Photo courtesy of SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images
“Through his ethical and personal approach to the built environment, and his legacy of over one hundred built works, he touched humanity in every socio-economic class of his native country and continues to enhance society. As Doshi would often say, “Anand Karo,” or celebrate life.”
– Pritzker Architecture Prize statement on Balkrishna Doshi’s passing.
ACC mourns the recent passing of master architect, urban planner, and educator Balkrishna Doshi (B.V. Doshi). Doshi’s impact on the world of architecture connected innovation and cultural reflection on an international scale, particularly for the people of India. As the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize (2018) – architecture’s highest honor to architects whose built work combines talent, vision, and commitment, producing significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture – Doshi developed a distinctive approach to building for his country. Trained and strongly influenced by renowned architects Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Doshi brought traditional western studies to Indian environments creating multidimensional spaces specific to Indian communities. In 1966 Doshi received an ACC grant to attend the Team X Architecture Conference in Urbino, Italy, and survey contemporary architecture developments in and around Europe; a journey that likely added to his unique international understanding of designing with a sensitivity to the social, environmental, and economic conditions of any given site.
Some of Doshi’s most notable projects include Shreyas Comprehensive School Campus, Ahmedabad School of Architecture, Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, Aranya Low-Cost Housing, the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi, the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, the Tagore Memorial Hall, Institute of Indology and Premabhai Hall, and his own private residence Kamala House. While his impressive portfolio covered a mixture of administrative buildings, educational facilities, and residential buildings, many of Doshi’s most important works established public housing developments and cultural centers designed to create and build upon community.
Indian Institute of Management. Photo courtesy of MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images.
Aranya Low-Cost Housing. Photography courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad.
ACC is proud to have supported B.V. Doshi, recognizing his commitment to cultural exchange and international dialogue through representative leadership that forged a path for architectural scholars and artists of the future. He will be remembered on an international scale as a celebrated trailblazer who filled a career and lifetime with a sense of responsibility and dedication to the country and communities he served.