Balkrishna V Doshi Biography

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi is an eminent Indian architect. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, life, achievements and interesting facts about him.

Balkrishna V Doshi
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 26, 1927

Nationality: Indian

Famous: Indian Men Male Architects

Age: 92 Years, 92 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Virgo

Also Known As: Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Born in: Pune

Famous as: Architect

City: Pune, India

More Facts

education: J. J. School of Architecture, Mumbai

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Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi is an eminent Indian architect who has made valuable contribution to the evolution of architectural discourse in India. What makes Dr Doshi a remarkably outstanding architect is his innovativeness that he incorporates in his concepts of sustainability. His pioneering work on low-cost housing is a perfect example of his brilliance wherein creativity meets suitability. He has been a key figure in the development of modern city planning in India, and championing architecture that has a contemporary outlook but is built with a traditional approach. Known among India's most influential 20th century architects, Doshi in his early years was largely influenced by the works of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. Apart from being an architect, Doshi has worked as an educator and academician as well. He has been the founder of several prestigious institutions in India. He has also served as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and has travelled to USA and Europe as a visiting academician.

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Balkrishna V Doshi
Childhood & Early Life
  • Balkrishna V Doshi was born on August 26, 1927 in Pune, India.
  • After completing his school education, Doshi enrolled at the J.J. School of Architecture in Mumbai.
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Career
  • After graduating from J.J. School of Architecture, Balkrishna V Doshi worked for the famous French architect, Le Corbusier, in Paris from 1951 to 1954. Thereafter, he returned to India to supervise Le Corbusier’s projects in India.
  • In 1955, Doshi established Vastu Shilpa (environmental design). Alongside his architectural works, he advanced his studies. In 1958, he became a fellow at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts.
  • One of Doshi’s foremost projects includes the Ahmedabad School of Architecture which he both founded and planned in 1962. The building followed Doshi’s idea of creating simple yet functional spaces. The campus of School of Architecture included simple brick and concrete building that was surrounded by shaded courtyards, staircases, and open layout. The structure displayed Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn’s influence over Doshi’s architectural designing and gave a glimpse of traditional Indian townscape. The school was completed in 1966
  • In 1962, Doshi started working on one of the most illustrious projects of his career, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Built with natural stones, the building and the campus reflects Doshi’s idealistic approach through sustainability. The ethos behind the designing is his philosophy of making spaces that have low cost maintenance and instead have a self-generating energy about them.
  • In 1966, Doshi designed the Tagore Memorial Hall. Built to pay tribute to the legendary writer and poet Rabindranath Tagore, the 700-seat auditorium, located in Ahmedabad, features reinforced concrete walls, broken up into wings that create contrasting planes of light and shadow. The embellished artwork, sculptural columns that frame the tiered seating arrangement make it one of Doshi’s most notable works.
  • In 1972, Doshi’s School of Architecture underwent a revamp and became the Centre for Environment and Planning Technology (CEPT).
  • In 1980, Doshi’s Vastu-Shilpa built its own studio called ‘Sangath’. One of the iconic structures, the building showcased his experimental nature. It has a series of barrel-vaulted roofs that are covered in porcelain mosaic tiles. Described by his team as ‘sunken vaults’, the building is surrounded by a garden, and includes an outdoor amphitheatre that he often uses for lectures and other activities.
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  • In 1980, he was commissioned to plan Vidyadhar Nagar in Jaipur. The vast new township, situated north-west of Jaipur, had been proposed to accommodate over a 100,000 people on a 400-hectare site. The architectural blueprints showcased Doshi’s plan of having wide central avenues and tight secondary streets with protective approach roads for the new housing township.
  • Towards the mid-1980s, Doshi started working on yet another important project, designing the campus for the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. He kept the vision simple yet practical. If you walk in to the institute, you can find strategically clustered units that comprise of classrooms, laboratories, common lobby, and service spaces that provide students a homogenous and collaborative learning space.
  • Amongst his distinguished works, Amnavad Ni Gufa, which was previously known as Husain-Doshi ni Gufa, is the most celebrated one. Truly reflecting Doshi’s experimental style, the cave-like structure is actually an underground art gallery that was essentially built to showcase the works of MF Hussain. The gallery is a juxtaposition of architecture and art, with tree-like columns that support the multiple interconnected domes, which are covered with a mosaic of tiles.
  • Premabhai Hall in Ahmedabad is another iconic building designed by Doshi. Though the hall had ceased operation due to fire concerns, in 2009 the space got a new lease of life as a City Centre. A revitalization process started which was a part of the development of the Pedestrian Pathway and Plaza between Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaza.
  • Doshi’s contribution as one of India’s most influential architect continued all through his later life. Some of his best known works include the Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore, IFFCO township in Kalol, Sawai Gandharva in Pune, ECIL Hyderabad, Jnanah-Pravah Centre for Cultural Studies in Varanasi, LIC Housing in Ahemdabad, Aitra Housing in Ahemdabad.
  • Apart from being a famous architect, Doshi has also been an educator and institution builder as well. He has been the the first founder Director of the School of Architecture (now CEPT), first founder Director of the School of Planning, first founder Dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, founder member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and first founder Director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad.
  • Doshi is also instrumental in the establishment of the research institute Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design. The institute, which is famed both nationally and internationally, has been instrumental in coming up with low cost housing and city planning works.
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Major Works
  • While Dr Doshi has been responsible for creating some of the most iconic buildings that have been adorning the country, his most impressive work can undoubtedly be the Amnavad Ni Gufa, situated on the IIM A campus. It is one of the most experimental projects by Doshi. His creative design experience helped him bring up a juxtaposition of architecture and art in this cave-like structure that is walled by interconnected domes and tree-like columns. The underground art gallery was mainly built to serve as a museum displaying the works of legendary artist M. F. Hussain.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In 1976, he was felicitated with Padma Shri for his pioneering work as an architect and educator.
  • Doshi’s Aranya Community Housing in Indore earned him the 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
  • He was awarded Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and McGill University in Canada.
  • In 2011, he received France's highest honour for arts, ‘Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters’.
  • In 2018, Dr Doshi was honored with the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered to be the equivalent of Nobel Prize, for his immense contribution.
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Trivia
  • New York’s Architectural Record magazine enlisted Dr Doshi’s studio Sangath amongst 125 of the most important works of architecture since 1891.
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Article Title
- Balkrishna V Doshi Biography
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- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
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URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/balkrishna-v-doshi-36230.php
Last Updated
- March 16, 2018

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