All You Need To Know About Pritzker Prize Winner Balkrishna Doshi
Known as the pioneer of low-cost housing in India, architect Balkrishna Doshi was recently awarded the highest accolade in the world of architecture, the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The 90-year-old architect was recognised for the many works he completed in his over a five-decade long career.
Here are some interesting facts about Balkrishna Doshi:
Journey: Doshi is known to be the first laureate from India to have worked under the most celebrated architects Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. A student of JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai, Doshi began his career in the late 1940s. He worked with Le Corbusier from 1951 to 1954 in Paris and then returned to India and supervised Le Corbusier’s projects in Ahmedabad and opened his own architecture firm Vastu Shilpa Consultants in 1955.
A teacher: Not just an architect, Doshi has also been known as an educator and an institutional builder, too. He started the School of Architecture in 1962 and served as the first founder Director from 1972 to 1979. He has also served as the first founder Dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (1972–81), the founder member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and the first founder Director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad. He also established research institute Vastu Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design.
Recognitions: Doshi has been recently awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest in the field of architecture. He has been awarded various other awards, including Padma Shri (1976), Honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 2011) and the sixth Aga Khan Award for Architecture for Aranya Community Housing, 1993-1995.
Films: Not just architecture, Doshi has also featured in movies. There is a documentary on Doshi which was released in 2008. This film was made by Hundredhands director Premjit Ramachandran. He has also featured as himself in Mani Ratnam's O Kadhal Kanmani, and Shaad Ali's Ok Jaanu.
Here are the five most celebrated projects of Doshi:
Aranya Low-Cost Housing, Indore: This is one of the most celebrated and awarded projects of Doshi. Completed in 1989 in Indore, this project is a township that promotes community living and creates a smooth connect between the environment and the dwellers. This project was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1996.
Life Insurance Corporation Housing, Ahmedabad: Designed way back in 1973, this project is a benchmark when it comes to low-rise high-density housing. This project’s design showcases a clear sense of order even when there is a large number of dwelling and dwellers. This project has small traditional urban row houses designed in a way that makes them look like one large unit.
Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru: Another most-talked about project is IIM-Bangalore. Completed in 1983, the institution was designed to promote both outdoor and indoor classes. The project was designed keeping in mind the vision of an inhabited place that ensures a course of human interaction and reflects the perfect sense of scale, proportion, and light.
Atira Housing, Ahmedabad: One of his oldest projects, Atira Housing was designed in 1956 and completed in 1960. The project, located in the green front area of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has a strong essence of Le Corbusier’s designs.
ECIL, Hyderabad: A township in Hyderabad, ECIL was constructed between 1969-1971. The project was a part of the expansion plan of Hyderabad ’s electronics industry. The project, located 15 km from the city centre, is designed keeping in mind the weather conditions of Hyderabad – the wind, sun angle, among others.
With inputs from Housing News