Balkrishna Doshi’s studio, Sangath, Photograph: Oliver Wainwright
The studio itself marks the point where modernism meets a sophisticated peasantism. Sangath means “working together through participation”: more than just an office, it is a place for research and the exchange of ideas. Doshi designed numerous complexes of housing in both industrial and public sectors such as the low-cost ATIRA complex in Ahmedabad (1959), a series of vaulted units with rear courts. Confronted by slums resulting from the immigration from country to city, he devised ways of learning from their complex social organisation. The Aranya housing in Indore (1983) provided a core of basic hygienic amenities and allowed for self-built additions in an ever-growing agglomeration. In somewhat utopian fashion, Doshi hoped to relink uprooted modern society to the harmony of nature.
Doshi was awarded the Pritzker prize (2018), the gold medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2022) and, posthumously in India, the Padma Vibhushan.
He is survived by his wife, his daughters, Tejal, Radihka and Maneesha, and five grandchildren. His granddaughter Khushnu is also an architect and leads what is now Studio Sangath.
By William J R Curtis, extracted from The Gaurdian
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Balkrishna Doshi at his home in Ahmedabad, 2018. Photograph: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images
Balkrishna Doshi, who has died aged 95, produced architecture appropriate to the climate, geography, culture and traditions of India by transforming principles drawn from internationally recognised modern masters – notably Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, with whom he worked.
This fusion is evident in Doshi’s own studio, Sangath (1981), to the west of Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat. It is half buried in the ground under insulated concrete vaults covered in white ceramic surfaces that protect it from the extreme heat and dust storms, and sluice off the monsoon rains into channels and pools. Approached indirectly past grassy mounds and huge peasant pots, the building opens out into the garden as a low outdoor theatre for informal gatherings.