90-year-old Balkrishna Doshi just won the Pritzker Prize


Do you like building structures with Lego or Magna tiles? Well then maybe you are set to become an architect.

What do architects do?

These men and women design all kinds of buildings – schools, homes, libraries, government buildings, museums, skyscrapers, the list is endless. Before constructing a building, they draw out a plan for the structure. Sometimes they even convert their plan into a 3D model. After the drawings are approved the building is then built by a construction company.

But, why are we talking about architects?

Well a 90-year-old Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi just won an annual award called the Pritzker Prize. The award honors architects whose work displays skill but also gives back to the community. Some say it’s the Nobel prize equivalent in the world of architecture.

Why did they choose Doshi?

Most architects that have won this award are known for unique, eye-catching structures such as the Sydney Opera House or great museums like the Tate Modern. Doshi hasn’t been chosen for one particular building but for his contribution to Indian architecture over the last 70 years. He is being honoured for his contributions as an architect and a leader in education.

Doshi’s architectural vision did not just copy western ideas but also drew inspiration from India’s own architectural heritage. His designs have been inspired by Indian cities, villages, temples and local crafts.

His structures are less stylistic and more functional, keeping in mind the surrounding climate, landscape and local lifestyle.

One of Doshi’s greatest contributions has been designing low-cost homes for the poor. He wanted to make beautiful homes that nearly anyone could afford.

What are some of Doshi’s noteworthy projects?

Doshi has built some amazing buildings all over his home country in India, including government buildings, educational institutions, public spaces and residences.

Aranya – Housing Community

He is best known for Aranya, a low-cost housing project in the city of Indore. Houses are organized into 10-home clusters to create a sense of community.  Today nearly 80,000 people live in this colourful and vibrant community.

 Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Doshi created a new way of designing educational buildings. He has added water bodies and greenery that help merge the inside and the outside.


Amdavad ni Gufa – Underground art gallery in Ahmedabad

This cave-like art gallery exhibits the work of late artist M. F. Husain. It is believed that Doshi was inspired by tortoise shells and soap bubbles while creating these domes.


Who was Doshi inspired by?

Doshi was influenced and inspired by two famous architects of the twentieth century – Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.

Corbusier and BV Doshi Photo Credit: Arch Daily

Did you know French architect Corbusier was invited by India’s first Prime Minister Nehru to design the city of Chandigarh?

 Doshi will receive the Pritzker Prize in Toronto, Canada.

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