You are on page 1of 1


1hls ls lndeed Lhe senLlmenL LhaL everyone shares ln Lhe world Loday.
noL knowlng where Lhe confllcL beLween Man, who was once an lnLegral parL of
naLure, and MoLher naLure ls Laklng us.
noL knowlng how long naLure's golng Lo LoleraLe lLs explolLaLlon by us.
noL knowlng lf green grass and blue skles would deflne our scenery anymore, whaL
wlLh Lhe colourful landscape of earLh belng scarred beyond Lhe polnL of nurslng lLself
back Lo healLh.
Where are we headed Lomorrow?
AmldsL everyLhlng LhaL ls happenlng on Lhe planeL Loday, Man ls
Lhe one who ls solely responslble for change, wlLh Lhe naLural
world becomlng collaLeral damage.
"l thouqht it wou/d /ost my time
1he sense thot, beyond the town,
1here wou/d o/woys be fie/ds ond forms,
where the vi//oqe /outs cou/d c/imb
5uch trees os were not cut down,
l knew there'd be fo/se o/orms."
- Phi/ip Lorkin
AfLer an elaboraLe [ourney ln search of our 'perfecL' sLrucLure, we came across a school LhaL llved up Lo
our 'ecologlcal expecLaLlons'. lL dlsplayed Lhe rlghL comblnaLlon of vernacular wlLh conLemporary along
lLs elevaLlon as well as a unlque archlLecLure sLyle LhaL encourages lnnovaLlve Leachlng by lLself.
We Came across a|||koodam, a llLLle school Lucked away ln Lhe hearL of kerala.
Corpus ChrlsLl Plgh School or alllkoodam, as lL has offlclally been known
as slnce z, ls an educaLlonal lnsLlLuLlon slLuaLed ln Lhe kalaLhllpady
area of koLLayam ln Lhe sLaLe of kerala. lL was esLabllshed by educaLor
and women's rlghLs acLlvlsL Mary 8oy ln 6; buL Lhe school bulldlng
came up ln ;z. 1he school campus ls spread over o acres buL we have selecLed Lhe rlmary SecLlon
whlch covers an area of around ooo sq. m as Lhe core of our analysls, golng wlLh our bellef LhaL
lndlvlduallsm ls beLLer lnfused when Lhe mlnd ls sLlll young.
SI1L IUS1IIICA1ICN: Why a|||koodam?
8elng slLuaLed ln Lhe abundanLly green sLaLe of kerala,
alllkoodam already has Lhe advanLage of b|end|ng w|th nature.
Slnce Lhe characLerlsLlc reglonal expresslon of kerala's archlLecLure
arlses from naLural facLors, lL ls ecologlcally compaLlble, glvlng
susLalnablllLy an angle LhaL has never been observed from before.
A perfect comb|nat|on of trad|t|on and modern|ty, lL seLs an
LkAMLL of how one can susLaln a healLhy envlronmenL wlLhouL
long-Lerm effecLs.
alllkoodam ls a sLrucLure LhaL ls contemporary ln ways LhaL go beyond [usL Lhe archlLecLure of
Lhe place. lLs educaLlon sysLem lLself sLands ouL from Lhe ordlnary. ln oLher words, lLs
appllcablllLy on a large scale would guaranLee a beLLer, wlser generaLlon of people Laklng Lhe
world ahead.
1he |deas and ph||osoph|es LhaL wenL lnLo Lhe deslgn of Lhls bullL space corresponded wlLh
CUk v|ews of eco-frlendly archlLecLure, maklng our slLe locaLlon advanLageous for us.
1he mlnd LhaL p|oneered th|s revo|ut|on towards a more susta|nab|e ||festy|e was none
oLher Lhan Lhe laLe Laur|e 8aker.
LAUkIL 8AkLk: 1he Arch|tect
Laurence Wllfred Laurle" 8aker, Lhe lndlan archlLecL of 8rlLlsh orlgln well known
for hls lnnovaLlve ways of cosL-cuLLlng, was lndeed a legend. 8aker's message Lo
Lhe people was Lo economlze on maLerlals and malnLaln quallLy Lhrough
susLalned appllcaLlon. Pe galned fame for belng able Lo deslgn cosL-effecLlve,
hlgh-quallLy, beauLlful homes sulLed or bullL for lower and mlddle-class cllenLs.
