Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, OAL, (born 26 August 1927) is an Indian architect. He is considered to be an important figure of Indian architecture and noted for his contributions to the evolution of architectural discourse in India. Having worked under Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, he is a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India.
His more noteworthy designs include the IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur, NIFT Delhi, Amdavad ni Gufa, CEPT University, and the Aranya Low Cost Housing development in Indore which was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
In 2018, he became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious prizes in architecture. He was also awarded the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
Doshi was born in Pune. At the age of 11, he was injured in a fire accident, and has walked with a slight limp ever since. He studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai between 1947 and 1950.
In 1950, he went to Europe. He worked closely with Le Corbusier on the latter's projects in Paris between 1951 and 1954. In 1954, he returned to India to supervise Corbusier's buildings in Ahmedabad,which included the Villa Sarabhai, Villa Shodhan, Mill Owners' Association Building, and Sanskar Kendra. Corbusier is described as a major influence on Doshi's later work.
His studio, Vastu-Shilpa (environmental design), was established in 1955. Doshi worked closely with Louis Kahn and Anant Raje, when Kahn designed the campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In 1958 he was a fellow at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. He then started the School of Architecture (S.A) in 1962.
Apart from his international fame as an architect, Dr. Doshi is equally known as an educator and institution builder. He has been the first founder Director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (1962–72), first founder Director of the School of Planning (1972–79), first founder Dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (1972–81), founder member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and first founder Director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad.
Dr. Doshi has been instrumental in establishing the nationally and internationally known research institute Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design. The institute has done pioneering work in low-cost housing and city planning. His work is considered noteworthy for his pioneering work on low-income housing. he is also noted for designs which incorporate concepts of sustainability in innovative ways.
Doshi is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and has been on the selection committee for the Pritzker Prize, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He is also a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects.
In March 2018, Doshi was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Nobel equivalent for the field, thus becoming the first Indian to receive the honour. The Pritzker jury announced that Doshi "has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends", and noted his "deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture".
Doshi says that he has been inspired by historic Indian monuments, as well as the work of European and American architects.
In recognition of his distinguished contribution as a professional and as an academician, Dr. Doshi has received several international and national awards and honours.
- Padma Bhushan, Government of India,2020
- Pritzker Architecture Prize, 2018
- Padma Shri, Government of India, 1976
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
- France's highest honour for arts the 'Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters', 2011.
- 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture for Aranya Community Housing, 1993-1995.
- 1969-71 ECIL Township, Hyderabad.
- 1979-80 Sangath, BV Doshi's office, Ahmedabad
- 1979-87 Shakti Bhavan, Administrative Office of M.P. Electricity Board, Jabalpur
- 1972 Centre for Environment and Planning Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad
- 1962-74 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
- 1989 National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
- 1990 Amdavad ni Gufa, Ahmedabad
- Aranya Low Cost Housing, Indore
- IFFCO township, Kalol
- Sawai Gandharva, Pune
- Premabhai Hall, Ahmedabad
- Tagore Memorial Hall, Ahmedabad
- Vidyadhar Nagar, Jaipur
- Udayan the Condoville, Udita (HIG), Utsav (MIG) Utsarg (LIG) 2500 homes, Kolkata
- Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow
- Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad
In 2008, Hundredhands director Premjit Ramachandran released a documentary interviewing Doshi. He appeared as himself in Mani Ratnam's O Kadhal Kanmani, and Shaad Ali's Ok Jaanu, playing himself.