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Artfully serious – Balkrishna Doshi receives 2018 Pritzker Prize

Professor Balkrishna Doshi has been selected as the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: 90 year old Doshi is the first Indian architect awarded with the prize, known internationally as architecture’s highest honor.

Architect, urban planner, and educator for the past 70 years, Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally. Architect, urban planner, and educator for the past 70 years, Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally. “Professor Doshi has said that ‘Design converts shelters into homes, housing into communities, and cities into magnets of opportunities,” comments Tom Pritzker, Chairman of Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award. “The life’s work of Balkrishna Doshi truly underscores the mission of the Prize — demonstrating the art of architecture and an invaluable service to humanity. I am honored to present the 40th anniversary of this award to an architect who has contributed more than 60 years of service to us all.” Doshi´s architecture is both poetic and functional, he has been able to interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India. The architect lives and works in Ahmedabad, where he built his studio „Sangath“ in 1980.

Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore, accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways.

The architect designed Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore, 1989, which presently accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways. Over 6,500 residences range from modest one-room units to spacious homes, accommodating low and middle-income residents. Overlapping layers and transitional areas encourage fluid and adaptable living conditions, customary in Indian society. The 2018 Jury Citation states, in part: “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 Jury continues, “Doshi is acutely aware of the context in which his buildings are located. His solutions take into account the social, environmental and economic dimensions, and therefore his architecture is totally engaged with sustainability.”

1-3: The Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, inspired by traditional maze-like Indian cities and temples, is organized as interlocking buildings, courts and galleries. It also provides a variety of spaces protected from the hot climate.
4: Influenced by masters of 20th century architecture, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and Louis Khan, Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally.

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