Balkrishna Doshi, the winner of this year’s Pritzker Prize for architecture doesn’t talk just about his buildings. This architect, urban planner and educator talks about how his buildings aim to foster a sense of community, how space can promote inner peace, how cities can contribute to the health of a society.
Considered a pioneer of low-cost housing, Mr. Doshi, 90, is thrilled to have been awarded the 2018 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, which was announced on Wednesday. He is the first laureate from India, and worked with the 20th-century masters Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.
Mr. Doshi has been consumed with larger issues like social good and sustainability. And he bemoans a culture and profession that he sees as overly concerned with the bottom line. “One is all the time looking at financial returns — that is not only what life is,” he said. “I think wellness is missing.”
What Mr. Doshi means by “wellness,” he said, are considerations like how we can “connect with silence”; how “life can be lived at your own pace”; and “how do we avoid the use of an automobile.”
The architect has brought this type of philosophical thinking to projects like his Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore (1989), where more than 80,000 low- and middle-income residents now live in homes ranging from modest one-room units to spacious houses, with shared courtyards for families.
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