Maharashtra Housing, 1999 designed by Charles Correa, was a high-density housing in the heart on Mumbai, India, acting as a transit camps for old buildings under repair. Since it’s a temporary home, the accommodation area per family is very small [20.9sqm]. Each apartment is eight storeys tall. The units were arranged in clusters of four, so that each unit is a corner unit, ensuring cross-ventilation. The building was designed with only three elevator stops, which greatly reduces costs. However, the stop locations are open community spaces where people can congregate and productive activities can take place. The Welfare Halls are used by children to do their homework when they come home from school, and in the evenings for watching TV. They can be used by women’s cooperatives to generate part-time jobs for house wives—making pickles, sewing, etc. With only three elevator stops, all 277 residents are serviced much faster than with traditional floor-by-floor elevator corridors. The absence of elevator corridors also allowed for the creative structuring of the corner units and the open spaces so that families have the privacy, yet have access to the open areas.
Charles Correa’s projects range from low-income, high density housing to entire townships, he pays special attention to air ventilation and to provide humane living environments. In India, the urban population is increasing twice as fast as in its rural areas. He takes on this challenge and designs homes, both for low and high incomes in Mumbai. But even while designing small spaces within this high density environment, he incorporates a high level of privacy and also shapes and contributes to the community life within an apartment building.
Images taken from: Housing and Urbanisation by Charles Correa, Published by Thames and Hudson