BV Doshi - Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

B V DOSHI -Pritzker Prize winner

B V Doshi (Balkrishnan Vithaldas Doshi) is a famous Indian Architect. B V Doshi is the first Indian Architect, who won Pritzker Award in 2018. It is also known for the Nobel Prize of Architecture. Also, he provides one of the most important models for Modern Indian Architecture. He has also given a great contribution to the Indian Architecture. In addition, has also been a jury member for various International and National Competitions. B V Doshi also established the Vastu Shilpa Foundation for Environmental Design, in 1962.


  1. Name: BalKrishna Vithaldas Doshi (B V Doshi)
  2. Born: In 1927 Pune, India
  3. Profession: Architect
  4. Nationality: Indian
  5. Studied: J.J School of Architecture, Mumbai in 1947 and 1950
  6. Awards:
  • Pritzker Architecture Award in 2018.
  • Padma Bhushan, Government of India in 2020.
  • Padma Shri, Government of India in 1976.
  • France’s highest honour for arts the ‘Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters’, 2011.
  • Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2007.
  • Dhirubhai Thakar Savyasachi Saraswat Award in 2017.
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.


Doshi’s started his studies at J.J College of Architecture, Mumbai. Subsequently, In 1950 he worked as senior designer on Le-Corbusier Projects in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. Then, he also worked with Le-Corbusier in Paris for four years (1951-54). In 1956, he started his private practice or firm, known as ‘Vastu-Shilpa’ in Ahmedabad.

B V Doshi Concept & Philosophies:

Doshi’s work on different concepts or philosophies in their building designs. Some of them are as follows-

  1. He believed that – ‘The success of any project depend upon the Planning, Construction & Co-ordination of Building design‘.
  2. His work reflect ‘the inter-relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces’. In other words, he uses various Transition zones in their designs as a Concept.
  3. He designed ‘Climatic responsive buildings with proper observation of hierarchy and order’ in his designs.
  4. He also brought the term ‘Filter’, which reflect the Styles between Contemporary and Traditional Architecture. Doshi applies ‘Modern Concepts’ to an ‘Indian Context or Buildings‘.
  5. A rational and honest vision of materials.

Doshi’s considered- ‘A building is not a container of specific activities but as a place to be inhabited (to facilitate the course of human environment’.

Famous Quotes & Phrases:

Some of the famous quotes and phrases of the architect B V Doshi’s Autobiography on “Paths Uncharted”. They are as follows:

  1. “Limitation of Resources leads us to unusual inventiveness”.
  2. ” The more you miniaturize, the more expansive you become”.
  3. ” House is a grain, like a small sapling in the bio-diverse wild forest”.
  4. “There is no greater teacher than Intuition”.
  5. “I said I don’t want to make a building that looks like a building”.

B V Doshi Principles

Doshi’s categorized Eight principles in Traditional Architecture. In which, he believe that it will also enrich contemporary practices.

  1. Mythical Sense
  2. Vastu Purusha Mandala
  3. Human Intuition
  4. Symbolism
  5. Flexible Approach
  6. Transformation of Energy
  7. Amorphous Forms
  8. Timelessness

Elements Used in Building Designs:

  • Open-ness in Buildings through Colonnades, Porticos, Pergolas, etc.
  • Flexibility in-between Spaces.
  • Indefinite forms and shapes.
  • Planning based on Proper Orientation.

Examples of B V Doshi’s Works:

1. SANGATH, Ahmedabad:

  • The term ‘Sangath’ means “Moving Together through Participation”.
  • Built in: 1979-1981
  • Location: Thaltej Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • Building Type: Office Building or Design Studio
  • Spaces Includes: Reception area, Workshop, Library, Conference Room, Working Studio space and other useful spaces.
  • Important Elements or Features of a Building:

1. Subterranean Spaces

The whole office building is substantially sunken or buried under the ground. The main purpose of designing the building is for natural insulation (using earth masses).