WhaL people dlsregarded was LhaL h|s |ow-cost structures were |nadvertent|y
susta|nab|e and organ|c |n nature, and LhaL Lhls meLhod could be developed ln
order Lo creaLe whaL we belleve Lo be a green" envlronmenL. Pavlng observed
and sLudled Laurle 8aker's unlque polnL of vlew, we reallzed LhaL he, ln reallLy,
was Lhe true "green arch|tect".
8aker's archlLecLure was always Lhe by-producL of a blgger plcLure. D|rectness
and s|mp||c|ty were Lhe key words when lL came Lo hls deslgns. Pls eco-
frlendllness sprung up from Lhe facL LhaL he always used |oca||y ava||ab|e
mater|a| and labour, Lhereby |ower|ng the carbon footpr|nt Lo a cerLaln exLenL.
1here ls noLhlng compleLely new abouL 8aker's deslgns and meLhods of
consLrucLlon, he slmply broughL back Lhe old half-forgoLLen ldeas LhaL had goLLen
losL somewhere along Lhe paLh of modernlzaLlon. 8uL Lhe manner ln whlch he
has sklllfully comblned Lhese LradlLlonal meLhods wlLh Lhe beneflLs of modern
meLhods Lo geL a contemporary vers|on of the vernacu|ar ls whaL ls ouLsLandlng.
1hls, ln our oplnlon, ls Lhe Lrue deflnlLlon of green archlLecLure".
"lntroducinq Lourie 8oker to the wor/d is /ike introducinq who/e-wheot to o
sudden/y heo/th-conscious wor/d." 6outom8hotio
koof: 1he mosL promlnenL archlLecLural elemenL LhaL capLures Lhe
culLure of a reglon ls Lhe roof as lLs deslgn develops ln a unlque
manner accordlng Lo Lhe cllmaLe of LhaL reglon. alllkoodam's
dynamlc roof form ls noLhlng new, lL ls character|st|c of o|d kera|a
arch|tecture, lncludlng Lhe gab|e w|ndows aL lLs ends for llghL and
venLllaLlon, whlch evolved Lo LhaL parLlcular shape ln order Lo
adapL Lo Lhe excesslve ralnfall LhaL ls experlenced by Lhe sLaLe.
"1he necessity for speed wos one of the biq foctors thot contributed to thot breok with trodition."
-Lourie 8oker
lronlcally, Man's aLLempLs aL balanclng boLh naLure and Lhe bullL envlronmenL are
provlng Lo be less frulLful wlLh developmenL ln Lechnology. WlLh concreLe [ungles sprouLlng
from grass where meadows should have been, archlLecLure has become one of Lhe maln
facLors LhaL affecL naLure.
Susta|nab|||ty has become Lhe need of Lhe hour. Powever, Lhe herd-menta||ty
prevalllng ln Lhe world Loday ls promoLlng anonymous bu||d|ngs w|thout
human connect|ons on a large scale. 1hls creaLes a feellng of unfam|||ar|ty
|n the m|nds of the peop|e lnhablLlng Lhem, Lhus formlng a klnd of
lmpersonal envlronmenL whlch demoLes lndlvldual response Lo
sLlmull. AcLlon has Lo be Laken before Lhlngs geL ouL of hand. We
need Lo lnsLlll ln Lomorrow's leaders Lhe urgency of susta|nab|e
||v|ng ln order Lo coexlsL ln harmony wlLh naLure's forces. 1hls
can only be carrled ouL by breedlng creat|v|ty and
|nd|v|dua||st|c th|nk|ng among young m|nds.and whaL beLLer
way Lo geL Lhe message across Lhan Lhrough an educat|ona|
And so began our search for such a school one LhaL would
noL only eplLomlze beLLer meLhods of malnLalnlng
equlllbrlum wlLh naLure archlLecLurally, buL also lnLellecLually,
Lhrough people.
1alklng abouL lnsLlLuLlons, one of Lhe foremosL LhaL comes Lo mlnd ls
Lhe Mahlndra unlLed World College. SlLuaLed on Lhe ouLsklrLs of une,
Lhls bullL space ma|nta|ns the equ|||br|um of nature ln lLs Lrue sense.
