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LAURIE BAKER

LAURIE BAKER, AN ARCHITECT


FROM
BIRMINGHAM,
NOW
SETTLED
IN
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,
HAS
EFFECTIVELY
COMBINED
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES WITH
INDIGENOUS INNOVATIONS AND
HAS MANAGED TO BRING DOWN
THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION BY
HALF.
HIS TECHNIQUES NOT ONLY USE
CHEAPER MATERIALS BUT ALSO
ELIMINATE REDUNDANT DETAILS
FROM THE DESIGN.
CONCRETE IS RARELY USED.
MANGALORE TILES ARE USED FOR
THE ROOF WHICH MAKES IT
LIGHT AND INEXPENSIVE.

HIS APPROACH AND SIMPLE PRINCIPLES TO


LOW COST HOUSING ARE GANDHIAN, WHICH
CAN BE ADOPTED BY EVERY BUILDER. THE
FOLLOWING ARE THE MAINSTAY OF DESIGN
AND CONSTRUCTION OF HIS HOUSES.
PLANNING OF SPACE LESSER WALLS,
MULTIPLE USES OF SPACE, SHORT SPANS OF
ROOF,
AGGLOMERATION
OF
BUILDING
SERVICES, FLEXIBILITY IN GROWTH.
LOCAL BUILDING MATERIAL BRICKS, TILES,
LIME, SURKHI, TIMBER, THATCH, STONE, PALM,
MUD.
BRICKS AND JALIS PLAY OF LIGHT AND
SHADE, UNIDIRECTIONAL VISION.
UNPLASTERED WALLS.
LINTELS AND ARCHES.
ATTENTION TO DETAILS.

BAKERS
WORKS
INCLUDE,
PRIVATE
RESIDENCES,
SOME
INSTITUTIONAL
BUILDINGS,
LIKE
CENTER
FOR
DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, KERALA. HE IS
VERY ACTIVE IN THE WORKS OF ALL THE
BUILDING CENTERS WORKING IN KERALA
AS WELL AS IN THE OTHER PARTS OF
COUNTRY. RATHER IT WAS HIS INITIAL
EFFORT TO PROMOTE THE LOW COST
HOUSING IN INDIA, WHERE HOUSING IS A
BIG PROBLEM.
HIS TECHNIQUES NOT ONLY USE CHEAPER
MATERIALS
BUT
ALSO
ELIMINATE
UNNECESSARY DETAILS FROM THE DESIGN.
CONCRETE
IS
SPARINGLY
USED.
MANGALORE TILES ARE USED FOR THE
ROOF WHICH MAKES IT LIGHT AND
INEXPENSIVE.
HIS PROJECTS FOR LOW COST BUILDINGS
INCLUDE
1. CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
TRIVANDRUM
2. 'THE HAMLET', LAURIE BAKER'S HOME
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,

CENTER FOR
DEVELOPMENT STUDIES TRIVANDRUM -1975

LESLIE
BAKERS
MASTERPIECE,
THE
CENTRE
FOR
DEVELOPMENT
STUDIES IN KERALA, IS
A 10 ACRE CAMPUS AT
A
COST
OF
RS15
LAKHS,
DEMONSTRATED
THE
EFFECTIVENESS OF HIS
PLAN.

THE
INSTITUTE
INCLUDES
A
RESEARCH
INSTITUTE.
A GRADUATE SCHOOL
DEDICATED
TO
UTILIZING THE STUDY
OF
ECONOMICS
TO
HELP THE POOR.

MAIN FEATURES OF THIS


BUILDING:
HE DESIGNED THE
BUILDINGS AT THE CENTRE
TO PRACTICALLY COOL
THEM.
HE RENDERS JALIS, A
PERFORATED WOODEN
SCREEN FOUND IN
TRADITIONAL INDIAN
ARCHITECTURE, IN BRICK;
THE OPEN GRILLWORK
ALLOWS COOL BREEZES TO
WAFT INTO THE INTERIOR
WHILE FILTERING HARSH,
DIRECT SUNLIGHT.
SOME BUILDINGS INCLUDE
A SERIES OF SMALL
COURTYARDS CONTAINING
SHALLOW POOLS IN THE
CENTER, WHOSE
EVAPORATION HELPS COOL
THE AIR.
PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION
TO THE EXISTING SITE AS
HE BEGAN TO DESIGN THE
PROJECT, BAKER LEFT AS
MANY COCONUT PALM
TREES IN PLACE AS
POSSIBLE TO CAST
COOLING SHADE ONTO THE
CAMPUS.

