Balkrishna Doshi Receives the 2022 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

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Balkrishna Doshi Receives the 2022 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

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2022 Royal Gold Medallist Balkrishna Doshi . Image © Vinay Panjwani

Balkrishna Doshi, has been formally presented, on June 15, with the 2022 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture by RIBA President, Simon Allford. Granted by the Royal Institute of British Architects, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, the annual award is “given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

A principal figure in shaping the architecture of India and its adjacent regions, known especially for his visionary urban planning and social housing projects, Balkrishna Doshi has “combined pioneering modernism with vernacular”, while his buildings have been “informed by a deep appreciation of the traditions of India’s architecture, climate, local culture and craft”. With a 70-year career, over 100 built projects and his work in education, he became internationally recognized for his contributions to the architectural scene. Still practicing at 90, he “remains as prolific as he is inspirational”, states the 2022 RIBA Honours Committee.

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Aranya Low Cost Housing, Indore, India. Image courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation. Image © John Panicker

I am pleasantly surprised and deeply humbled to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Queen of England. What a great honour! 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.’  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. — Balkrishna Doshi



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2022 Royal Gold Medallist Balkrishna Doshi & RIBA President Simon Allford. Image © Vinay Panjwani

Announced back in December 2021, Doshi, the recipient of this year’s Royal Gold Medal, has also been granted the Pritzker Prize back in 2018. Awarded since 1848, as a recognition of a lifetime’s work, past Royal Gold Medallists, include Sir David Adjaye OBE (2021), Dame Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Lord Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and Sir George Gilbert Scott (1859).

This year’s event was followed by a virtual celebration broadcast live from Balkrishna Doshi’s studio in Ahmedabad, India and RIBA’s Headquarters in London, UK. The digital happening featured tributes from architects around the world, including Frank Gehry, Álvaro Siza and Benedetta Tagliabue. The 2022 Royal Gold Medal selection committee, chaired by architect and RIBA President Simon Allford, comprised: Sir David Adjaye OBE, architect and recipient of the 2021 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture; Alison Brooks, Principle and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects; Kate Cheyne, architect and Head of Leicester School of Art, Design and Architecture at De Montfort University and Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, founding Director of V&A East and Professor of Practice at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies in London).

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School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 1966. Image Courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation

It was an honour and a pleasure to chair the committee that selected Balkrishna Doshi as the 2022 Royal Gold Medallist. At ninety-four years old he has influenced generations of architects through his delightfully purposeful architecture. An original and independentthinker – he is able to undo, redo and evolve. In the twentieth century, when technology facilitated many architects to build independently of local climate and tradition, Balkrishna remained closely connected with his hinterland: it’s climate, technologies new and old and crafts. Balkrishna Doshi’s outstanding contribution to the art of architecture, the craft of construction and the practice of urban design establish him as a most deserving recipient of this award. It was my honour to present him with the medal, and to have been able to celebrate with him, alongside a global audience. — Simon Allford, RIBA President

Info via Riba.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. “Balkrishna Doshi Receives the 2022 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture” 16 Jun 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed .

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