Professor Balkrishna V. Doshi is a living legend in contemporary architectural history. Since working as a senior designer for Le Corbusier in the ‘50s and supervising his projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, he has developed an extraordinary body of work with his practice Vastu-Shilpa as one of the pioneers of low-cost housing and modern city planning in India. Over almost 70 years of practice, research and teaching, he has created a wide range of projects which demonstrate an exceptional level of environmental and community awareness, adopting modern architectural principles and adapting them to local Indian traditions, resources and context.
Some of his most relevant projects include his own studio Sangath in Ahmedabad (1979-80) and both public and private cultural and educational facilities, such as the Ahmedabad School of Architecture (1966-68), the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1977-83), the Gandhi Labour Institute in Ahmedabad (1980-84), the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi (1989) and the experimental Amdavad ni Gufa Art Gallery (1992-95). Balkrishna V. Doshi’s projects also expand to residential architecture. He has executed numerous commissions for low-cost housing in industrial townships such as the Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative in Kalol (1970-73) or the Aranya Community Housing in Indore (1988), which also received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.
Coinciding with the 90th birthday of Balkrishna V. Doshi and the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, we had the pleasure of welcoming this legendary architect to the RA to talk about a lifelong career transforming Indian culture and tradition.