THE COMPUTER CENTRE


AT THE CENTRE FOR
DEVELOPMENT STUDIES,
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.
HERE BAKER EVOLVED AN
INNOVATIVE SYSTEM OF
CURVED DOUBLE WALLS
TO SAVE ON COST AND
TO
CONSERVE
THE
ENERGY .
IN
EVALUATING
THE
CAMPUS
FOR
THE
CENTRE, BAKER PLANNED
ROADS
ALONG
THE
LOWER,
WHILE
FOOTPATHS
WERE
ROUTED
ALONG
NATURALLY OCCURRING
ELEVATED
AREAS;
FOLLOWING
THE
NATURAL
TOPOGRAPHY
HELPS TO LIMIT EROSION
AND DESPOILMENT OF
THE ENVIRONMENT.

BRICKWALLS
WERE
LEFT
UNPLASTERED
AND
BRICK
CORBELLING
WAS
USED RATHER THAN
MORE
EXPENSIVE
CONCRETE LINTELS.
WITH
HIS
MASTERY
OVER
HIS
MEDIUM,
BAKER
CREATES
A
VARIETY OF TEXTURES
AND
PATTERNS
BY
SIMPLE MANIPULATION
OF THE WAY IN WHICH
BRICKS ARE PLACED IN
THE WALL.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF
THIS
ACADEMIC
COMPLEX
WAS
CONCEIVED
AS
A
DEMONSTRATION
OF
ECONOMICALLY
RESPONSIBLE
BUILDING PRACTICES.

BAKERS HOUSE THE


HAMLET

BAKERS
OWN
RESIDENCE IS CALLED
THE HAMLET. IT HAS
BEEN
BUILT
IN
THIRUVANANTHAPURA
M, BUILT ON A STEEPLY
SLOPING AND ROCKY
HILLSIDE THAT HARDLY
HAD ANY VEGETATION
WHEN BAKER STARTED
CONSTRUCTING.
BAKER
HAS
TRULY
ADOPTED HIS MOTTO
TO
MAKE
LOWCOSTERY A HABIT AND
A WAY OF LIFE BY
REUSING EVERYTHING,
KEY
FEATURES
OF GLASS
HIS
FROM
BRICK TO
HOUSE
ARE: AS BUILDING
BOTTLES,
ALL
MATERIALS.
THE WALLS ARE MADE
OF MUD BRICKS.
TIMBER SALVAGED FROM
AN OLD BOAT JETTY.

ONE OF THE OTHER


SIGNATURE ELEMENTS
OF
HIS
DESIGN
INCLUDES THE USE OF
CIRCULAR
WALLS,
WHICH USE FAR LESS
BRICK
THAN
RECTANGULAR WALLS.
IN ADDITION, WHEN HE
DOES USE CONCRETE
FOR
A
ROOF,
HE
EMBEDS CHIPPED OR
BROKEN TERRA COTTA
ROOFING TILES INTO
THE MIXTURE.
THESE TILES, WHICH
NORMALLY WOULD BE
THROWN
AWAY,
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
STRENGTH
OF
THE
ROOF, ALLOW LESS OF
THE
EXPENSIVE
CONCRETE TO BE USED,
AND
REDUCE
THE
STRUCTURAL LOAD OF
THE BUILDING.
HE USED BROKEN TILES
FOR THE OUTER PAVED
AREA OF HIS GARDEN.

HE MADE AN EXTENSIVE
USE OF TIMBER IN HIS
HOUSE, LIKE IN THE
LIVING
ROOM
OF
HOUSE, THE DETAILING
IN WOOD AND MUD
BRICKS
ARE
WONDERFUL.
THE LIVING ROOM, AN
INTEGRATION OF NEW
BUILDING
AND
SALVAGED
TIMBER
FROM
TRADITIONAL
BUILDINGS THAT WERE
BEING DEMOLISHED.
INNOVATIVE
BAKER'S
USE
OF
DISCARDED
BOTTLES, INSET IN THE
WALLS GIVING A VERY
GOOD EFFECT OF LIGHT
AND
CREATING
AN
ILLUSION OF STAINED
GLASS.

LAURIE BAKER

SUBMITTED TO :AR.NEHRU LAL

SUBMITTED BY :SIDDHARTH S. CHAUHAN


B.ARCH 5TH YEAR