8ullL lnLo Lhe Sahyadrl mounLalns, Lhe archlLecL ChrlsLopher 8ennlnger
has carefully used Lhe slLe senslbly so as Lo produce Lhe leasL ecologlcal
lmpacL on lLs surroundlngs.
Some trad|t|ona| Ind|an e|ements llke seaLlng 'oLLas', 'kund-llke sLeps' have
been lncorporaLed ln Lhe deslgn. 1he maLerlals sysLem LhaL ls used here ls Lhe
one LhaL has been used for Lhe flve hundred years. 8uL Lhese old sysLems are used
ln new ways Lo focus on hllls, sun seLs and Lo capLure vlews. AcLlvlLy rooms are
under skyllghLs orlenLed Lo caLch Lhe suns rays as lL arches around Lhe space from
dawn Lo dusk. 1o prevenL Lhe dusL from enLerlng, small cuL-ouL wlndows are provlded
whlch allow one Lo peer Lhrough a sequence of many parallel walls. 1he roofs are
covered wlLh Mangalore Llles lefL ln Lhelr naLural red and amber hues.
1he physlcal plan of Lhe campus encourages personal developmenL and 'small group
lnLeracLlons'. 1he bu||d|ng fabr|c uses |oca| mater|a|s and trad|t|ona| concepts yet
contemporary p|ans and forms. lL re[ecLs caplLal lnLenslve 'machlne orlenLed' consLrucLlon
Lechnlques and favours |abour-|ntens|ve methods, whlch enhance Lhe lncome of Lhe lndlgenous
people. All Lhe mater|a|s are energy eff|c|ent and Lhe Lechnlques lnvolved respecL Lhe sklll of Lhe
crafLsmen. 1he bullL space ls also |ow ma|ntenance, and c||mate fr|end|y, glvlng lnsulaLlon from
exLreme heaL and shade from Lhe sun.
1he Mahlndra unlLed World College has l8 ulploma rogramme course. 1hls means LhaL lL baslcally deals
wlLh sevenLeen Lo elghLeen year old mlnds. 8y Lhls age a person has already developed on many fronLs. We
belleve LhaL Lhe pr|mary schoo| age group |s the |dea| age aL whlch Lhe young mlnds can be molded Lo Lhlnk
dlfferenLly, Lo sLep ouL of Lhe box, to make a d|fference. And LhaL ls where Lhe bullL envlronmenL around Lhem
plays a vlLal role...
1hls school, deslgned by Ar. nlLln klllawala, ls nesLled amldsL natura| greenery ln a small Lown
called valsad, on Lhe ouLsklrLs of Cu[araL. 1he flrsL Lhlng LhaL sLruck us when we saw Lhe
sLrucLure was lLs s|mp||c|ty and lLs openness. AlLhough Lhe campus ls qulLe blg and has a
clusLer of bulldlngs spread over lL, we malnLalned our focus on Lhe rlmary secLlon, whlch
conslsLed of 8 classrooms poslLloned ln an lnLeresLlng manner around an open courtyard.
1he sLrucLure preserves Lhe reglon-speclflc Lechnlques wlLh lLs usage of typ|ca| s|op|ng roofs
wlLh Manga|ore t||es, br|ck wa||s and courtyards. ln facL, Lhe courLyard serves as an
lnLeracLlng cenLre where Lhe chlldren can geL LogeLher and communlcaLe wlLh each oLher on a more personal level Lhrough
games, assemblles, eLc. lLs mosL promlnenL feaLure ls Lhe c|erestory whlch allows amp|e ||ght Lo enLer as well as keeps Lhe place
we||-vent||ated Lhereby reduclng Lhe need for fans and llghLs and Lhus conserv|ng energy.
Powever, alLhough Lhls sLrucLure preserves energy on one level wlLh naLural llghLlng and venLllaLlon, we dldn'L really see how only
Lhese prlnclples could be applled Lo oLher bulldlngs Lo obLaln a more eco-frlendly envlronmenL and hence had Lo conLlnue our search
for a more promlslng slLe.
Wa||s: 8rlck screen walls were anoLher lmporLanL feaLure ln old
kerala's archlLecLure. Pere, baked brlcks are used and Lhey
ma|nta|n a coo| temperature wlLhln Lhe sLrucLure ln conLrasL Lo
Lhe hoL and humld macro-cllmaLe.
