LONDON: Acclaimed Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi has won the Royal Gold Medal 2022 by the Royal Institute of British Architects, one of the world’s highest honours from UK Queen.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) said on Thursday that with a 70 year career and over 100 built projects, 94-year-old Doshi has influenced the direction of architecture in India and its adjacent regions through both his practice and his teaching.
Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Queen Elizebth II and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.
“I am pleasantly surprised and deeply humbled to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Queen of England. What a great honour,” said Doshi, on hearing about the big win.
“The news of this award brought back memories of my time working with Le Corbusier in 1953 when he had just received the news of getting the Royal Gold Medal. I vividly recollect his excitement to receive this honour from Her Majesty. He said to me metaphorically, ‘I wonder how big and heavy this medal will be’,” he shared.
“Today, six decades later I feel truly overwhelmed to be bestowed with the same award as my guru, Le Corbusier – honouring my six decades of practice. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my wife, my daughters and most importantly my team and collaborators at Sangath my studio,” he said.
RIBA said his buildings combine pioneering modernism with vernacular, informed by a deep appreciation of the traditions of India’s architecture, climate, local culture and craft. His projects include administrative and cultural facilities, housing developments and residential buildings. He has become internationally known for his visionary urban planning and social housing projects, as well as his work in education, both in India and as a visiting professor at universities around the world.