Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi has been named the recipient of the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Founded in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and funded by the Hyatt Foundation, the $100,000 prize honors a living architect or architects whose work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment to humanity and the built environment. Over the course of his more than seventy-year career as an architect, urban planner, and educator, Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of the field in India and around the globe. Influenced by masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Doshi has succeeded, since the 1950s, in transforming his ideas and moral and ethical principles into built works that respect Eastern culture while touching the lives of Indians from every socioeconomic class.
"With a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture," the jury citation states, "[Doshi] has created projects for public administrations and utilities, educational and cultural institutions, and residences for private clients, among others."
Doshi's architecture explores the relationships between the fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and an understanding of social traditions within the context of place and environment. His works include Aranya Low Cost Housing (Indore, 1989), where more than sixty-five hundred residents live in a complex of affordable homes, courtyards, and labyrinthine internal pathways; the Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan and Urban Design housing complex; the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore, 1977-1992), which features interlocking buildings, courts, and galleries inspired by traditional maze-like Indian cities and temples; the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University) (Ahmedabad, 1966-2012); and cultural spaces such as Tagore Memorial Hall (Ahmedabad, 1967), the Institute of Indology (Ahmedabad, 1962), and Premabhai Hall (Ahmedabad, 1976).
"My works are an extension of my life, philosophy, and dreams trying to create [a] treasury of the architectural spirit," said Doshi. "I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier. His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat. With all my humility and gratefulness, I want to thank the Pritzker Jury for this deeply touching and rewarding recognition of my work. This reaffirms my belief that 'life celebrates when lifestyle and architecture fuse'."
"Professor Doshi has said that '[d]esign converts shelters into homes, housing into communities, and cities into magnets of opportunities," said Hyatt Foundation board chair Tom Pritzker. "The life's work of Balkrishna Doshi truly underscores the mission of the prize — demonstrating the art of architecture and an invaluable service to humanity. I am honored to present the fortieth…[annual] award to an architect who has contributed more than sixty years of service to us all."