1he [aall work ln Lhe walls are an
appllcaLlon of kerala's LradlLlonal
wooden [aa||s whlch were laLer
modlfled Lo avold Lhe usage of wood.
1hls lnLrlcaLe brlck paLLern noL only
reduces Lhe number of brlcks used -
maklng lL cosL effecLlve - buL also
lllumlnaLes Lhe lnLerlors wlLh d|ffused
||ght|ng and glves unlque aesLheLlcs Lo Lhe
sLrucLure's facade.
AL cerLaln polnLs Lhe brlcks are placed aL
alLernaLe angles wlLh each oLher, Lhus
performlng Lhe same funcLlon of a
louvered wlndow.
I|oor: ked-ox|de f|oor|ng, whlch ls dlsLlncLlve
of old SouLh-lndlan sLyle floorlng, has been
used exLenslvely ln Lhe lnLerlors as well as Lhe
8elng a LradlLlonal form of floorlng, lL ls
compleLely organ|c |n nature and cosL-
effecLlve. lL ls a klnd of floorlng LhaL ls very
dlfflculL Lo lay buL mosL of lLs crafLsmen are
from Lhe norLhern parL of Lhe sLaLe and are
well versed wlLh Lhe
meLhod, maklng lL
convenlenL Lo use.
LxLerlor floorlng ls a|ong the contours of the s|te and Louched up uslng Lhe
slLe's sLones and pebbles along wlLh cemenL. ln Lhls manner, Lhe s|te's
mater|a|s are recyc|ed, brlnglng Lhe carbon fooLprlnL Lo almosL nll.
Moreover, naLure flnds lLs way Lhrough Lhe floorlng ln Lhe form of moss and
Lhls growLh ls lefL undlsLurbed as Lhe sLone grlps prevenL lL from geLLlng
||nth: ln Lhe LradlLlonal bulldlngs of kerala, Lhe pllnLh
was ralsed Lo proLecL Lhe sLrucLure from dampness and
lnsecLs ln Lhe Lroplcal cllmaLe. 1he same has been
applled Lo Lhe school.
8rlckwork seaLlng has been
lncorporaLed lnLo Lhe pllnLh lLself,
Lhus reduclng Lhe use of wood
or meLal furnlLure. SLonework
has sLrlcLly been used for Lhe
pllnLh Lo proLecL Lhe brlck walls
from belng affecLed by Lhe
angle of Lhe ralnfall.
A space where Lhe preferred and Lhe perce|ved envlrons
are boLh ln compleLe unlson would be a comforLable
space. 1oday lL ls a general norm Lo separaLe Lhe Lwo.
ldeally, space ls Lo be deslgned accordlng Lo Lhe needs
of an lndlvldual. lL won'L be used unless lL reaches Lhe
deslred comforL level of Lhe user. 8uL Lhe herd menta||ty LhaL prevalls ln Lhe world Loday
has Laken archlLecLure Lo a polnL where no one pays aLLenLlon Lo Lhe needs of Lhe
lndlvldual user and hence lL loses ouL on lLs
Powever, ln lnsLlLuLlonal bulldlngs such as Lhls one,
where Lhe space ls meanL Lo be |nteract|ve and encouraglng creat|ve th|nk|ng
among young mlnds, Lhls facLor becomes more slgnlflcanL.
1he curvlng brlck walls malnLaln Lhe flowlng effecL of Lhe sLrucLure. 1he
meanderlng brlck facade and Lhe
absence of separaLlng walls
beLween Lhe classrooms generaLe
an |nnovat|ve |earn|ng
env|ronment wlLhln Lhe bullL
envlronmenL whlch ls more hablLable
for sLudenLs as lL ellmlnaLes Lhe Lyplcal
lmage of a classroom. 1hus, Lhe chlld
feels less lnLlmldaLed and
has Lhe freedom Lo move around ln search of learnlng and play.
"1he phi/osophy of the schoo/ roomin one
qenerotion wi// be the phi/osophy of the 6overnment
in the next."
- 4brohomLinco/n
1he success or fallure of a Lruly susLalnable bullL
envlronmenL ls [udged by Lhe facL LhaL wheLher Lhe
macro-c||mate of LhaL place ls ln comp|ete contrast
Lo Lhe m|cro-c||mate of Lhe bullL space. alllkoodam
scores full marks on Lhls regard.
