POLITICS

When Balkrishna Doshi was honoured with Royal Gold Medal PM Modi hailed him for it

India’s foremost name in architecture and global legend Balkrishna Doshi, who designed famous buildings including the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd. Township in Kalol, Gujarat, has passed away at the age of 95 in Ahmedabad.

When Balkrishna Doshi won the Royal Gold Medal 2022

The legendary Ahemdabad-based architect who was awarded many prestigious awards was conferred with Royal Gold Medal 2022, UK’s highest architectural honour granted personally by the British Monarchy, last year. He was the second Indian who was awarded this prestigious award in the Architecture world. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Doshi when the latter won the Royal Gold Medal 2022. PM Modi said that Doshi’s contributions to the world of architecture are “monumental”. “His works are globally admired for their creativity, uniqueness and diverse nature,” the Prime Minister added.

Spoke to the distinguished architect Shri Balkrishna Doshi Ji and congratulated him on being awarded the Royal Gold Medal 2022. His contributions to the world of architecture are monumental. His works are globally admired for their creativity, uniqueness and diverse nature. https://t.co/Fk25Gp7zg0

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 202

Notably, the 2022 Honours Committee that selected the Royal Gold Medallist was chaired by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President Simon Allford. Hailing Doshi, Allford had said, “It was an honour and a pleasure to chair the committee in selecting Balkrishna Doshi as the 2022 Royal Gold Medallist. At 94, he has influenced generations of architects through his delightfully purposeful architecture. Influenced by his time spent in the office of Le Corbusier, his work nevertheless is that of an original and independent thinker. His outstanding contribution to the art of architecture, the craft of construction and the practice of urban design establish him as a most deserving recipient of this award.”

After getting the award, Doshi had said, “I am pleasantly surprised and deeply humbled to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Queen of England. What a great honour! The news of this award brought back memories of my time working with Le Corbusier in 1953 when he had just received the news of getting the Royal Gold Medal. I vividly recollect his excitement on receiving this honour. Today, six decades later, I feel truly overwhelmed to be bestowed with the same award as my guru, Le Corbusier.”

Balkrishna Doshi: India’s legendary architect

Doshi was born in Maharashtra Pune on August 26, 1927, and studied at the Sir JJ School of Arts in Mumbai between 1947-50. In 1950, he went to Europe and worked closely with the famous Le Corbusier who planned the city of Chandigarh, on the latter’s projects in Paris between 1951 and 1954. In the year of 1954, Doshi returned to India. He started working here, designing building iconic buildings.

The world renown architect projects include Shreyas Comprehensive School Campus (1958-63); Atira Guest House low-cost housing (1958); The Institute of Indology (1962) building to house rare documents; Ahmedabad School of Architecture – renamed CEPT University in 2002 – which focused on creating spaces that promoted collaborative learning; Tagore Hall & Memorial Theatre (1967); a 700-seat Brutalist auditorium; Ahmedabad School of Architecture – renamed CEPT University in 2002 – Theatre and auditorium Premabhai Hall (1976).

Apart from that, he designed the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1977-1992), Sangath (1981), the studio for his architecture firm Vastu Shilpa, Kanoria Centre for Arts (1984), an arts and creative centre, and Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore (1989).

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