On Friday, May 18th, architect Balkrishna Doshi became the 40th recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. The acclaimed Indian architect was in Toronto to accept the Priaze last week, with the award ceremony preceded by a laureate lecture taking place at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design on Wednesday. Themed “Paths Uncharted,” the illuminating talk covered the unique trajectory of Doshi’s career, including his collaborations with Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn:
The Daniels Faculty’s description offers a more detailed overview of the address: “Doshi’s architecture explores the relationships between fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and understanding of social traditions, within the context of a place and its environment, and through a response to Modernism. Childhood recollections, from the rhythms of the weather to the ringing of temple bells, inform his designs. He describes architecture as an extension of the body, and his ability to attentively address function while regarding climate, landscape, and urbanization is demonstrated through his choice of materials, overlapping spaces, and utilization of natural and harmonizing elements.”
“An architect, urban planner, and educator, for the past 70 years Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally. Influenced by masters of 20th century architecture, including Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and Louis Kahn, Doshi has been able to interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India. His ethical and personal approach to architecture has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s.”
Dean Richard Sommer’s remarks begin at about 20:00, with Doshi’s lecture followed by a Q & A with Pritzker Prize Executive Director Martha Thorne.