Architect is not a static building, it is a living organism - Doshi

          Urban planner, renowned architect and teacher Balkrishna Doshi believed that buildings are not just concrete blocks, they should conjugate with the soul of the people. 70 years of dedication into the field of architecture,  he received the Pritzker Prize which is known as the Nobel Prize of Architecture.

Doshi worked for years under his mentor, the famous French architect  LeCorbusier. He was immensely influenced by his guru, but when he started work as an architect in India, he took special care to incorporate the cultural and traditional aspects of the country into his constructions. They were never mere 'concrete buildings',  but always carried an expression of his soul where he always wished for a sustainable holistic habitat.  He carefully added local interests and sensibility to the lessons he learned from his masters.

Doshi's style was never flashy or trend.  He always strived to make homes and buildings that had emotions and feelings,  taking into consideration the social, environmental and economic dimensions of the place where    he was planning to do his work.  His major focus was to make architecture, invest   in low -income housing.  Doshi's  works are centered on the  modesty of observing and 

they clearly reflect his learning's from memories and situations.  Every line or dot on his plan had a specific purpose which was derived from his experiences and learning's. His hands had the power of creating new universes. Even at the age of 90, this original and creative human being remains passionate about architecture, life and learning.

Doshi asks  architects to consider all buildings as a temple to God, even a small house. In this way, it is not possible to think of architecture being carried out just as a miserable job, but the task being carried out by  incorporating every bit of yourself into each element of the work you do.

One of the best example of his holistic approach on architecture is the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) campus at Ahmedabad. The open structure and pivot doors are a highlight of this simple brick and concrete construction.  Resting areas or seating are constructed  under most of the lush trees in the campus, a lot of light and shadow is let in which gives a fresh and meditative feeling. His studio at Ahmedabad named Sangeth is a complete combination of  Doshi's architectural themes  including complex interiors and structures, 

 

ambiguous edges, vaults and terraces where he establishes a connection between nature and man.  Additionally,  cultural  history is also woven into his stone carvings and sculptural, the longer you look at them, the deeper you understand how far our inheritance—what has already been given us through built heritage allows us to connect with our past.

Mr. Doshi’s association with Le Corbusier was in itself sufficient to establish his place in Indian architectural history,  but the artist in him emerged in diverse ways to give unusual direction to buildings being constructed by him. Doshi once quoted that "architecture is an extension of our body. It is not outside of me, it is a part of me and we live within it".  Thus all his creative works are inseparable from his vision on life. An inclusive lifestyle where a  house or a school or an office  is not a separate entity, but something that holds a powerful place in your heart.

When useless pillars and structures are constructed as a part of making houses "more attractive " Doshi is an exception. He always followed a traditional and aesthetic way.  He follows a humble way of living in spite of all his wealth and wellness. He could have made a huge home incorporating all his talents, but he always chose to live a humble life,  following all the principles in his work on every aspect of his life too.  A genuine human   being who  never advertised  his virtuosity or dreamt of amassing  wealth.  

His aim is to make you travel to the abyss of culture and heritage embedded in the Indianarchitecture, to make the dream of 'own house' possible for even the poorest of the population, to bring about a change on the perspective of people on buildings, to make an approach of connecting humans with the spaces they live or work or see, to make them see past the concrete blocks that do not block out the nature, but rather invite the beautiful environment to be part of every stone he tilted.                                  Shruthi Nair

 

 

 
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