BV Doshi – Remembering Architectural Contributions of the Past Six Decades
Thearchspace takes its readers through the iconic buildings designed by renowned architect BV Doshi in the past six decades.
Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, an Indian Architect noted for his contributions to architectural masterpieces, was a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India. His architectural style was inspired by ancient Indian structures, which reflect the challenges of India and its response to human values.
Doshi received the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards in honor of his services to the development of the country. He was the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, the Royal Gold Medal (2022), the Aga Khan Award for Aranya Low-Cost Housing, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He also received France’s highest civilian accolade, the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
BV Doshi’s Unique Architectural Masterpieces
1. Insitute of Indology, Ahmedabad -1962 by BV Doshi
Completed in 1962, this institute was designed to preserve rare manuscripts and their distribution. Architect BV Doshi considered lighting, ventilation, humidity, and temperature levels to store ancient artifacts.
Built using reinforced concrete and a well-ventilated basement, the building orients to the north-south axis. The first floor has a conference hall, and the administration areas are on the raised ground floor. With these incorporations, the building resembles the form of a ship and details to that of a wooden Haveli.
2. CEPT, Ahmedabad -1966
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), formerly known as the Ahmedabad school of architecture in 1968, exhibits the influence of French Architect Le Corbusier and American architect Louis Kahn. BV Doshi helped them and worked at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
He created a structure of parallel brick walls and deep concrete columns that evoke Corbu’s brise-soleil but also Kahn’s strict order to reduce sunlight while allowing for natural circulation.
3. Tagore Memorial Hall, Ahmedabad -1967
One of the fine examples of Brutalist architecture is the Tagore Memorial hall, an auditorium in Ahmedabad. Legendary architect BV Doshi designs the central memorial hall from the inspiration of Le Corbusier’s buildings in Chandigarh. A series of rigid triangular folds frame the north and south concrete facade walls. Whereas simple concrete panels, arranged in grids, make up the east and west facades.
Tagore Memorial Hall – Wikipedia
4. ECIL Township, Hyderabad -1972 by BV Doshi
ELECTRONICS CORPORATION OF INDIA LTD. (ECIL) is located in Hyderabad, India. One believes that migrating to remote townships can benefit from a better quality of life, superior education, and a healthy environment. Interconnection of individual houses encourages social interactions. The fundamental idea of a unit plan and a cost-effective structural system was developed to achieve superior variety and economies of scale.
5. IFFCO Township, Kalol, 1973
BV Doshi planned this township as a compact eco-friendly dwelling as a part of the expansion of Indian farmers’ Fertilizer Co-operative limited. The team designed the geometry of each unit not only to minimize exposure to the scorching afternoon sun but also to admit breezes. Moreover, the surrounding greenery gives a glimpse of a small country town.
6. Premabhai Hall, Ahmedabad,1976
In 1976, BV Doshi designed Premabhai hall as a 14th-century urban scape studded with history and radiates as a cultural place. Functional as a main socio-cultural place, the main hall creates a new identity. It is also elevated to generate public participation.
7. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, 1977
Madhurai temples in Tamil Nadu and the historical city of Fatehpur Sikri near Agra inspired BV Doshi to design this management institute in Banglore. Interconnected courtyards and high hallways with shrines and temples sprinkled throughout offer rest stop for private and communal pursuits. Built-in granite stone, the campus gives a unique character.
8. Sangath, B. V. Doshi’s office, Ahmedabad, 1979
BV Doshi’s Sangath is an ongoing school where one learns, unlearns, and relearns. It features a series of sunken vaults sheathed in a china mosaic as well as a small grassy terraced amphitheater and flowing water details.
Sangath is a complete combination of Doshi’s architectural themes from his previous work including complex interiors and structures, ambiguous edges, vaults, and terraces.
9. Shakti Bhavan, Jabalpur, 1979
Shakti Bhavan is an electricity board office complex located in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh designed by BV Doshi. The basic octagonal form encourages openings for light and views, along with the connectivity of spaces in different directions. When expanded, these spaces connect further to other departments. As a result, the modular architecture gives the complex both unity and variation.
10. Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute,1979
BV Doshi designed this institute such that the form of the institute reflects to express the teachings of Gandhiji. Long voluminous exhibition spaces, auditoriums, amphitheater, central courtyard – all these are well connected and also act as social gathering spaces.
11. Low-Cost Housing, Indore, 1982
The master plan provides housing for economically weaker sections. In this township, BV Doshi, through his ideas and philosophy, balances choice, freedom, and social togetherness.
Each plot comprises a 30 sq. brick plinth, a built toilet, and an allocation of water and electricity.
12. Vidhyadhar Nagar, Jaipur, 1984
Architecture and urbanism crossed paths with an emphasis on climate, nature, circulation, and hygiene, which are essential features of space. The primary considerations by BV Doshi while designing were – the hierarchy of open spaces, accessibility, orientation, and understanding of social and cultural aspects of lifestyle.
13. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, 1989
The concept design of the inner courtyard in the Institute represents a traditional town square. BV Doshi came up from the inspiration of Indian Bazaars and Kund(Step well). Carefully planned zones of academic, administrative, and hostel blocks open towards the inner court, where one can view it by glass-screened bridges.
14. Amdavad ni Gufa, Ahmedabad, 1990
Do you know what happens when an architect and an artist collaborate? Get acquainted with B.V. Doshi’s Amdavad Ni Gufa, the winner of the Pritzker Prize. The structure can be identified by the white mosaic domes on the ground, which are actually the roof of a lower graphic gallery. The structure finally evolved into an integrated habitat that reflected the social and cultural traditions of contemporary architecture.
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