Balkrishna Doshi Named 2018 Pritzker Prize Laureate as the 2018 laureates of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award. Balkrishna Doshi is the 40th recipients of the Pritzker Prize, and will receive a $100,000 (£81,000) grant and a bronze medallion. Doshi is student and collaborator of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn and practitioner of architecture for over 70 years, Doshi’s poetic architecture draws upon eastern cultural influences, creating a body of work that “has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s,” cites the jury. Doshi is the first Indian architect to receive architecture’s highest honor.
“Balkrishna Doshi constantly demonstrates that all good architecture and urban planning must not only unite purpose and structure but must take into account climate, site, technique, and craft, along with a deep understanding and appreciation of the context in the broadest sense. Projects must go beyond the functional to connect with the human spirit through poetic and philosophical underpinnings. For his numerous contributions as an architect, urban planner, teacher, for his steadfast example of integrity and his tireless contributions to India and beyond, the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury selects Balkrishna Doshi as the 2018 Pritzker Laureate.” Martha Thorne, Executive Director
Over the years, Balkrishna Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends. With a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to contribute to his country and its people through high quality, authentic architecture, he has created projects for public administrations and utilities, educational and cultural institutions, and residences for private clients, among others.
He undertook his first project for low-income housing in the 1950s. Doshi stated in 1954, “It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling.” He fulfilled this personal oath in projects such as Aranya Low-cost Housing at Indore, 1989, in central-west India and the Co-Operative Middle Income Housing, Ahmedabad, India of 1982, and many others. Housing as shelter is but one aspect of these projects. The entire planning of the community, the scale, the creation of public, semi-public and private spaces are a testament to his understanding of how cities work and the importance of the urban design. The Jury Members for The Pritzker Architecture Prize 2018 are:
- Jury Chair Glenn Murcutt, architect, and 2002 Pritzker Laureate, Sydney, Australia
- Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Washington, D.C., USA
- André Corrêa do Lago, architectural critic, curator, and Brazilian Ambassador to Japan, Tokyo, Japan
- The Lord Palumbo, architectural patron, Chairman Emeritus of the Trustees, Serpentine Galleries, London, United Kingdom
- Richard Rogers, architect, and 2007 Pritzker Laureate, London, United Kingdom
- Wang Shu, architect, educator, and 2012 Pritzker Laureate, Hangzhou, China
- Benedetta Tagliabue, architect and director of EMBT Miralles Tagliabue, Barcelona, Spain
- Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts, Mumbai, India.
- Kazuyo Sejima, co-founder of Tokyo-based SANAA, and 2010 Pritzker Prize co-laureate
- The Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize is Martha Thorne.
Each judge serves over a series of consecutive years to ensure a balance between past and new members and each year selects a laureate for the prize. Sourced from the fields of architecture, business, education, publishing and culture, the Pritzker Prize jurors are as diverse as the styles of architecture they will eventually judge.
The international prize, which is awarded each year to a living architect/s for significant achievement, was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. It is granted annually and is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor.”
The award consists of $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion. The award is conferred on the laureate/s at a ceremony held at an architecturally significant site throughout the world.
The prize takes its name from the Pritzker family, whose international business interests are headquartered in Chicago. Their name is synonymous with Hyatt Hotels located throughout the world. The Pritzkers have long been known for their support of educational, scientific, medical, and cultural activities. Jay A. Pritzker, (1922-1999), founded the prize with his wife, Cindy. His eldest son, Tom Pritzker, the Chairman and President of Hyatt Foundation, explains, “As native Chicagoans, it’s not surprising that our family was keenly aware of architecture, living in the birthplace of the skyscraper, a city filled with buildings designed by architectural legends such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and many others.”