Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated eminent architect Balkrishna Doshi for being awarded the Royal Gold Medal 2022, one of the world's highest honours for architecture.
Taking to Twitter PM Modi wrote, "Spoke to the distinguished architect Shri Balkrishna Doshi Ji and congratulated him on being awarded the Royal Gold Medal 2022. His contributions to the world of architecture are monumental. His works are globally admired for their creativity, uniqueness and diverse nature."
Spoke to the distinguished architect Shri Balkrishna Doshi Ji and congratulated him on being awarded the Royal Gold Medal 2022. His contributions to the world of architecture are monumental. His works are globally admired for their creativity, uniqueness and diverse nature. https://t.co/Fk25Gp7zg0— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2021
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) had announced the honour on Thursday, saying that with a 70 year career and over 100 built projects, 94-year-old Doshi has influenced the direction of architecture in India and its adjacent regions through both his practice and his teaching.
Given in recognition of a lifetime's work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Queen Elizebth II and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.
"I am pleasantly surprised and deeply humbled to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Queen of England. What a great honour," said Doshi, on hearing about the big win.
"The news of this award brought back memories of my time working with Le Corbusier in 1953 when he had just received the news of getting the Royal Gold Medal. I vividly recollect his excitement to receive this honour from Her Majesty. He said to me metaphorically, 'I wonder how big and heavy this medal will be'," he shared.
"Today, six decades later I feel truly overwhelmed to be bestowed with the same award as my guru, Le Corbusier - honouring my six decades of practice. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my wife, my daughters and most importantly my team and collaborators at Sangath my studio," he said.
RIBA said his buildings combine pioneering modernism with vernacular, informed by a deep appreciation of the traditions of India's architecture, climate, local culture and craft. His projects include administrative and cultural facilities, housing developments and residential buildings. He has become internationally known for his visionary urban planning and social housing projects, as well as his work in education, both in India and as a visiting professor at universities around the world.
Born in 1927 in Pune, to an extended family of furniture makers, Balkrishna Doshi studied at the JJ School of Architecture, Bombay, before working for four years with Le Corbusier as Senior Designer (1951-54) in Paris and four more years in India to supervise projects in Ahmedabad. He worked with Louis Kahn as an associate to build the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and they continued to collaborate for over a decade.
He founded his own practice, Vastushilpa in 1956 with two architects. Today Vastushilpa is a multi-disciplinary practice with ?ve partners spanning three generations and has sixty employees. The practice invites dialogue and its philosophy of pro-active participation even applies to their office space - which has an open door, inviting passers-by to drop in.
Doshi's key projects in Ahmedabad include Shreyas Comprehensive School Campus (1958-63); Atira Guest House low cost housing (1958); The Institute of Indology (1962) building to house rare documents; Ahmedabad School of Architecture - renamed CEPT University in 2002 - which focused on creating spaces that promoted collaborative learning; Tagore Hall & Memorial Theatre (1967); a 700-seat Brutalist auditorium.
Premabhai Hall (1976) theatre and auditorium. Besides, he has also designed the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1977-1992); Sangath (1981), the studio for his architecture practice, Vastu Shilpa; Kanoria Centre for Arts (1984), an arts and creative hub; and Aranya Low Cost Housing (1989), Indore.
ALSO READIndia's Balkrishna Doshi wins Royal Gold Medal 2022, the world’s highest honour for architecture
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)