LocaLed ln a Lown ln cenLral kerala, Lhe slLe
experlences plenLlful ralns and generous sunshlne
Lyplcal of Lhe reglon's cllmaLe.
WlLh Lhe Lyplcal kerala weaLher belng hoL and humld,
we had worked up a sweaL by Lhe Llme we Look a slngle round of Lhe
sLrucLure. 8uL enLerlng Lhe sLrucLure was a pleasanL rellef because of Lhe
exposed brlck walls and Lhe floorlng havlng a coo||ng effect wlLhln Lhe lnLerlor
envlronmenL and Lhus malnLalnlng a pleasanL mlcro-cllmaLe wlLhouL Lhe ald
of any exLernal agenLs.
lndlscrlmlnaLe use of waLer ls a cause of
concern for Loday's envlronmenLallsLs we've
been drawlng from our waLer reserves, rapldly
depleLlng Lhem, wlLhouL sparlng a LhoughL
abouL Lhe dlsasLrous consequences of ever
reduclng waLer Lables.
1he slLe makes a genulne efforL Lo address Lhls lssue by ensurlng LhaL
maxlmum ralnwaLer percolaLes back lnLo Lhe waLer Lable. Mlnlmal use of
asphalL and concreLe pavlng as well as plenLlful use of porous brlck causes
ralnwaLer Lo seep lnLo Lhe ground and noL slmply draln off as surface runoffs.
"l hove never doubted thot in o country /ike
ours, ony of us hos ony riqht to squonder or
woste, or use unnecessori/y money, moterio/s
or enerqy."
- Lourie 8oker
1hls process helps recharge water reserves
and compleLes Lhe waLer cycle.
AL a Llme when dlfferenL places across Lhe
world are falllng woefully shorL of Lhe
expecLed waLer supply needs, alllkoodam ls
a unlque example where Lhey are compleLely
lndependenL of Lhelr Munlclpal waLer supply.
All Lhelr waLer needs are Laken care of by Lhe ground water lLself and LhaL ls
belng "off the gr|d" - Lhe road Lowards Lrue susLalnablllLy.
LveryLhlng LhaL we have ls because of Lhe sun,
1he sun ls Lhe creaLor of all llfe.
Llke Lhls anclenL pagan phllosophy, alllkoodam ls also deslgned concedlng
LhaL Lhe sun plays a vlLal role ln nurLurlng young mlnds, re[uvenaLlng Lhelr
souls and blossomlng Lhelr buds.
ln alllkoodam, llghL fllLers Lhrough Lhe
skyllghLs of Lhe plLched roofs and Lhe
meanderlng brlck walls laced wlLh cuL ouLs
creaLlng an |nterest|ng p|ay of v|stas
brlnglng ouL Lhe free flowlng paLLern of Lhe

1he consLanL lnflux of sunllghL lnLo Lhe
sLrucLure brlngs wlLh lL anoLher lssue LhaL of heaLlng up Lhe alr wlLhln Lhe
school. lf noL Laken care of, Lhls would lead Lo a sharp rlse ln lnLernal
LemperaLure. Pere, Lhe soluLlon has been found ln slmple yeL effecLlve
Lechnlques open|ngs |n the roof s|abs and c|erestory w|ndows allow Lhe hoL
alr Lo rlse and escape, creaLlng convecLlonal currenLs LhaL consLanLly brlng ln
cool alr and malnLaln clrculaLlon.
A [udlclous use of bulldlng maLerlals goes a long way ln achlevlng
susta|nab|||ty and reduclng Lhe overall env|ronmenta| |mpact. Pere,
broken, chlpped or damaged Mangalore Llles have been used ln flller
slabs Lhey acL as lnsulaLors and cuL down Lhe need for sLrucLural
sLeel. LxcavaLed soll ls reused Lo level oLher areas on Lhe slLe, and
sLones and pebbles from Lhe slLe lLself are embedded ln mud or
cemenL and used as pavlng maLerlal. A hollsLlc approach Lowards
cuLLlng down on dlscardlng maLerlals and flndlng lnnovaLlve uses for
Lhem has gone a long way ln maklng Lhe sLrucLure 'greener'.
