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Architect Balkrishna Doshi first Indian to win Pritzker Prize

Wednesday March 7, 2018 11:12 PM, & Agencies

Balkrishna Doshi Architect[Considered one of the Indian subcontinent's preeminent living architects, Doshi is known for designing low-cost housing and public institutions. (Photo:]

Washington: Renowned Architect, Balkrishna Doshi, has become the first Indian architect to win the Pritzker Prize in its four-decade history. Regarded as the profession's equivalent to the Nobel Prize, the award went to Doshi in recognition of a career spanning almost 70 years, it was announced today.

Considered one of the Indian subcontinent's preeminent living architects, Doshi is known for designing low-cost housing and public institutions. Among his most acclaimed projects are Tagore Memorial Hall in Ahmedabad and the Aranya Low Cost Housing development, a collection of more than 6,500 residences in the city of Indore, CNN reported.

“The work of Balkrishna Doshi truly underscores the mission of the Prize — demonstrating the art of architecture and an invaluable service to humanity. I am honoured to present the award to an architect who has contributed more than 60 years of service to us all,” Pritzker said. The award ceremony will take place at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto this May.

According to PTI, Doshis' designs also include the IIM-Bangalore, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, the Institute of Indology, and Premabhai Hall; and private residence Kamala House (Ahmedabad), among many others.

The architect also designed Aranya Low Cost Housing (Indore, 1989), which currently accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways.

Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the award made the ammouncement in Chicago, selecting Doshi as the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.

Nonagenarian architect and reputed urban planner, who turned 90 last year, described the decision as "a great surprise" during a phone interview with CNN from Ahmedabad, where he lives and works. But Doshi insisted on putting the achievement in the context of India's urban and economic development.

"I think it is very, very significant that this award has come to India -- of course to me, but to India," he said. "The government, officials, those who take decisions, cities -- everyone will start thinking that there is something called 'good architecture' (and that) lasting things can happen. (Only) then can we start talking about urbanization and urban design."



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