"I learned from Le Corbusier to observe and react to climate, to tradition, to function, to structure, to economy, and to the landscape. To an extent, I also understand how to build buildings and create spaces and forms. However, I have in the last two decades, gradually discovered that the buildings that I have desifned seems somewhat foreign and out of milieu; they do not appear to have their roots in the soil. With the esperience of my work over the years and my own observation, I am trying to understand a little about my people, their traditions, and social customs, and their philosophy of life." (B.V.Doshi, Contemporary Architects, 1987, p. 236.)
Professor Balkrishna V. Doshi is an Indian architect, educator, and academician. After initial study in Bombay, he worked with Le Corbusier in Paris (1951-1954) as senior designer, and then in India to supervise Corbusier's projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Professor Doshi established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design in 1955, known for pioneering work in low-cost housing and city planning. Today, his internationally renowned projects are designed under the name of Vastu-Shilpa Consultants, with offices in Ahmedabad. As an academician, Professor Doshi has been visiting the U.S.A. and Europe since 1958, and has held important chairs in American universities. He has received numerous international awards and honours, including Padma Shri from the Government of India, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Professor Doshi served a member of the 1992 Award Master Jury, and was presented a 1995 Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Aranya Community Housing in Indore, India. In 2018 he was the first Indian to receive the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Source: Aga Khan Award for Architecture
----------- Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi was born in Poona, India in 1927. After he completed his studies at J. J. School of Art, Bombay in 1950 he became a senior designer on Le Corbusier's projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. In 1956 he established a private practice in Vastu-Shilpa, Ahmedabad and in 1962 he established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Environmental Design. He also founded and designed the School of Architecture and Planning in Ahmedabad. Doshi has worked in partnership as Stein, Doshi & Bhalla since 1977.
Over the years Doshi has created architecture that relies on a sensitive adoption and refinement of modern architecture within an Indian context. The relevancy of his environmental and urban concerns make him unique as both a thinker and teacher. Architectural scale and massing, as well as a clear sense of space and community mark most of his work. Doshi's architecture provides one of the most important models for modern Indian architecture.
Source: Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. p45. -------
Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.
Aranya, 6 kilometres from Indore, will eventually house a total population of 60,000 in 6500 dwellings, on a net planning area of 85 hectares. The master plan, prepared by the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation in 1983, is designed around a central spine comprising the business district. Six sectors, each with populations of 7000-12,000, lie to the east and west of the spine and are diagonally bisected by linear parks. Ten houses, each with a courtyard at the back, form a cluster that opens onto a street. Internal streets and squares are paved. Septic tanks are provided for each group of twenty houses, and electricity and water are available throughout. The site plan accommodates and integrates a variety of income groups. The poorest are located in the middle of each of the six sectors, while the better off obtain plots along the peripheries of each sector and the central spine. Payment schemes, and a series of site and service options, reflect the financial resources of this mixed community. Eighty demonstration houses, designed by architect Balkrishna V. Doshi, display a wide variety of possibilities, ranging from one room shelters to relatively spacious houses. Most of the income groups buy only a house plot. Available to the poorest, in addition to the plot itself, are a concrete plinth, a service core, and a room. The down payment is based on the average income of the family, the loan balance being paid in monthly instalments. Brick, stone, and concrete are available locally, but owners are free to use any material they choose for house construction and decoration. The jury found Aranya to be an innovative sites-and-services project that is particularly noteworthy for its effort to integrate families within a range of poor-to-modest incomes.