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Balkrishna Doshi Tapped for 2018 Pritzker Prize

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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Balkrishna Doshi, of India, has been selected as the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, according to an announcement by Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award.

Doshi is the first Indian architect to receive the high honor, and the urban planner told CNN that it’s a great honor not just for him but for the country as well.

Images: VSF / Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize

Balkrishna Doshi, of India, has been selected as the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, according to an announcement by Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award.

"I think it is very, very significant that this award has come to India—of course to me, but to India," he said. "The government, officials, those who take decisions, cities—everyone will start thinking that there is something called 'good architecture' (and that) lasting things can happen. (Only) then can we start talking about urbanization and urban design."

Although the vast majority of his 70-year career has been spent in India, the Foundation notes that Doshi has been an international influence for decades.

“…Doshi has been able to interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India. His ethical and personal approach to architecture has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s.”

Much of his work explores human needs, as seen in arguably his most prominent project, the Aranya Low Cost Housing project, which currently accommodates more than 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and internal pathways.

“My works are an extension of my life, philosophy and dreams trying to create [a] treasury of the architectural spirit,” 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.”

Although the vast majority of his 70-year career has been spent in India, the Foundation notes that Doshi has been an international influence for decades. Pictured is the Sangath Architect's Studio.

The 2018 Jury Citation for the prize noted in part that 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.”

Other notable works include academic institution Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (1966-2012); cultural spaces such as Tagore Memorial Hall (1967), the Institute of Indology (1962) and Premabhai Hall (1976); housing complexes Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan and Urban Design (1984) and Life Insurance Corporation Housing or “Bima Nagar” (1973); and private residence Kamala House, among many others.

The 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremony commemorates the 40th anniversary of the accolade, and will take place in May at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

   

Tagged categories: Architecture; Awards and honors; Pritzker Architecture Prize

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