Exhibition showcasing Pritzker Prize laureate Balk...

Exhibition showcasing Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi’s work at Vitra Design Museum

Vitra Design Museum presents the first international retrospective about the 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi (Pune, India) outside of Asia. The renowned architect and urban planner is one of the few pioneers of modern architecture in his home country and the first Indian architect to receive the prestigious award. During over 60 years of practice, Doshi has realized a wide range of projects, adopting principles of modern architecture and  them to local culture, traditions, resources, and nature.

Vitra Design Museum, Germany. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition starting from 30thMarch 2019, will present numerous significant projects realized between 1958 and 2014, ranging in scale from entire cities and town planning projects to academic campuses as well as cultural institutions and public administrative offices, from private residences to interiors.

Exterior view of Doshi’s Sangath Architect’s Studio, Ahmedabad, Image by Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

Aranya Low Cost Housing, Indore, 1989. Photography: Iwan Baan

School of Architecture, Centre of Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad. Photography: Vinay Panjwani

Among these works are pioneering buildings like the Indian Institute of Management (1977, 1992), Doshi’s architectural studio – Sangath (1980), and the famous low-cost housing project – Aranya (1989). Exhibits will include a wealth of original works such as drawings, models, and art works from Doshi’s archive and studio, but also photography, film footage and several full-scale installations. An extensive timeline will give an overview of the architect’s career from 1947 until today, attesting to his close relationships with other influential architects and thought leaders such as Le Corbusier and Christopher Alexander.

Vitra Schaudepot. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition will open after an Opening Talk with Balkrishna Doshi held on eve of 29 March 2019 at Vitra Schaudepot. Architecture for the People, the exhibition, will open Doshi’s work to a global audience and show how the architect’s work has redefined modern Indian architecture as well as shaped new generations of architects. Therefore, the retrospective does not only offer an overview of Doshi’s architectural work, but also reflect on its underlying ideals and social context.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, photo by Vinay Panjwani. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

Doshi’s humanist philosophy was shaped by his Indian roots as well as his western education and the rapidly changing context of Indian society since the early 1950s. His architectural vocabulary, which is both poetic and functional, was strongly influenced by what he learned from Le Corbusier, with whom he collaborated on the design of the Indian city of Chandigarh and on other projects, and from his experiences with Louis Kahn, who conceived the design for the Institute of Management. Reaching beyond these early models, Doshi developed an approach that oscillates between industrialism and primitivism, between modern architecture and traditional form. His practice is based on ideas of sustainability and aims to root architecture in a larger context of culture and environment as well as social, ethical, and religious beliefs.

Amdavad Ni Gufa underground art space that Doshi created with M.F. Husain, Image by Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

The retrospective follows four main themes, beginning with a look at Doshi’s educational buildings. The exhibition’s second section focuses on home and identity and examines the power of architecture to bring about social change. The third section revolves around the many institutions Doshi has participated in building during the last 60 years. The final section of the exhibition is dedicated to Doshi’s large-scale town planning projects, exemplified by the masterplan and urban design guidelines for Vidhyadhar Nagar (1984), a residential development for 150,000 dwellings located in the outskirts of Jaipur in Rajasthan in northern India.


Opening Talk: 29th Mar 2019, 6pm onwards

Exhibition: 30th Mar to 8th Sept 2019

Timings: 10am to 6pm (Daily)

Venue: Vitra Design Museum, Germany