Officially announced on Wednesday, March 7, Balkrishna Doshi has been awarded the 2018 Pritzker Prize for architecture, the discipline's highest honor. Now the 45th recipient of this award, Doshi is the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize and has worked with 20th-century masters Le Corbusier and Louis Khan. Considered a pioneer in low-cost housing, Doshi is an architect, urban planner, and educator who strives to create spaces that promote inner peace and whose designs aim to foster a sense of community through cities that can contribute to societal health.
At the age of 90, Doshi’s portfolio spans over 70 years along with his practice, Vastushilpa. Graduating from the Sir JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai, Doshi began his career in Europe, apprenticing with Le Corbusier in Paris, later overseeing some of his projects in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.
Doshi adapts a philosophical approach to his projects with a higher focus on social good and sustainability and less of a concern on the bottom line. His 1989 project, Aranya Low-Cost Housing in Indore provides homes for more than 80,000 low- and middle-income residents ranging from one-room units to spacious houses, with shared courtyards for families. In 1984, he designed the Vidhyadhar housing projects in Jaipur featuring channels for both distributing and harvesting water. Other key projects include mixed-income housing as well as an underground art gallery, Amdavad ni Gufa, in Ahmedabad.
“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 Pritzker jury said in its citation.