Later in his career, Doshi began writing stories to accompany his built works in India. Most notable among them are The Revelation for Ni Gufa Ahmedabad, The Sacred Spring for the National Institute of Fashion Technology, and The Legend of the Living Rock for the Bharat Diamond Bourse. These can be seen as origin stories that successfully incorporate both reality and mythology to draw us closer to his work. Through them, Doshi’s architecture, and the sites they occupy, acquire a timeliness and universality. Their ambiguity become an access point for participation. Doshi has devoted his career to designs that champion the engagement of people in the buildings they inhabit. So, it should come as no surprise that he uses the art of storytelling to familiarize us with built environments, and in so doing encourage a sense of shared ownership of our world.
We hope you enjoy these stories and that they inspire you to find the histories of the buildings you inhabit.
“…I immediately realized that in true architecture one must experience joys and celebrations. It must affect our inner self. It cannot be distinguished separately either as the modulation of light or surfaces or supporting system. On the contrary, a good design merges floors, walls, and ceilings into one contiguous whole and creates an organic space almost like a living being. What it encompasses within and without its surfaces are the voids which generate energy. This energy then reduces all the stresses within all the elements that surround this object which we call architecture. The total environment then emanates peace and tranquility. Even the air becomes calm yet vital. It then becomes a small universe, a microcosm which we can call paradise.”
The Sacred Spring
“…Long ago there was a small village of mud and white walls where the National Institute of Fashion Technology campus now stands. Though small, this settlement was very beautiful. They had cattle, a few trees, and a central place. This central place had a small water body surrounded by steps. This very small body of water appeared to be a very sacred place, perhaps due to the scarcity of water. When asked, the villagers said that they had to dig deep to get to this water, and that they found it only at this spot. Because of this hard effort and the fear the water could eventually disappear, the villagers made this spot a place of pilgrimage.”
The Legend of the Living Rock
“…Because of the ancient rock which has been made a part of our design, this place has now become the most sacred place inIndia. All those who come here feel elated, and as we have heard from many that their lives have become peaceful and also successful. Here there is constant breeze, and we experience the sea. Here the fountains, the walls, and the gardens make people forget the Hanging Gardens. Here the sky seems bluer and cleaner than it perhaps is, because here silence can be heard”
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