3/8/2018 2:17:06 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
Balkrishna Doshi, the 90-year-old Indian architect who worked with Le Corbusier, has won the 2018 Pritzker prize. The award, which consists of US$100,000 and a bronze medallion, is considered the equivalent of the Nobel prize in architecture.
“I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier,” said Doshi on being named the prize winner on March 7.
To date, more than two-thirds of Pritzker Laureates have come from Europe or North America since the prize was instituted in 1979. In the last decade, however, four Japanese architects have claimed the award – Shigeru Ban in 2014, Toyo Ito in 2013, and Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa jointly in 2010 -- as have China's Wang Shu in 2012 and Alejandro Aravena of Chile in 2016. Doshi is the first Indian to win the award.
Pritzker winners whose influence has been felt in Singapore include the British architect Norman Foster, whose firm Foster + Partners which helped design the Supreme Court, completed in 2005, and the Chinese American IM Pei, who helped design the Gateway, completed in 1991, Raffles City, 1986, and the OCBC Centre, in 1976.
Doshi, who has no overseas landmarks to his name, is known for his pioneering work in low-cost housing. Born in Pune, India, in 1927, Doshi studied at the Sir JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai before travelling to Paris in 1951 to work for Le Corbusier. He returned to India in 1954 to oversee Corbusier’s projects in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. He also worked closely with the American architect Louis Kahn on the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad in the 1960s.
His notable works include the Aranya Low Cost Housing complex in Indore, completed in 1989, which presently accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways connecting 6,500 residences ranging from modest one-room units to spacious homes, housing low and middle-income residents.
“Doshi´s architecture is both poetic and functional,” notes the Pritkerkerprize.com website. The Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, which he designed, was “inspired by traditional maze-like Indian cities and temples”, notes the website, adding its “ vast corridors infused with a campus of greenery allow visitors to be simultaneously indoors and outdoors”.
“Balkrishna Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends,” said the Pritzker jury in its citation, praising his work as embodying “a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high-quality, authentic architecture”.