The Pritzker Prize is regarded as architecture's equivalent to the Nobel Prize and Balkrishna Doshi is the first Indian to win the award.
  • Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 10:29
Pritzker Prize/Twitter

Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi was awarded this year's Pritzker Prize for being able to interpret architecture and transform it into buildings that respect Eastern culture, at the same time that he has improved the quality of life in his homeland, according to the judging panel's statement.

The Pritzker Prize is regarded as architecture's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Long considered to be one of India's foremost living architects and urban planners, Doshi is widely known for designing extensive low-cost housing projects and public institutions.

Aranya Low Cost Housing; 1989 Indore, India (Photo courtesy of VSF). "They are not houses but homes where a happy community lives. That is what finally matters.” Aranya Low Cost Housing accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways.

The judging panel said it recognized the Pune-born architect for his "exceptional" work, his commitment and dedication to his country and its communities, his influence as a professor and for always being an excellent example for professionals and students the world over, Efe reported.

"Over the years, Balkrishna Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends," the judging panel said in its statement.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore 1977–1992 (Photo courtesy of VSF). Inspired by traditional maze-like Indian cities and temples, IIM Bangalore is organized as interlocking buildings, courts and galleries. It also provides a variety of spaces protected from the hot climate, and infuses greenery through semi-open corridors and gardens.

"With a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture, he has created projects for public administrations and utilities, educational and cultural institutions, and residences for private clients, among others," the statement added.

"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," the panel - headed by Australia's Glenn Murcutt - said.

Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology 1966–2012 (Photo courtesy of VSF). Doshi blurs the definitions of interior and exterior, creating covered open spaces that seamlessly unite the two.

Doshi, in turn, said that his works are an extension of his life, his philosophy and his dreams, adding that he owes winning the coveted award to his "guru," Charles-Edouard Jeanneret - known as Le Corbusier - with whom he worked during the 1950s.

He also "humbly" thanked the judging panel for recognizing his work.