2. Vaulted Roof Form

  • The Vaulted Roof form is a principle design element of a building.
  • It creates well organized surface ratio or volume. It enhancing the material qualities of a building.
  • The vaults are notable element of a building. It also creates a stepped outdoor space for meeting, lectures, etc. Hence, the building is sunken into the ground. So, the stepped space leads to the terrace and the main studio entrance.
  • Construction of Vaults: Sandwiched shaped Vault roofs are constructed. It is made up of clay, over the Concrete slab with the top finish of Mosaic Glazed tiles. The concrete slab function as a resistant material. Moreover, the top finishes adds for the insulation.

3. Passive Solar Design- Use of Indirect or Diffused Light

Three different elements are used in a building for natural lightning:

  • Skylights– Projected masses from the Roofs.
  • Small Cut-outs in a slab filled with hollow Glass blocks for Interior surfaces.
  • Large Openings– towards North Direction in Upper level of a building.

4. Micro-Climate through Vegetations, Lawns & Water Channels

5. Continuity of Spaces

The whole building is connected with fully covered Vault roofed corridors.

6. Reuse of Secondary Waste Materials

  • Stone Chips waste– Used as a Paving material.
  • Glazed Tiles waste– Used in a top finish on Roofs as Mosaic Tiles.

7. Exposed Natural Finishes

The slab and the outer wall surfaces are unplaster. For providing a natural look or appearance to the structure.

8. Low-Technology Construction Methods

In the design of a building, various low technology construction methods and energy consumption elements are integrated. Recycled materials are used in both the construction as well as in the decorative way.

2. Hussain Doshi Gufa, Ahmedabad:

  • Hussain Doshi Gufa is also known as ‘Ahmedavad Ni Gufa’. It is a joint collaboration of M F Hussain and B V Doshi. The gallery represents a special contrast of an Art and Architecture.
  • Built in: 1992-1995
  • Location: Campus of CEPT University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • Building Type: An Underground Art Gallery
  • Features and Inspirations of a Building Elements:
  • Roofs- The mosaic tiles are used in Roofs. Inspired from the Jain Temple of Girnar. The roofs of a building is painted with mosaic black like a snake. They are inspired from the Hindu Mythology.
  • Domes- Inspired from ‘the shells of Tortoise’ and ‘the Soap Bubble’. Some shells have trunks with openings, which are used for proper Ventilation and Sunlight.
  • Interior Space- The caves of Ajanta and Ellora inspired them to design the interiors with circles and ellipse. They seek to develop a natural rock-cut caves with the help of these shapes.
  • Columns- The columns of the building are look-like a tree-trunk. Inspired from the Stonehenge. The columns are Octagonal shaft. The base of the column is wider and tapered at the capital.
Hussain-Doshi-Gufa-B V DOSHI
  • Material Used:
  • The whole structure is built in Ferro-Cement. It is in the form of skeleton-skin and wire-mesh. It creates a sandwiched form with a layers of cement on both the sides of a wire-mesh.
  • Ferro Cement- For undulating Walls, Domes and Roofs.
  • Waste Tiles: On the top of the external dome like RCC and Ceramics.

Frequently Asked Questions

B.V. Doshi Architecture Style ?

B V Doshi works in a Modern Indian Architecture Style. It is a combination of Contemporary and Traditional Architecture Styles.

B.V. Doshi Awards list ?

1. Pritzker Architecture Award in 2018.
2. Padma Bhushan, Government of India in 2020.
3. Padma Shri, Government of India in 1976.
4. France’s highest honour for arts the ‘Officer of the Arts and Orders of Letter’ , 2011.
5. Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2007.
6. Dhirubhai Thakar Savyasachi Saraswat Award in 2017.
7. Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
8. 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.

B.V. Doshi Famous Projects?

B V Doshi famous Projects are Hussain Doshi Gufa in Ahmedabad, Aranya Low- Cost Housing near Indore, Sangath in Ahmedabad, CEPT Ahmedabad, Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan in Jaipur, etc.

B.V. Doshi Studio Name and its mean?

B V Doshi design Studio name is ‘SANGATH’. The term ‘Sangath’ means “Moving Together through Participation”.

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