Distinguished architect and Padma Bhushan awardee, Balkrishna Vithal – das (BV) Doshi, 95, who worked with architecture legends of the 20th century like Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, breathed his last at his residence in Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning.
Doshi is considered a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India. Doshi was the first Indian to be awarded the Pritzker Prize – considered to be the Nobel Prize of Architecture in 2018 and Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India, in 2020.
PM Narendra Modi and leading names from the global architecture fraternity paid rich tributes to Doshi. Born in Pune in 1927, Doshi made Ahmedabad his home, the city which houses some of his most celebrated works including Faculty of Planning at CEPT, Amdavadni Gufa and Tagore Memorial Hall.
He also assisted Corbusierand Kahn on projects like ATMA House and IIM Ahmedabad respectively. Citizens from all walks of life paid their last respects to the master architect at his home in Navrangpura and at his funeral in Thaltej. Doshi’s architecture was globally feted for its minimalism and eco-friendly approach.
In his citation for the Pritzker Prize, the jury had noted, “Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends… all good architecture and urban planning must not only unite purpose and structure but must take into account climate, site, technique, and craft, along with a deep understanding and appreciation of the context in the broadest sense.”
Some of Doshi’s former students were inconsolable. They said they had not only lost a beloved teacher, but also a mentor and a father figure. Mahendra Kothari, an architect and a student of CEPT’s first batch of 1961, remembered him as an affectionate teacher who always cared for his students.
Tejas Joshipresident of CREDAI Ahmedabad, said, “BV Doshi was a visionary urban planner who contributed immensely to the progress of architecture in India.” Vatsal JoshiAhmedabad chairperson of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), said that Doshi inspired an entire generation of architects around the world.