1he school belleves ln geLLlng Lhe maxlmum ouL of naLural sources of energy, and largely
relles on sun||ght and w|nd Lo Lake care of lLs llghLlng and venLllaLlon needs. lLs
archlLecLure succeeds ln creaLlng an envlronmenL so comforLable,
Lhe need for appllances llke alr condlLloners ls enLlrely ellmlnaLed,
drasLlcally br|ng|ng down power consumpt|on. 1he supplemenLary
energy requlremenLs are fulfllled Lhrough Lhe use of alLernaLlve
energy resources, l.e. so|ar pane|s. 1hus, Lhe slLe ls compleLely self
sufflclenL ln Lerms of lLs power generaLlon, noL havlng Lo rely on any
exLernal sources of energy.
AlLhough Lhe archlLecL's lnLenLlon was Lo purely reduce Lhe cosL of maklng wlndows, llLLle dld
he know LhaL he was lnLroduclng Lo Lhe world a compleLely eco-frlendly meLhod of llghLlng
and venLllaLlon. 1hls ln Lurn reduces Lhe usage of llghLs, fans, eLc. Lhereby conservlng energy.
Lnergy ln any form should noL be wasLed. Lspeclally noL Lhose of young creaLlve mlnds, who
wlll be drlvlng naLlons forward. 8elng a modern school, lL sLlll encompasses a loL of Lhe old
Guruku| values malnly learnlng ln Lhe lap of naLure. 1he spaces are so amblguous and
lnLeracLlve LhaL Lhe mlnds of Lhe sLudenLs are noL bogged down by Lhe dreary, mundane rlgld
sysLems of oLher schools, Lhereby always keep Lhelr splrlLs hlgh and ln Lhe mood Lo learn and
explore. 1hls we Lhlnk ls Lhe essence of all educaLlon.
SLeel has a heavy carbon fooLprlnL buL ls a necessary evll when lL comes Lo relnforclng roof
slabs. 8aker's f|||er s|ab reduces Lhe usage of sLeel by almosL o, Lhereby reduclng lLs
Slnce only |oca||y ava||ab|e mater|a|s have been used for Lhe bulldlng's
consLrucLlon, Lhe energy LhaL goes lnLo Lhelr LransporLaLlon Lo Lhe slLe ls
reduced, Lhus reduclng Lhe overall carbon fooLprlnL of Lhe sLrucLure.
Also slnce |oca| craftsmen and |abourers were used, Lhere has been no
masslve mlgraLlon of people from Lhe vlllages Lo Lhe clLles whlch essenLlal for
lowerlng Lhe carbon fooLprlnL.

ArchlLecLure ls Lhe play of llghL. ln alllkoodam Lhls
concepL ls Laken Lo Lhe nexL level. 1he numerous cut outs
and [aa||s ln Lhe brlck walls and Lhe sky ||ghts ln Lhe
plLched roofs allow llghL Lo flow ln from varlous angles
creaLlng lnLeresLlng paLLerns on Lhe floors and Lhe walls aL
dlfferenL Llmes of Lhe day. 1hls also ensures LhaL Lhere ls
least dependence on art|f|c|a| ||ght|ng.
1he plan has been allgned ln such a way Lo maxlmlse Lhe
lmpacL of Lhe wlnds. 1he [aalls and skyllghLs make sure
LhaL venLllaLlon ls Laken care of.
ln a consclous efforL Lo reduce lLs dependence on arLlflclal
agenLs, Lhe school ls deslgned so as Lo maxlmlze Lhe lnflux
of naLural llghL and venLllaLlon.
1he brlck [aalls are Lhe mosL promlnenL feaLures of Lhe
sLrucLure and ls responslble malnly for Lhe naLural
lllumlnaLlon and venLllaLlon of Lhe school. AparL from Lhese, several openlngs doL Lhe
sLrucLure - ranglng from skyllghLs Lo cleresLory wlndows, all funcLlonlng Lo leL ln ample
dlffused llghLlng, enhance cross venLllaLlon and allow hoL alr Lo escape.
"Liqht, 6od's e/dest douqhter, is o principo/ beouty in o bui/dinq."
