows Climate’ is remarkably pertinent today, a moment where the construction industry is a significant contributor to global warming, accounting for almost 25% of global carbon emissions.
The award challenges students and institutions to rewrite the values of the discipline and the profession, to foreground a strong environment-led framework of thinking and making, if we are to confront the challenges of living in the anthropocene.
The 46 entries for the CCGM 2022 reveal an increasing awareness among students of the implicit role that the construction industry plays in global warming. The entries expressed various architectural and planning solutions, from interesting passive design strategies to impressive technical simulations to understand and optimise how buildings consume resources, energy and water, recycle waste and landscape strategies to create food security.
While we will not be awarding the Gold Medal this year, we encourage students to seek out new ideas and methods of thinking and building sustainably within the diverse environmental, cultural and social landscape of the subcontinent.
This insightful proposal for an environmental research centre foregrounds the computational intelligence of building diagnostic software as a tool to enable and evaluate passive design strategies while creating a vibrant urban realm for users and the city.
The project deploys a set of procedural transformations to a generic volumetric grid of programs. The addition and subtraction of grid modules is rationalised by computational optimization for daylight penetration, thermal mass efficiency and cross ventilation, besides the cogent organisation of institutional programs. The typological repetition of elemental public spaces generates a surprisingly porous building, with human-scaled green terraces and open-to-sky voids that facilitate an intimate visual connectivity across the campus.
This provocative project proposed adaptive reuse as a strategy to renew and repurpose the abandoned building in the city, thus ensuring the full use of the embodied energy. In stark opposition to the logic of speculative real-estate where erasure and new new construction is the norm, the project invests in the embodied carbon conservation of the old structure. It also proposes the use of construction waste to further mitigate its carbon footprint.
Adaptive re-use is increasingly adopted globally as a viable use of the carbon already embedded in the building besides helping in urban regeneration. While the proposal requires more rigorous design development, we would like to applaud this entry with a citation, as it forsakes market-led formalism for a thoughtful response to its site and a relevant response to climate change.
Watch the livestream of the Charles Correa Gold Medal 2022 above.