Architect B.V.

Submitted by, K.JOSHI RAJU 2/5 B.Arch

Personal Information
 Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi was born in Pune on 26th of August 1927.

 He belongs to that generation which came of age just after Independence, and which was confronted with the massive tasks of constructing a new nation.  Doshi’s family had been in the furniture business for two generations. In 1947, he enrolled himself in JJ college of architecture, Bombay.

 After initial study in Bombay, he worked with Le Corbusier in Paris (1951-1954) as senior designer.  In 1955 he returned to India to supervise Le Corbusier’s projects in Ahmadabad and Chandigarh.

 Doshi established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design in 1955, known for pioneering work in low-cost housing and city planning.  Most of B.V.Doshi’s projects/buildings are influenced by LeCorbusier.  He believed in Architecture, for a place and people.  Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects.  Apart from his international fame as an architect, Dr. Doshi is equally known as educator and institution builder.  In recognition of his distinguished contribution as a professional and as an academician, Dr.Doshi has received several International and National and honors.

Hon. Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Project Award for Excellence in Architecture by Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects Special Award for Excellence in Architecture by Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects Architect of the Year Award instituted by J K Cements Great Master’s Award instituted by J K Cements Member, International Committee for preparing International Charter on the Education of Architects- sponsored by International Union of Architects in association with UNESCO Aga Khan Award for Architecture Member of the 1998 Award Steering Committee, Aga Khan For Architecture

1990 1991


1992 1994 1995

1995 1996

Doshi’s Architecture revolves around six key principles of design which find wide ranging resolutions appropriate to the project in context to ‘the place’ and ‘the people’.  ARCHITECTURE OF THE UNBUILT(ENERGIZING VOIDS)  THE ORDER OF HETEROGENEOUS HOMOGENEITY  MYTH – FORM IMAGERY – PERCEPTION  BUILT – IN FLEXIBILITY AND OPEN – ENDEDNESS OF DESIGN  ENCOURAGING INTERACTION THROUGH BUILTFORM  RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Building style & forms that would best express his ideas:
 The building profile will have natural light + air + movement + access elements against the sky to express the cosmic relationship.  The building base will gradually widen towards the ground through platforms, terraces, and steps.  The building mass will integrate roof, rainwater, cascades, water bodies, natural landscapes, gardens, foliage.  The external finish of the building will express one homogenous mass but will have adequate details/ textures/ surface modulations.  The main arrival to the building will be at a higher or raised level- with provision for a lower entry to express duality.

 Not all movements within the building will be symmetrical but will shift axis to give unexpected experiences and provide ambiguous / dual impressions…”  And finally Aesthetic considerations will take into account local symbolism, context, and associations.  Casting of shadows, breaking of mass, rhythms in the structure, solids, voids, will be the mode of expression. Sangath, is one of the best examples of the project, which shows his building style – a green enclave of grassy mounds, steps, terraces, water cascades and earth hugging vaults covered in chips of china mosaic to glare and heat.


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 Sangath (1979-1981) Thaltej Road, Ahmedabad 380 054  Client: Balkrishna Doshi  Principal Architect : Balkrishna Doshi Project Assistants : J.Joshipura, S. Patankar, H.M. Siddhpura Project Engineer : B.S. Jethwa, Y. Patel Structural Engineer: G.A.Tambe

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 Site Area: 2346 m2  Total Built-up Area: 585 m2

“SANGATH” means “moving together through participation "and the place is more than just an architectural office.

 The site was a quadrilateral looking south over a road towards open country with camels and tribal villagers going in one direction, diesel trucks and new suburbanites passing in the other.

Sketch made by B.V.Doshi

CLIMATE & TOPOGRAPHY:  Ahmadabad-climate The city is located on the banks of Sabarmati river at 23 degrees N and 72.58 degrees E. The city has hot and humid climate.

 There are typically three main seasons – summer, monsoon and winter characterized by different climatic conditions.  Situated at the height of 55m above the sea level, Ahmadabad experiences extreme climate.  There is great difference between the temperatures of days and nights.  Summers start from the month of March and end by June.  Winters are cool and dry and period includes the month of November to February.  Monsoons are from July to September.  Sangath is a fragment of Doshi's private dream: a microcosm of his intentions and obsessions.

 Inspired by the earth-hugging forms of the Indian vernacular, it also draws upon the vault suggestions of Le Corbusier.  A warren of interiors derived from the traditional Indian city, it is also influenced by sources as diverse as Louis I. Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Antonio Gaudi.  A work of art stands on its own merits and Sangath possesses that indefinable quality of authenticity.

 Even local labourers and passing peasants like to come and sit next to it, enjoying the low mounds of the vaults or the water-jars overgrown with creepers.

Plan of studios
1. Forecourt 2. Pond 3. Amphitheatre 4. Entrance court 5. Reception 6. Workshops 7. Conference 8. Toilets 9. Architects office 10. Subterranean meeting room 11. Engineers 12. Design studio 13. Library 14. Studio


Construction of the barrel vault


National Institute of Fashion Technology NIFTCampus Nr. Gulmohar Park Hauz Khas ,New Delhi 110 016 Client - National Institute of Fashion Technology Principal Architect - Balkrishna Doshi , M/s Stein Doshi & Bhalla Project Associate - Laxman Patel, S.L.Shah Structural Consultant - Himanshu Parikh, Ahmedabad Electrical Consultant - Sheth Consultants, Ahmedabad Site Area - 11650 m2 Total Built-up Area - 13570 m2 Project Cost - Rs. 8.5 million (1994)

 Fashion implies creativity with and time.  In architectural terms a spatial modulation of continues movement in time and space much as the ambiance of an Indian bazaar where the drama of day today life unfolds.  The National Institute of Fashion Technology atNew Delhi, recreates an inwardly bazaar, livened up by designed displays and movements of students as well as visitors through entire \ space.  Consisting of academic, administrative and residential activities, the campus reinterprets the traditional town square through its inward looking building; interactive corridors, bridges and terraces; kund like steps; and communicative facades.

 The front court, surrounded by the terraced academic block and glazed administrative wing becomes culturally appropriate and climatically comfortable outdoor space.  Animated by a series of high and low platforms, soft and hard landscaping, a water channel and a mirror like wall back drop, the space multiplies as entrance court, central green, display platform, informal theatre and a visual focus.  Open as well as glass screened bridges separating kund like court from amphitheatre court, not only remain as movement path, but also double up as the cat walk for the fashion shows which can be viewed over from the class rooms, corridors, library as well as the administrative block.

 Fragmentation of the built mass and facade articulation illustrate a tenuous yet experientially rich interrelationship between various parts of the ensemble.  Formlessness and fragmentation of buildings at NIFT renders it flexible to adapt and express different form and elements of different edges, in effective response to their specific functions and context.  While, the common set of elements namely -court, steps and corridors integrate these parts into unified whole.

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