A highly-awarded and revered architect, an expert at the expression of light in built structures, Balkrishna Doshi, who passed away on 24th January 2023 at the age of 95, has left a golden legacy, a holy grail for generations of architects and designers. Travellers, tourists, and even the residents of the built works by BV Doshi have long marvelled at the beauty of his architecture and felt at ease with their surroundings. The much-admired architect contributed to all aspects of life, be it architecture, or art, culture or philosophy. He had spent the formative years of his career working with the legends of architecture Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, and this was reflected in his work, along with influences from historic Indian monuments.
The Art Of Architecture
When in Pune, head to the Sawai Gandharva Smarak on University Road. This performance art centre, which took more than ten years to complete, starting in 1990 and finishing in 2001, has been created for music lovers to congregate at and revel in the harmony of tunes in architecture built for it. As you tour Ahmedabad, head to the underground art gallery of Amdavad ni Gufa. Created by BV Doshi, the gallery exhibits the works of another legend, Maqbool Fida Husain. The gallery&rsquos cave-like underground build has a roof of interconnected domes covered with a tile mosaic.
On your travels across India, head off to see BV Doshi&rsquos spell-binding works, such as the Centre for Environment and Planning Technology (CEPT), the art gallery Amdavad ni Gufa, and the Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad the red-brick façade building of the Jnana-Pravah Centre for Cultural Studies, Varanasi and the verdant expanse of the Indian Institute of Management, in Bangalore Did you know that the ruins of Hauz Khas inspired BV Doshi towards the design of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, in New Delhi
However, apart from these iconic buildings, BV Doshi built entire townships, which changed the outlook of people's lives across socio-economic boundaries. The 1972 Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) Township in Hyderabad, the 1973 Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) economic and eco-friendly housing project township in Kalol, the 1982 Aranya Low-Cost Housing in Indore, and the 2022 Udayan The Condoville, 2,500 homes of Udita (HIG), Utsav (MIG), Utsarg (LIG), in Kolkata are all by BV Doshi. His belief in sustainability being integral to life and the thought process that creates life and living spaces is visible in all his works.
Even in the later years of his life, his works kept him at the top of his profession, and most recently, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2018, and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Royal Gold Medal for 2021.
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