Architect of low-cost homes wins Pritzker

India's Balkrishna Doshi has won the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
India's Balkrishna Doshi has won the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, best-known for his innovative work designing low-cost housing, has been awarded the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The award was announced by Tom Pritzker of the Chicago-based Hyatt Foundation.

Doshi has been an architect, urban planner, and educator for 70 years.

The foundation called the 90-year-old's work "poetic and functional," and noted his ability to create works that both respect eastern culture and enhance quality of life in India.

Among Doshi's achievements: the Aranya low-cost housing project in Indore, which accommodates over 80,000 people, many of them poor, through a system of houses, courtyards and internal pathways.

Doshi said his life's work has been "to empower the have-nots, the people who have nothing."

The housing itself, he said, can transform how residents see their world.

"Now, their life has changed. They feel hopeful," Doshi said. "They have ownership of something."

He called the prize an honour both for himself and for India.

Australian Associated Press