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‘Iconic IIMB campus testament to the genius of B.V. Doshi’

January 24, 2023 09:34 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:19 am IST - Bengaluru

The Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Balakrishna V. Doshi built the iconic Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru campus.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Balakrishna V. Doshi built the iconic Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru campus. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The Pritzker Architecture Prize winning legendary architect Balakrishna V. Doshi, who passed away on Tuesday, built the iconic Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru campus on Bannerghatta Road in the city, his only project in the State. 

Senior architect Navnath Kanade, who worked with B. V. Doshi in Ahmedabad during 1966-70, said as fresh out of college his stint with B. V. Doshi oriented his practice later in life. He termed IIMB, as one of the best examples of a modern building in entire south India and a testament to the genius of B.V. Doshi.

Another senior architect Satyaprakash Varanasi said the campus offers a beautiful synthesis of spaces and volume, function and utility, light and protection and was one of its kind in the institution category to create such fusion and synthesis which established the modern Indian architecture on its own merit. Given that air conditioning was not prevalent in the country those days, there was no internet and global ideas, IIMB got rooted within the originality of the architect and specificity of its location, he said.

“However, there were comments about lavish spaces, wide and long corridors, and superfluous extravaganza. But India needed them in those days to redefine its architecture,” he said, adding while most credit for the campus goes to Doshi, it was a collaboration of three architects in the firm Doshi Stein and Bhalla aided by Achyut Kanvinde who worked on the project. 

The 54,000 sq m IIMB complex built with grey stone and concrete on a 100 acre campus is based on the design of the town of Fatehpur Sikri, laid out by Akbar in the 16th century, IIMB website says. “Fatehpur Sikri’s courtyards and the gardens of Bengaluru merged in B.V. Doshi’s mind’s eye. He picked up the gardens and put them in the courtyards, and the vision for a ‘glocal’ campus was born,” IIMB said on its website.

IIMB completed in 1983, also finds mention in the citation of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for B. V. Doshi in 2018. B.K. Chandrashekar, former professor at IIM-Bangalore and former Minister, said “Doshi the celebrated architect was also a good listener of questions from academics, who were being exposed to new ideas and  imagination in ‘ modern’ designs in buildings which at the same time reflected local thoughts. His immense patience in understanding amateurish questions/ doubts was truly impressive.

Mr. Kanade said IIMB showed there was such beauty in simplicity. It uses grey stone and concrete creating a monochrome space, which is very minimalist. “The way nature is brought into the building is wondrous. It provides an enigmatic togetherness of the landscape and the buildings,” he said. Mr. Varanasi also said IIMB was among the most remarkable energy efficient buildings and the building adheres to most of the concepts of sustainable architecture being discussed today - low embodied energy, passive cooling and lifecycle efficiency. 

IIMB said it mourns the loss of Doshi and said they will remain grateful to him for giving us this precious legacy. 

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