B V Doshi | Traditionally Rooted With a Modern Touch | 2018 Pritzker Winner | Archgyan

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B.V Doshi aka Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, a legendary architect who’s known to weave traditional architecture into a modern outlook, has played a huge role in the evolution of Architecture in India. He has shaped the thought process of every architect today with his principles and enthusiasm for design.
His buildings create an aura that captivates the user the minute one steps in. What makes his buildings stand out is the empathy he has for every element that binds the structure together. 

B.V Doshi | Archgyan

Courtesy of Vinay Panjwani

B.V Doshi - The best of Modern and Traditional

He was born on 26th August 1927 in Pune. He completed his studies at Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art in the year 1950 and joined Le Corbusier right after. He then went on to work as a Senior Designer on Le Corbusier’s projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.
In 1955 he started his company Sangath – Vastu Shilpa Consultants. The firm has worked on more than 100 projects pan India. In 1962 he collaborated with Louis Kahn and Anant Raje to design IIM Ahmedabad.

Sangath | Archgyan

Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Consultants

Sangath Vastu Shilpa Consultants has over 100 projects to their credit, some of which stand as benchmarks in the profession and are used as examples in the academic forefront. Some of their noteworthy projects are Amdavad Ni Gufa; IIM Bangalore; CEPT Ahmedabad; Aranya Housing Project, among others.

CEPT | Archgyan

CEPT, Ahmedabad – Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Consultants

He’s an academician as well as an institute builder. He founded the School of Architecture, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology and Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad among others. 

Vāstu Shilpā Foundation

He established Vastu Shilpa Foundation, a world renowned research institute for studies and research in environmental design in the year 1978. They are known to have done great work in low cost housing and city planning.
They are committed to unfold design & planning strategies for buildings that reciprocate to the environment and socio-cultural norms.

Aranya Low Cost Housing, Ahmedabad – Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Consultants

Doshi's Principles Of Design

  • Mythical Sense of Space
  • Vaastu-Purusha Mandala
  • Transformation Of Energy Between Buildings and Users
  • Flexible Approach To Structure
  • Symbolism
  • Amorphous Forms
  • Timelessness

Amdavad Ni Gufa, Ahmedabad – Courtesy of Vastu Shilpa Consultants

Awards

  • Padma Shri, 1976
  • 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1993
  • Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, 2007
  • Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest honour for arts, 2011
  • Dhirubhai Thakar Savyasachi Saraswat Award, 2017
  • Pritzker Architecture Prize, 2018
  • Padma Bhushan, 2020

Books Authored by Doshi

Doshi has written quite a number of books and featured in a couple of movies, one being his own documentary. We recommend the following books written by him

  • Sangath: Indian Architecture Between Tradition and Modernity, 2011
  • Paths Uncharted, 2011
  • Doshi, 2012
  • The Masters in India, 2014
  • Writings on Architecture & Identity, 2019
  • Architecture for the People by B.V Doshi, 2019
Oldest Architecture Firms in India

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore – Courtesy of Glassdoor

Conclusion

Doshi’s work doesn’t fit into the latest architecture trends nor does it use the various advancement of technology in the industry. It rather creates a statement unique to the environment, purpose and socio-cultural norms of the built structure. One of the many takeaways from his work and philosophy would certainly be his sensitive adoption and refinement of modern architecture into an Indian context.

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