Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (Pritzker Prize/VSF)

Balkrishna Doshi wins the Pritzker Prize at the age of 90

8 March 2018 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

Balkrishna Doshi, the doyen of Indian architects, has won the Pritzker Prize 61 years after he founded his own practice and established a fusion of modernism and local traditions.

A pioneer in low-cost housing, he is the first Indian to win architecture’s most prestigious prize.

The judges praised his “serious” style, which shows a “deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture”.

Doshi was born in Pune, southwest India in 1927, into an extended Hindu family that had been involved in the furniture industry for two generations. He began studying architecture in 1947, the year India gained independence, at the Sir JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai

Balkrishna Doshi in 1956 (Pritzker Prize/VSF)

n 1956, Doshi founded his own practice, Vastushilpa Consultants, which has completed over 100 projects and now employs five partners and sixty employees.

His projects include the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, The School of Architecture at CEPT University in Ahmedabad and the Aranya Low Cost Housing development in Indore, which accommodates 80,000 residents through a system of houses, courtyards and internal pathways.

Doshi said: “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.

The Aranya Low Cost Housing development (Pritzker Prize/VSF)

“Every object around us, and nature itself – lights, sky, water and storm – everything is in a symphony, 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.”

Last year’s recipients of the prize were the Spanish trio, RCR Arquitectes.

Top image: The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (Pritzker Prize/VSF)