Belapur housing by Charles Correa, case study

Belapur housing is the incremental housing project designed by ar. Charles Correa. it is one of the most significant projects of Charles Correa’s life.

belapur housing photo
source: belapur housing


Project nameBelapur housing/ Belapur incremental housing
ArchitectAr. Charles Correa
LocationBelapur, New Mumbai
Total area of the site5.4 hector
Project typeHousing project
Construction completed1983
  • Belapur housing located about 2km from the city center of the new Mumbai. Attempts to demonstrate how high densities(500 persons per hectare, including open space, schools, etc) can be easily achieved within the context of a low-rise typology.
  • The site plan is generated by a hierarchy of community spaces and courtyards.
  • Starting with a small shared courtyard 8mX8m around which seven houses are grouped.
  • houses do not share any party-wall with their neighbors- which makes these houses truly incremental.
  • Each family can extend their own house independently.
belapur housing
belapur incremental housing
  • This site covers different social and economical backgrounds that vary in size only marginally from 45 sq.m. to 70 sq.m.
  • the form and plan of these houses are very simple but effective.

Concept and Planning

belapur housing
belapur housing plan
  • Belapur housing is spread around 5.4 hector area.
  • The main concept of this project was to create a hierarchy of open space from small community spaces for cluster-level activities and large community spaces for community-level activities
  • Lage community spaces are used to celebrate different festivals and for function by residents.
  • Hierarchy is designed in such a way that you move from large open space to small cluster level open space
  • Every house has open space in front of the house which plays a major role in the interaction between the people.
  • Instead of going to a high rise-low density project, Charles Correa’s main focus was to create a low rise-high density so that each house will be built on its individual land.

(similar project like this, designed by charles correa was Aranya housing , check this out.)

  • Charles Correa designed open spaces as shared community spaces that every individual can use it.
  • Charles Correa thinks that the involvement of the residents is also playing a crucial part in housing projects.
belapur housing
source: belapur housing
  • Another planning principle was to give informal character to the roads.
  • Open to sky spaces in Belapur housing plays the most important part in creating interconnection between open and closed spaces.

Cluster development

Belapur housing
belapur housing cluster
  • Every cluster includes a variety of housing typologies and a central open space with a tree.
  • The form of the structure is simple so that it can be constructed by the local masons and craftsmen which generates employments for the locals.
  • The window is placed on those sides only where the setback is provided so that it will help in cross ventilation.
  • common roof type I .e.Pitched roof is used for all the houses in Belapur housing.
  • Schemes are produced for all income groups like LIG(lower income group), MIG(middle-income group), HIG(higher income group).
  • 7 units are grouped around to form a courtyard of size 8m x 8m size.
  • 3 of these clusters are combined to form a bigger cluster of 21 houses with a courtyard of size 12m x 12m.

Typology of structures

Belapur housing
  • All typologies forms are relatively the same but the sizes are different varying from 45 sq.m. to 70 sq.m.
  • Type A and B are 1RK structures, Type C is 1BHK and type D is 3BHK structures.
  • Materials used are brick walls, outdoor stone pavement, Mangalore tiles, wood, glass.
  • climate conditions are considered while choosing the material and designing of the clusters.


  • There is no UGT in Belapur housing, every building has his own OHT (overhead tank) and separate underground take is built by the residents itself.
  • Instead of constructing separate STP (sewage treatment plant), combined STP for each cluster is designed.
  • Stormwater is drained into the Nallah.
  • Wastewater is directly drained into municipal sewer lines.

Current Scenario

Belapur housing
New typology
  • Many of the original buildings are demolished and now replaced with much bigger concrete houses by residents.
  • sense of the place still remains as it is which is the achievement for the Belapur housing project.
  • Because of the sense of insecurity, people build boundary walls.
  • People used modern material and techniques for reconstruction.
  • The design approach allowed the people to modify their house with time which is the biggest achievement for the project like Belapur housing.
  • Open spaces and community spaces are still maintained and used by people.
Belapur incremental housing

In a place like Mumbai, Belapur incremental housing is still a dream housing for many people.

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