The chairman of Hyatt Foundation, Tom Pritzker, announced the selection of Balkrishna Doshi as Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate of 2018, the accolade’s fortieth anniversary. Born in Pune in 1927, Doshi is one of the leading figures of modern architecture in Asia. He has taught and mentored several generations of Indian architects, and has served as nexus between the modernity of Europe and the modernity of India. Trained with Le Corbusier, his “guru,” Doshi also worked with and admired the powerful architecture of Louis Kahn, and from both masters he extracted an at once energetic and pragmatic repertoire based on using massive materials, with initially severe but ultimately always aesthetic forms that progressively yielded an organicism which was freer and more attentive to the material culture and the social and economic conditions of his country. This at once expressive and social approach is illustrated in some of the fundamental works of his career, such as the Aranya Low-Cost Housing development in Indore or the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bangalore, one of his most important works.
It is the first time for architecture’s highest honor to be conferred on an Indian architect, confirming the turn toward the local and social, and also toward modern roots, that the Foundation has in recent times taken with the award; the previous four Pritzkers went to Shigeru Ban, Frei Otto, Alejandro Aravena, and RCR arquitectes. The awarding ceremony will be held in May at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.