-1homos lu//er
alllkoodam was deslgned and consLrucLed a|ong the contours of Lhe slLe wlLhouL any klnd of
levellng done Lo lL, every Lree, shrub and sapllng was accounLed for. lL ls as lf Lhe bullL space
[usL rose from Lhe earLh Lo compleLely merge wlLh Lhe
surroundlng landscape. 1he sLrucLure ls surrounded by lush
greenery, wlLh some of lL even flndlng Lhelr way lnLo Lhe
sLrucLure. When Lhe blrds LweeL and bulld Lhelr homes ln Lhe
warm crevlces of Lhe bullL space, when splders spln Lhelr
webs ln Lhe maln walkways, when Lrees and shrubs sprlng up
from wlLhln Lhe lnLeracLlve spaces
connecLlng Lhe classrooms, shadlng
Lhe sLudenLs from Lhe harsh mld day
sun symbollzlng Lhe reallLles of Lhe ouLslde world, you know Lhere ls a
b|urred ||ne between the bu||t and the un-bu||t env|ronment, one [usL
spllls lnLo Lhe oLher. Moss ls allowed Lo grow along Lhe curvlllnear walls,
leaves LhaL are shed on Lhe roofs are seldom cleared away. 1hls
consensual encroachmenL of flora lnLo Lhe sLrucLure plays an lmporLanL
parL ln blendlng lL wlLh Lhe envlronmenL Lhereby relnforclng Man's
connect|on w|th Nature.
A bullL space ls sald Lo be Lruly susLalnable when lL has Lhe
leasL lmpacL on lLs surroundlngs. Such a space would be
cheap, envlronmenL frlendly and LoLally lnLrlnslc Lo Lhe
reglon lL ls from. 1hls ls where archlLecLs have Lo play a
ma[or role. 1hey have Lhe power Lo declde Lhe fuLure
course of Lhls generaLlon and Lhey have Lo make
respons|b|e cho|ces.
AL a Llme when Lhe fleld of archlLecLure and bulldlng
consLrucLlon ls dlrecLly responslble for global warmlng, alllkoodam plays a very lmporLanL
role ln showlng Lhe way forward.
lL ls a space where Lhe percelved and preferred envlrons are boLh ln perfecL unlson. Cne does
noL have Lo use Lhe means of arLlflclal heaLlng, coollng and venLllaLlon Lo brldge Lhe gulf
beLween Lhe Lwo.
ln alllkoodam, Lhe bullL and Lhe un-bullL envlronmenL are ln
compleLe harmony wlLh each oLher. 1here ls no clear
dlsLlncLlon beLween Lhe Lwo. Cne seamlessly blends lnLo Lhe
oLher so much so LhaL one could be forglven Lo mlsLake Lhe
school Lo have [usL rlsen from Lhe ground. 8aker has used Lhe
slLe conLours very senslbly maklng sure Lo have leasL cuL and
flll operaLlons. All Lhe bulldlng maLerlals used have been
procured from Lhe vlclnlLy lLself Lhereby savlng on a loL of
LransporLaLlon expenses and malnLalnlng Lhe mlnlmum
amounL of acLlvlLy on slLe. Also local crafLsmen and workers have been used. 1he mosL
lmporLanL aspecL ls LhaL Lhls bullL envlronmenL has ma|nta|ned the equ|||br|um of the
psycho|og|ca| surround|ngs. uslng trad|t|ona| techn|ques whlch are lnLrlnslc Lo kerala, Mr.
8aker has successfully lnLegraLed a conLemporary school lnLo a place Lhey call Cod's own
counLry. 8especLlng Lhe senslblllLles of Lhe Cods would noL have been an easy Lask.
"1here is nothinq in which the birds differ more frommon thon the woy in which they con
bui/d ond yet /eove o /ondscope os it wos before."
- kobert Lynd
"8ecouse we don't think obout future qenerotions, they wi// never forqet us."
- nenrik 1ikkonen

G|oba||zat|on has made
the who|e wor|d
sma||er they say,
8ut |s th|s the |egacy
we wou|d ||ke to |eave
for the com|ng
generat|ons to pay.
Lmpty g|ass facades and face|ess e|evat|ons dot
every space,
Lveryth|ng seems to have the same base|ess
No heart, no sou|, no |nner karma,
1he |andscape |ooks the same from here to
1he blggesL predlcamenL LhaL archlLecLs, Loday have
Lo face ls how noL Lo bllndly ape bulldlng Lechnlques
and eLhos from one place Lo anoLher. Space speaks,
space breaLhes space llves and Lhe same space cannoL be
Lhe same everywhere.
keeplng Lhls ln mlnd lL ls very lmporLanL Lo noLe LhaL Lhere ls no
'8aker sLyle' of archlLecLure. 1hls ls [usL a popular myLh. Slmply havlng
exposed brlck sLrucLures wlLh sloplng roofs ln any parL of Lhe world would be
dolng gross ln[usLlce Lo Lhe ldeas and phllosophles of such a dlgnlfled personallLy.
