PA5. Interpreting architecture

Balkrishna Doshi work analysis


The Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore was designed by the Indian laureate architect Balkrishna V. Doshi. It was finished in 1983, and is distributed in 54,000 sq meters in a 100 acre site. It is designed to be a poly-nuclear building distributed in orthogonal plans, connected with intersecting corridors with triple heights, decorated with gardens.

One of its particular characteristics is the landscape design, which is also present in all Dr. Doshi’s work. The external and internal gardens blur the line between outside and inside space, providing the building the sensation of continuity, supported by the relation of vain over solid.

The nods generated by the corridors function as communication cores, both horizontally and vertically, as they connect the upper floors with stairs, and function as core service as well.

It is a building of contrasts. The use and repetition of the same textures all over the building, the great hard stone made with local granite, and the tall concrete columns, combined with kota stone in the floors, and the few application of black painted steel, makes the building pass almost unnoticed compared to the huge landscape design, made with a great variety of local flora, that provides the building with organic textures against the hardness of the textures in the building. These same textures are embellished by the game that lights and shadow play over them as they move constantly during the day time.

It’s scale may appear huge in photographs, but once is occupied by students in the day to day life, it truly fulfills its function. It is enriched by the shadows and repetition of elements and its orthogonal design, which gives the building a calm rhythm.

“The sun becomes part of architecture” says Dr. Doshi in the movie as he walks through the building, explaining the decisions he made to get to the final design.

The Indian Institute of Management invites the visitor to feel the spatial experience that fades the interior and the exterior into one, and the environment created by the scale, the use of light and its equilibrated proportion. It is considered the building that proved Dr. Doshi’s personal style, as in his previous work he presented a lot of influence of his masters, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. It is in this project where Dr. Doshi meets an agreement between functionalism, use of scale, use of local materials, and influence from ancient Indian architecture.


Think Matter, Indian online editorial that creates content on a curated selection of representative of contemporary practice in India.
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, institutional website.

Hidden Architecture, online journal published by a team of architects located worldwide.

My Architect; the Journey of a Son

Movie Analysis

This film, directed and produced by Nathaniel Kahn, tells the story of his father, one of the most famous architects of the 20Th century: Louis Kahn.

The life of Louis Kahn reminds me of Vincent van Gogh, as both died without the “proper” recognition, and gained fame years later after they both passed away.

Kahn struggled to keep his studio afloat, being a misunderstood artist, who always thought of a bigger scale, as he searched for the truth from materials used to assemble his mythic monoliths.

With an important track as a professor, Kahn influenced thousands of students around United States, Europe and Asia, as he went everywhere he was invited to speak. He is remembered as a great and honest architecture philosopher.

Although he struggled to get as many projects as he wished, he accomplished to build an important series of “masterpieces” as I.M. Pei qualifies during his interview in the film. Like the “Salt Institute in La Jolla, California; and the Indian Institute of Ahmedabad (in collaboration with Dr. Doshi); the Kimbell Museum of Art, in Forth Worth, Texas; and the great posthumous work, the National Parliament House of Bangladesh, in Dhaka.

Salt Institute in La Jolla, California

Kahn was distinguished for getting deeply involved in all his projects, to the point that his personal life was a disaster.

The film constantly talks about the precarious quality on the personal relationships Louis Kahn had during his life. He had three simultaneous families with three different women, and is presented as a very detached and absent father with his three children.

National Parliament House of Bangladesh, in Dhaka

In the movie, Nathaniel Kahn, whom narrates all the work from his father, presents several interviews with important colleagues of his father, such as: Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, Frank Ghery, among others. Simultaneously, we observe interviews with all Kahn’s widows, and their children. It’s not coincidence that all Kahn’s colleagues talk much better about him than his close relatives.

In my opinion, he is absolved by his son at the end of the film, as he recognizes that although he was an absent father and spouse, he was a true genius in his field of his day and age.

He traveled a lot, and accomplished to build great structures in many cities in United States, and a couple of countries in Asia. Returning from one of his many trips to India, he died in Pennsylvania Station, in New York, allegedly from a heart attack, and was not recognized until many days later. Leaving behind an important legacy in the management of light, space and the honest use of materials.

