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Modern Architecture and Indian Tradition – The œuvre of Balkrishna Doshi

Jessica Mankel

The creative years of the architect, urban planner and teacher Balkrishna V. Doshi, born in 1927 in Pune, India, are worth taking a look at. Therefore, a visit to the retrospective exhibition “Architektur für den Menschen” at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich is a must. Between 17. October 2019 and 19. January 2020, the TUM’s architecture museum showcases his works in the fields of architecture, urban development, design and art by means of various original drawings, models and plans, paintings, photographs, Indian tradition and films.




After his architectural studies, Balkrishna Doshi, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018, started his remarkable career with Le Corbusier in Paris in 1951. Doshi was also strongly influenced by his work with Louis Kahn. His decision to refrain from imposing western modernity on India’s architecture resulted in a new architectural language.

Doshi combines modernist architecture with Indian culture, tradition and context in consideration of ethics, religion, society, environment and climate. The result is impressive and has earned him international recognition: More than 100 projects, such as educational and cultural institutions, housing estates and residences exemplify Doshi’s visionary urban planning and strong social commitment. His buildings meet local needs and establish sustainable structures for expressing and improving ways of living. Obviously and unmistakeably, people form the centre point of Doshi’s work process.

Attention to detail, harmony and colourfulness – Indian tradition

Balkrishna Doshi’s granddaughter Khushnu Panthaki Hoof curated the exhibition “Architektur für den Menschen” in four areas: Home & identity, higher education buildings, urban planning, institutional construction projects. The spatial finish and highlight is the walkable space installation of Doshi’s own architectural practice “Sangath” in Ahmedabad (1980). Three generations of his family work together in the versatile atelier and draw from the creative source of this oasis of peace. In line with the meaning of “Sangath” – “moving together”.

With attention to detail, a large portion of harmony and colourfulness as well as many diversified genres of art and media, the resulting exhibition conveys sympathy, closeness, tranquillity and lightness. In this space, hustle and bustle and materialism become irrelevant.

Balkrishna Doshi – Architektur für den Menschen
17. October 2019 to 19. January 2020
Architekturmuseum TUM
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

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