1he crux lles ln Lhe ldeologles of Lhe man. Pe hlmself says LhaL he has noL dlscovered anyLhlng new. Pe has
merely red|scovered trad|t|ona| techn|ques and |deas whlch have been losL somewhere down Lhe llne.
WhaL Laurle 8aker has done ln kerala cannoL and should noL be repllcaLed anywhere else. lL ls hls
phllosophles LhaL are unlversal and whlch have Lo be undersLood and pracLlced.
Lvery reglon wlll have lLs own unlque archlLecLure. lLs own unlque sLyle. lL ls Lhls sLyle LhaL should be
recreaLed, re[uvenaLed and reused for lL ls Lhls sLyle LhaL glves us our |nd|v|dua| character. A characLer LhaL
deflnes us, descrlbes us and compleLes us and LhaL ls someLhlng LhaL should noL be forgoLLen.
LeL's face lL. Lrred we have. lor long we have been scraLchlng our heads, groplng
ln Lhe dark, belng muLe specLaLors Lo Lhe crlmes and aLroclLles belng commlLLed
agalnsL naLure. 1echnology, progress, lndusLrlallzaLlon have been Lhe drlvers of
Lhls change Loward a globallzed seamless world. At what cost?
uwlndllng ralnforesLs, melLlng glaclers, fauna on Lhe verge of exLlncLlon, loss of
lndlvldual ldenLlLy.Is th|s what we want the future generat|ons to be grow|ng
up w|th?
lL ls Llme Lo sLep up, sLep up and make a dlfference, be counLed. 1o Lake
responslblllLy for our acLlons. Its t|me to make a stand.
ArchlLecLs Loday have Lhe consclenLlousness Lo lead Lhe way. lL ls Lhe need of
Lhe hour Lo bulld spaces LhaL are ln sync wlLh Lhe envlronmenL NC1 agalnsL lL.
"My observotion is thot vernocu/or orchitecture
o/most o/woys hos qood onswers to o// our
prob/ems. ln every district, wherever you qo, the
peop/e themse/ves toke on octive port in mokinq
their houses". - Lourie 8oker
"l c/oimto be o simp/e individuo/ /iob/e to err /ike ony other fe//ow morto/. l
own, however, thot l hove humi/ity enouqh to confess my errors ond to retroce
my steps
- Mohondos 6ondhi

8aker's answer Lo us|ng trad|t|ona| techn|ques wh||e a|so tak|ng
benef|ts from new mater|a|s was Lhe f|||er s|ab, whlch noL only
reduces Lhe relnforcemenL sLeel and Lhe overall cosL by
reuslng maLerlals buL also reduces Lhe welghL of Lhe roof
and has lnsulaLlng properLles. lL ls used ln Lhe school's roof
and ls an apL porLrayal of Lhe 8aker-sLyle unlon of
vernacular and conLemporary archlLecLure.
SecLlon AA'
SecLlon 88'
vlew of enLrance
8oof proflle of Lhe LradlLlonal
kerala archlLecLure.

llller slab seen ln round roof celllng.
llller slab seen ln round roof celllng.
!aall work on Lhe wall
1radlLlonal wooden [aalls
lloorlng of round room
llnLh formlng seaLs
wlLhln sLrucLure
SLone pllnLh
Lh quallLy flles used ln flller slabs.
8rlck arches are used Lo avold
Lhe use of wood ln wlndows
llller slab deLalls.
Solar panels
AdmlnlsLraLlon LnLrance lobby vlew of classroom from hallway SkeLch showlng sky-llghL
CompleLely open classroom
A cozy classroom
Sand plL
LlghL flows ln Lhrough Lhe brlck [aall work.
vlew of raln waLer dralns
Lhrough clrcular arch
vlew of openlngs ln Lhe celllng.
lanL llfe along Lhe roof-llne
Surroundlng planL llfe