Balkrishna Doshi: the winner of Pritzker 2018
He is 90. He lives and works in Western India. Among the local architects, Balkrishna Doshi is the first who won the Pritzker Prize, the most important architectural award.
"Doshi is like Louis Kahn. The architect didn’t get this many as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe. He had few projects and almost no orders, but what he had was powerful and distinctive. Now there are also architectural stars and certain fashion. Until got Pritzker, Doshi had been in the shadows", — Olexander Kovpak, architect of Sergey Makhno Architects.
Doshi developed a uniquely Indian modernism based on local traditions. While Zaha Hadid's architecture is a deconstruction and revolt against rules, Frank Lloyd Wright created unity with nature, Balkrishna Doshi can’t be imagined without a local context.
"I found out about Doshi not so long ago. A few projects were enough to understood that he’s cool and can't be compared with other architects. Doshi creates non-standard things. His projects clearly represent India and the local flavor", Olexander Makhno, a designer and junior partner of Sergey Makhno Architects.
Doshi is the architect of traditions. He appreciates heritage and shows that good architecture combines not only with the climate and places, but understands the context in a broad sense.
"Doshi reminds us of the traditions as the important points to start designing from. I think his projectsare based on ‘who we are’. He uses architecture as a tool for transferring knowledge about the past to future generations", Olexander Kovpak, architect of Sergey Makhno Architects.
Doshi is known for social architecture and low-costs. One of his main cities is Ahmedabad. Local mausoleums, mosques, night markets and quarters with labyrinths (where you easily get lost), he complemented with architecture. For the construction of a residential complex (1973) he used the traditional scheme of an Indian house — two floors and a terrace. He also founded and built Ahmedabad School of Architecture, 1962.
"In Doshi's works I like the contrast between the exterior and the interior. When you look at the building from the outside it doesn’t feel cozy. After entering you realize that you were wrong. I admire how the architect works with the light, transitions, materials. Looking at Doshi's projects is like listening to the song in the headphones. The silence is outside, but you continue enjoying your favorite music," Olexander Makhno, a designer and junior partner of Sergey Makhno Architects.
Doshi says the most important project is his own architectural bureau Sangath. The most important person who influenced him — Le Corbusier. Doshi studied from the famous modernist, and then helped him with the planning of Chandigarh. Le Corbusier's lessons led him to search for individuality and discover new regionally adapted ways of organizing the living environment. “So he was showing me how people would move, how they would go, how the birds would fly through the buildings, how you would see nature, landscapes.”
Pritzker 2018 Doshi also dedicated to Le Corbusier.
It’s not about naming the dog.
(Tadao Ando named his dog in honor of Le Corbusier).