The Hush Post: Balkrishna Doshi, the eminent Indian architect will be honoured with the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the field.
The 90-year-old from Pune is the first Indian to get this honour, the highest in this field. Before him, architects like Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, IM Pei, and Shigeru Ban have been conferred with the award.
“Over the years, 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,” the Pritzker jury said.
A pass-out of the JJ School of Architecture, Mumbai, Doshi has worked with Le Corbusier in the 1950 in Paris before he came to India. In India, he supervised many of Corbusier projects. He established his studio Vastu-Shilpa in 1950s and worked with Louis Kahn and Anant Raje to design the campus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He then designed IIM campuses in Bangalore, Lucknow, the Tagore Memorial Hall, National Institute of Fashion Technology, the Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad, etc.
“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,” Doshi said.
A man who belonged to a family of furniture manufacturers, in an interview he credited his early inspirations to his grandfather’s house, where new levels were added to accommodate a huge family comprising three uncles and their families.
“I always sensed the space as alive,” Doshi recalled in that interview to National Public Radio. Space and light and the kind of movement that gets into the space for me are very, very significant. That’s what generates a dialogue. That’s what generates activities. And that’s where you begin to become part of life. My architecture philosophy is: Architecture is a backdrop for life.”