PA3. Views

The architects from their works.

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

It was finished in 1983 by the Pritzker price winner B.V. Doshi. The campus occupies an area of over 100 acres, and is known for its unique all stone architecture, the landscape design and its lush woods.

Tagore Memorial Hall

It is an example of brutalist indian architecture, an apparent box shaped building used for concerts that can accomodate up to 700 spectators, built in memory to one of the most important indian artists, Rabindranath Tagore. It was finished by the year 1971, just next to the Sanskar Kendra museum, designed by Doshi’s guru, Le Corbusier.


Sangad. The word means «to go forward together through participation». Its considered by Dr. Doshi as a place created to explore of the artistic, social and human dimensions of technology.

His own studio with a classrooms complex for teaching urbanism, design, and textile design, its located in Ahmedabad. Built in 1980, the arrangement of its spaces are issued from the traditional indian architecture are recreated in astonishingly modern medium.


Rethinking The Future. Tagore Memorial Auditorium by B.V Doshi Box of Miracles, by Varsha Arun. Online architecture platform created over 5 years ago, focused on the publishing, recognizing and acknowledging talent from around the glove, giving awards, creating an academic dialogue in the field of architecture and design.

Doshi, B.V., Tsuboi, Y. and Raj, M. (1967). Tagore hall. Arts Asiatiques, [online] 60.

PA2. The architecture from its actors


Architecture from its actors

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Once, Dr. Doshi was asked “what is design?”, and he answered:

“Design is nothing but… A humble understanding of materials; a natural instinct for solutions; and you know what is the most important thing which describes design? Can you see that peacock over there? It is living harmoniously within the campus I designed.”

Dr. Doshi was born in Pune, India in 1927. He studied architecture in Bombay, and after that, he finished his studies he went to Europe, to work in Le Corbusier’s studio in Paris, between 1951 and 1954.

Afterwards he returned to India to supervise Le Corbusier’s project the Palace of Justice of Chandigarh, and the Capitol in the same city. He also collaborated with Louis Kahn in the building of the Indian Institute of Management.

He is known for using vernacular Indian architecture elements in his designs, and the social impact they were build for.

In the first stage of his career he was very influenced by the brutalism of Le Corbusier, and the formal character of Louis Kahn; but then, he deepened into the Indian architecture, and by mixing the essence of all this, he finally accomplished to create a style of his own.

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, is known for his close relationship with education, as he was the founder of the school of Architecture, Planning and Environment Technology, Visual Arts and the Center Kanoria for the University of Ahmedabad. He also was the first director of the school of Architecture, between 1962 and 1972. He has also taught in several universities in Europe and United States ever since 1958.

PA2. Phase 2

“I want to be and architect” By Alberto Campos Baeza

Reading comprehension

This little book written by an architect and professor specifies several advices for studying architecture, and then becoming an architect.

I felt touched by looking at the drawings that accompany the text; and inspired by the advice that he gives by saying that architecture is a career that pays in many more ways than just money.

I was also thrilled by the recommendations of drawing, photographing, thinking, writing and reading.

The paragraph “Future” encouraged me, as it suggests the possibilities of development as one finishes university.

Personally I would like to work for a medium size studio as i finish my studies, and after some years start a studio of my own, and work only in projects which I find interesting, particularly in housing, cultural buildings such as schools, libraries, museums, etc, and public space.

PA1. My environment

  • Why did I chose this place?
    I chose this place because I consider it as an important meeting point in University, and I always pass by, and I take the opportunity to take some sun, smoke a cigarette have coffee or meet my friends.
  • What makes you feel at ease?
    I like to see people pass by, makes me feel like an observer.
  • Is there any disruptive element?
    The lack of shadow.
  • Would I feel the same way in another place right now?
    Maybe yes, there are lot of places that make me feel this same way in university.
  • Do you think this place’s conditions influence on it’s users? How?
    Definitely, The cafe is always crowded, because it’s fresh, and outside it is way hotter because of the sunshine and lack of shadow spots.
  • Would you change anything about this place?
    I would probably build a pergola above it.