Balkrishna Doshi Wins 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Balkrishna Doshi Wins 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize

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Balkrishna Doshi was sitting his in his garden in Ahmedabad—the largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat—chatting with his wife and a friend when he received a phone call from Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She asked him if he was still able to travel. “When you get old, people wonder about what you can do and what you cannot do,” explained the 90-year-old architect. “I told her yes, I’m still travelling, and then she mentioned to me this award.” Doshi is the 45th winner of the profession’s highest international honor, and the first from India. “I was very thrilled and extremely surprised,” he told RECORD by phone.

An architect, urban planner, and educator for some 70 years, Doshi was born in 1927, in Pune, India. His extended Hindu family has been connected to the furniture industry for two generations, and from a young age, Doshi proved adept at art and spatial reasoning.

His academic career in architecture began in 1947—the year India gained its independence—at the prestigious Sir J.J. College of Architecture in what was then called Bombay (now Mumbai). As a young man he traveled to study in London, then went to Paris where he apprenticed under his “guru,” Le Corbusier, despite not speaking French. Returning to India in 1954, he oversaw work on the great architect’s buildings in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. Doshi married Kamala Parikh in 1955 and founded his own practice, Vastushilpa, in 1956; he then received a Graham Foundation fellowship in 1958 and traveled to the U.S. where he met Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. They became friends, and Doshi began working with Kahn in 1962 on the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

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