Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi has been awarded the 2018 Pritzker Prize, the highest honor in the field of architecture.
Born in India’s Pune city in 1927, Doshi, as he is fondly called, worked with Le Corbuiser and Louis Kahn during the initial years of his architecture practice. Over the years, the architect has combined his learning from the two modern masters with acute local sensibility. In his career spanning 70 years, he has completed more than 100 projects including a number of low-cost housing developments. In 1954, Doshi had stated: “It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling.” Later, he went on to create Aranya Low-Cost Housing Development in Indore, home to over 80,000 people, which got him the 1993-1995 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Some of his notable projects include the Ahmedabad School of Architecture (1966); his own studio “Sangath” featuring concrete barrel vaults, sunken communal spaces and water features; and his experimental, cave-like gallery Amdavad ni Gufa (1995).
The Pritzker jury, comprising Richard Rogers, Sejima Kazuyo, Glenn Murcutt, and Martha Thorne, stated: “Balkrishna Doshi constantly demonstrates that all good architecture and urban planning must not only unite purpose and structure but must take into account climate, site, technique, and craft, along with a deep understanding and appreciation of the context in the broadest sense. Projects must go beyond the functional to connect with the human spirit through poetic and philosophical underpinnings. For his numerous contributions as an architect, urban planner, teacher, for his steadfast example of integrity, and his tireless contributions to India and beyond, the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury selects Balkrishna Doshi as the 2018 Pritzker Laureate.”
On receiving the honor, Doshi said: “My works are an extension of my life, philosophy, and dreams trying to create treasury of the architectural spirit. I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier. His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat,” as noted by ArchDaily.