Pritzker laureate Balkrishna Doshi dies aged 95

Indian modernist architect Balkrishna Doshi has died at his home in Ahmedabad aged 95.

Doshi was the first India architect to be awarded Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018. He was also awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal in 2021.

Doshi was born in Pune, India, in 1927, and undertook his architectural studies at the Sir J.J. School of Architecture Bombay. He moved to Paris in the early 1950s and worked with Le Corbusier before returning to his homeland to oversee Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh and Ahmedabad projects.

In 1956, he founded his own practice, Vastushilpa, which has completed more than 100 projects, including the School of Architecture (1966, now part of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT)), the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board in Jabalpur (1979) and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1992), and his own studio, Sangath (1980).

Sangath (1980).


Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Foundation

He also designed several low-cost housing projects, including Aranya Low-cost Housing at Indore (1989), and the Co-Operative Middle Income Housing in Ahmedabad (1982)

Doshi stated in 1954, “It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling.”

In 1962, after teaching in the USA, he worked with Louis Kahn on the Indian Institute of Management project in Ahmedabad.

The 2018 Pritzker Prize jury, of which Australian architect Glenn Murcutt was chair, said in their citation, “Balkrishna Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends. With a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture, he has created projects for public administrations and utilities, educational and cultural institutions, and residences for private clients, among others.”

Aranya Low Cost Housing.


Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Foundation

Doshi was recognised globally as the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a Global Award for Lifetime Achievement for Sustainable Architecture from Institut Francais d’Architecture, Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, and the Indian Prime Minister’s National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning and Design.

He was also a gold medallist of the Indian Institute of Architects and the Academy of Architecture of France, and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

On news of his death, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet, “Dr. BV Doshi Ji was a brilliant architect and a remarkable institution builder. The coming generations will get glimpses of his greatness by admiring his rich work across India. His passing away is saddening. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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