Balkrishna Doshi receives architecture’s top annual honor

This is the first time in the award's 45-year history an Indian architect has received the prize

Mar.March 10, 2018 07:01 PM

The 45th winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize was announced this week to be Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi.

You may not recognize his name because Doshi is not world famous for designing the kinds of global landmarks that traditionally come to mind when you hear the names of architects like Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel or Frank Gehry — all of whom have won the Pritzker previously.

Doshi designs buildings in his native country of India at varying scales ranging from educational and cultural complexes, to studios and homes, to government buildings that are specifically tailored for the context in which they’re built. As an architect, planner and educator, he is known for considering broadly the conditions surrounding the building, from the demographics of people who will use the building to the local climate.

As a jury citation for the 2018 honoree’s selection noted: “Doshi is acutely aware of the context in which his buildings are located. His solutions take into account the social, environmental and economic dimensions, and therefore his architecture is totally engaged with sustainability.”

Though he’s unlikely to design New York’s next sparkling, multi-million-dollar project, as a Pritzker laureate his thinking and work will now be elevated to a new heights within the architectural community, so it is likely that ideas inspired by his practice will begin to seep into cities seemingly far removed from his studio. Here’s a look at some of his work.

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