Pritzker Prize Laureate Balkrishna Doshi dies age 95

“A master wielder of form and light, Doshi has left an indelible legacy"

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Celebrated Indian architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, 2018 Pritzker Prize Winner and 2022 Riba’s Gold Medal, has passed away at 95 in Ahmedabad, India.


Doshi passed away earlier today, reported magazine Architectural Digest India, who wrote on Instagram, “India’s greatest architect, Balkrishna Doshi (26th August 1927- 24th January 2023), has passed away at the age of 95.”

 

“A master wielder of form and light, Doshi has left an indelible legacy. A loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and a true inspiration to the people of this country. His contribution to architecture, art, life, culture and philosophy will be remembered forever. He spent his early career working with celebrated architects Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. He made us proud with international accolades including the Pritzker Prize in 2018 and RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal for 2021, wrote Architectural Digest India on Instagram.

story imageDoshi in his studio, Sangath (Photo courtesy of VSF)

 

With a 70 year career and over 100 built projects, Balkrishna Doshi has influenced the direction of architecture in India and its adjacent regions through both his practice and his teaching. His buildings combine pioneering modernism with vernacular, informed by a deep appreciation of the traditions of India’s architecture, climate, local culture and craft. His projects include administrative and cultural facilities, housing developments and residential buildings. He has become internationally known for his visionary urban planning and social housing projects, as well as his work in education, both in India and as a visiting professor at universities around the world.

story imageBalkrishna Doshi with Louis Kahn (Photo courtesy of VSF)

 

Born in 1927 in Pune, India, to an extended family of furniture makers, Balkrishna Doshi studied at the J J School of Architecture, Bombay, before working for four years with Le Corbusier as Senior Designer (1951-54) in Paris and four more years in India to supervise projects in Ahmedabad. He worked with Louis Kahn as an associate to build the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and they continued to collaborate for over a decade. He founded his own practice, Vastushilpa in 1956 with two architects. Today Vastushilpa is a multi-disciplinary practice with five partners spanning three generations and has sixty employees. The practice invites dialogue and its philosophy of pro-active participation even applies to their office space – which has an open door, inviting passers-by to drop in.

story image2022 Royal Gold Medallist Balkrishna Doshi & RIBA President Simon Allford © Vinay Panjwani

 

 

Doshi’s key projects include: Shreyas Comprehensive School Campus (1958-63), Ahmedabad, India; Atira Guest House (1958), Ahmedabad, low cost housing; the Institute of Indology (1962), Ahmedabad, a building to house rare documents; Ahmedabad School of Architecture (1966, with additions until 2012) - renamed CEPT University in 2002 - which focused on creating spaces that promoted collaborative learning; Tagore Hall & Memorial Theatre (1967), a 700 seat Brutalist auditorium in Ahmedabad; Premabhai Hall (1976), Ahmedabad, India, former theatre and auditorium; Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1977 – 1992), a business school; Sangath (1981), the studio for his architecture practice, Vastu Shilpa; Kanoria Centre for Arts (1984), an arts and creative hub; Aranya Low Cost Housing (1989), Indore, India, which won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995 and Amdavad ni Gufa (1994), a cave-like art gallery that exhibits the work of artist Maqbool Fida Husain.

 

story imageBalkrishna Doshi - Photographer credit: Pratik Gajjar

 

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Cover image: Balkrishna Doshi - Photographer credit: Pratik Gajjar

 

 

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