LIC Building, New Delhi, India
Location: Jeevan Bharati, Tower II, 124, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Year built: 1986
Architect: Charles Correa
The Life Insurance Corporation Building in Connaught Place was designed in 1986 by Charles Correa. Correa was considered India’s greatest modern architect, receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1980 and a Royal Gold Medal in Architecture in 1984.
The LIC building is seen to give a sense of direction to those who step foot in Connaught place. The red Agra sandstone, glass facade, and space frame structure made it unique. As Correa said, the LIC building is a space that ‘breathes’, as a result of an open dialogue between structures and the open.
LIC was created in response to Correa’s vision of ideal living. Through apartments that resemble tubes, large openings that allow cross-ventilation, and varying apartment sizes, the building encourages those from differing income groups to live together in the same building.
The first inhabitants of the LIC colony were immigrants who had recently moved. As many children grew up and left to pursue other endeavours, those who stayed continued their lives and had their children. Playing in the same spaces prompts a dialogue of openness and the buildings that breathe space in our lives like that of LIC.