Master architect Balkrishna Doshi has played a leading role in developing architecture for post-independent India while making significant contributions to the architectural education in the country. He has achieved this through the founding of India’s premier school of architecture and planning CEPT, Ahmedabad.
The much awaited autobiography comprises of selections from Doshi’s diary entries, taped lectures and videos maintained over a long and significant career. It traces Doshi’s extraordinary journey from an unpretentious middleclass childhood in a large joint family in Pune to his architectural studies in Mumbai and London. Further, he writes about his work at the atelier of the most influential modernist architect Le Corbusier in Paris, the construction of Chandigarh and, finally, of the establishment of his own home and practice Vastu Shilpa in Ahmedabad. Doshi moves back and forth in time and between places with the ease of a seasoned storyteller.
He breaks away from the strong influence of his mentors Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, to evolve an architecture that is rooted in an understanding of the region, climate and people. “To establish roots, one should create one’s own myth and establish contexts. Without this framing, architecture cannot be valid,” writes Doshi. The book provides valuable insight onto the remarkable thought process of a genius architect, an intensely spiritual and creative person for whom architecture forms the centre of his prolific life.
The variation in font sizes, simple but effective manner of writing enlivened with Doshi’s marvelous line sketches makes the tome absorbing for students of architecture and of life. The reader will be infused with a renewed appreciation for the mythology, social and cultural history and the built heritage of our country.
Name: Paths Uncharted
Author: Balkrishna Doshi
Publisher: Shilp Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design, Ahmedabad
Price: Rs 950
Book Availability: Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design
Some images from the book…