This year’s Pritzker Prize has been awarded to Balkrishna Doshi, 90-year-old Indian architect and urban planner who has completed over 100 projects. Trained under Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, the prolific architect merges his Modernist experience with a distinctly Indian sensibility. A master of site context, Doshi draws direct inspiration from each project’s surroundings and his designs consistently emphasize community, connection with nature, and social responsibility. “Every object around us, and nature itself—lights, sky, water and storm—everything is in a symphony,” explains Doshi. “And this symphony is what architecture is all about. My work is the story of my life, continuously evolving, changing and searching…searching to take away the role of architecture, and look only at life.” Read on to see seven inspiring projects Balkrishna Doshi is best known for.
Aranya Low Cost Housing
Built in Indore in 1989, the Aranya Low Cost Housing houses over 80,000 people in over 6,500 residences that comprise a mix of one-bedroom units to spacious homes for both low and middle-income residents. The houses are laid out to promote flexibility and a sense of community with courtyards interspersed within a network of internal pathways.
Indian Institute of Management
The campus of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore was based on the design of Fatehpur Sikri. Like the 16th century town, the IIMB complex is a complex mix of corridors, courtyards, and external spaces that balances human scale with proportion and light.
Institute for Indology
Completed as one of Doshi’s first public projects outside of Le Corbusier, the Institute for Indology was built to house ancient manuscripts, a research center, and museum. The building draws on Indian design with its veranda and shading strategies to mitigate the hot climate and protect the sensitive documents within.
Named after Doshi’s wife, Kamala House built in 1963 served as the Pritzer Prize laureate’s personal home. The architect used an energy efficient approach by optimizing natural light and using cavity walls to minimize heat.
Sangath Architect’s Studio
Built as his own studio in Ahmedabad in 1981, Sangath comprises a series of sunken vaults clad in china mosaic. The studio is embedded in the landscape with water features, natural light, and greenery that grows throughout.
Amdavad Ni Gufa
Located in Ahmedabad, Amdavad Ni Gufa is an underground art gallery that houses the works of famous Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain. The cave-like art gallery was designed with computer-assisted programs and built with unskilled laborers using only hand tools.
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, now known as CEPT University, began with the School of Architecture in 1966 and has since expanded to include many more buildings and facilities. Doshi emphasized the buildings’ relationship with the outdoors while double-height windows and north-facing windows promote natural cooling.
Images via VSF