Kanchanjunga by Charles Correa

September , 2016

If you take the Cumballa Hill Road in Mumbai you are bound to admire this 32 storeyed structure, standing tall in its iconic glory even today, almost three and half decades since it was constructed. Kanchanjunga Apartments designed by Charles Correa is one of the important landmarks in the contemporary Indian Architecture. Correa is considered as one of the pioneers of modern architecture in India.

The building has 32 luxury apartments comprising of multiple configurations varying from 3 to 6 bedrooms each. Correa has skillfully played with split levels and double height terrace gardens to create spaces that withstand the vagaries of nature like harsh sun, sea-breezes and heavy monsoon rains. The inspiration comes from the traditional architectural concept of verandahs running around the house to provide protection from the natural elements.

The modular design offers enchanting views of both the harbor on the West and Arabian Sea to the East to the individual units alternately. The tower is a square of 21 metres and built to the proportion of 1: 4 thus having a height of 84 metres. Made of reinforced concrete the structure has 6.3 metres cantilevered open terraces. The central core acts as the main structural element to take care of lateral forces and also houses lifts and other utilities.

The beauty of the structure lies in its minimalistic design that is an ideal example of play of positive and negative spaces. The solid vertical mass of the structure is broken by the cut-outs on corners of the double-height terraces. The sparing use of vibrant red and yellows in these cut-outs breaks the monotony of the massing.

Internally the spaces are interconnected by using double height and interesting play of levels. The neat and clean lines of the structure’s exterior enclose intricately designed interior spaces.

Known for his extraordinary and sensitive designs, Kanchanjunga is one of Correa’s many masterpieces that continue to inspire the world! His works have a sculptural quality about them and it reflects in this awesomely inspiring structure!

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