Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute - by B. V. Doshi

The Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute was established in the year 1979 by the government of Gujrat. Architect B. V. Doshi was the Architect for the project. However, the institute is located in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, and is initially notable as a development of certain design and climatic ideas explored at the B. V. Doshi’s studio ‘Sangath’. The most striking similarities between the two buildings are the white ceramic chip-clad concrete as well as terracotta wrought barrel vaults which create shaded, well-ventilated, and softly-lit interiors.

This project is a perfect example of the fusion of the modern as well as, traditional architecture.

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi was born in Pune on 26th Nov 1927. He completed his Graduation in Architecture from Sir J. J. School Of Arts in Mumbai in the year 1950. However, after completing Architecture, he went to Europe in 1950 only, where he worked closely with Le Corbusier. In 1954 he came back to India to supervise the work of Corbusier in Ahmedabad. He works with Corbusier on the projects like Villa Sarabhai, Villa Shodhan, Mill’s owner association building as well as Sanskar Kendra.

B.V Doshi is a well-known architect as well as an educator. He was the first founder director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad from 1962- 72. Also, he was founder-director of School of Planning from 1972-79, first founder Dean of CEPT from 1972- 81, founder member of the visual art center, similarly founder-director of the Kanoria Center Of Arts.

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
“I believe Life celebrates when lifestyle and architecture fuse.”

Philosophies of B. V. Doshi

Doshi’s architecture explores the relationships between the fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and respect for social traditions, with a response that is grounded in context and exhibiting a localized Modernist approach.

Some Famous Work of B. V. Doshi

B. V. Doshi is the pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India. His famous work includes IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur, NIFT Delhi, Amdavad Ni Gufa, CEPT University, Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute, and many more.

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
IIM Bangalore
Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
IIM Udaipur
Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
CEPT University

B.V Doshi has also contributed to Low-cost housing. His Aranya Low-Cost Housing Project of Indore won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He is felicitated with the Padma Bhushan as well as the Padma Shri. Also, he is the first Indian to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018.

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Aranya Low-cost housing

One of the famous project of B. V. Doshi is Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute.

Also read: Architect Hafeez Contractor – The man who draws India

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute

Design Details

Air-conditioned auditorium with a capacity of 200 people along with 3 AC seminar rooms with the capacity of 50, 25,35. Also, 5 AC classrooms. It also has a well-furnished hostel with 30 rooms. The amphitheater as well as, the courtyard is also there. However, the spaces are well connected with the corridor with twists and turns.

The institute has a built up of 11500 sq. m.

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute

Connectivity of the spaces

As you enter the premises, the diagonal pathway leads you to the entrance by climbing the steps in a linear fashion. From there the movement becomes radical. Similarly, pathways act as the spine of the building.

Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Entrance of Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Site Plan
Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute
Site Plan With Legends

Every space bifurcates from the circulation to the respective functions. Therefore, each one of them has a different approach according to its purpose.

The pathways also lead to the spaces outside. Therefore, the entire building opens up. Entrance, corridors, courtyard, classrooms, exhibition hall, etc are well connected. However, the building is of two floors, which is connected by a staircase. The building is covered with a plain terrace as well as barrel vaults.

The Staircase Connecting floors
Sketches of the section

Also read: Top 10 Unique Buildings and their Architects

What are the special features of the Mahatma Gandhi Labor Institute?

The concrete vaults covered in white china mosaic, the faceted terraces, earth mounds, greet plaster on external walls as well as, an Amphitheatre, all these elements are very similar to that of Sangath.

Concrete Vault

The huge courtyard in the central part of the building is the focal point of the building. All the spaces like staircase as well as corridors open out into the courtyard.

Brief about the building

  • Building – Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute
  • Type – Institutional
  • Location – Ahmedabad
  • Built-up area – 11500 sq.m
  • Style – Modernist
  • Material – Concrete, Terracotta


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