Balkrishna Doshi announced as the Pritzker Prize winner for 2018
Balkrishna Doshi (read our profile of Doshi which appeared in W*126) has been announced as the 2018 Laureate of this year’s Pritzker Prize, following in the steps of RCR, Alejandro Aravena, Frei Otto, Wang Shu, Shigeru Ban and Toyo Ito to receive the prestigious distinction.
Credited for shaping the architectural discourse in India and internationally, Doshi was chosen for his ability to ‘interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India.’ Influenced by the modernist masters Le Corbusier and Louis Khan, Doshi is known for his ethical and personal approach to architecture and wide-reaching impact across the socio-economic spectrum.
Doshi has always served public and private interest in his work, which includes large-scale creations such as the Premabhai Hall and his own Sangath Architect’s Studio. ‘Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends’, possessing a ‘deep sense of responsibility’ towards producing ‘high quality, authentic architecture’, finds the Pritzker Prize jury.
Speaking in 1954, Doshi stated ‘It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling’. This working ethic was achieved over the decades, in projects such as the Life Insurance Corporation Housing in 1973 and the Co-Operative Middle Income Housing in Ahmedabad in 1982.
Amdavad Ni Gufa, 1994, Ahmedabad, India. Photography: courtesy of VSF
Considered the highest architectural accolade, the annual Pritzker award honours ‘a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture’ and consists of a prize of $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion.