Balkrishna Doshi from Ahmedabad receives the Royal Gold Medal 2022 from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the world’s highest award for architecture. The 94-year-old Doshi is recognized for his seven decades of career with over 100 projects built across India. The Royal Gold Medal is “personally approved by Her Majesty the Queen and bestowed on a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the further development of architecture”. The award will be presented to Doshi at a special ceremony in 2022.
RIBA President Simon Allford said: “It was an honor and a pleasure to chair the committee in the selection of Balkrishna Doshi as Royal Gold Medalist 2022 … he has influenced generations of architects with his wonderfully purposeful architecture. Influenced by his time in Le Corbusier’s office, his work is nonetheless that of an original and independent thinker – capable of undoing, repeating and evolving. In the 20th century, when technology made it possible for many architects to build independently of the local climate and tradition, Balkrishna remained closely connected to its hinterland: its climate, new and old technologies and handicrafts. “
Many of its iconic buildings include the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Sangath, his studio in Ahmedabad; Ahmedabad School of Architecture – renamed CEPT University in 2002 – which promoted collaborative learning; and Aranya Low Cost Housing (1989), Indore, which won the 1995 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Accepting the award, Doshi said: “I am pleasantly surprised and deeply humble to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Queen of England. What a great honor! The news of this award brought back memories of my time at Le Corbusier in 1953, when he was just receiving news of the Royal Gold Medal. I vividly remember his excitement at receiving this honor from Her Majesty. He said to me metaphorically: ‘I wonder how big and how heavy this medal will be.’ Today, six decades later, I feel truly overwhelmed to receive the same award as my guru Le Corbusier – in recognition of my six decades of experience. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my wife, my daughters and, above all, my team and the staff at Sangath my studio. “
As the winner of the Pritzker Prize, Doshi had a decisive influence on architectural education and shaped modern ideas without compromising the vernacular techniques.
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