B. ARCH. III YR
•Laurie Baker is one of the very few architects who has had the opportunity and the
stamina to work on such a remarkably varied spectrum of projects ranging from
fishermen’s villages to institutional complexes and from low-cost mud housing
schemes to low cost cathedrals.
•Throughout his practice, he became well known for designing and building low cost,
high quality, beautiful homes, with a great portion of his work suited to or built for
lower-middle to lower class clients.
•His buildings tend to emphasize prolific masonry construction, instilling privacy and
evoking history with brick jaliwalls, a perforated brick screen which invites a natural
air flow to cool the buildings' interior, in addition to creating intricate patterns of light
•Another significant Baker feature is irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with
one side left open and tilting into the wind.
• Baker's designs invariably have traditional Indian sloping roofs
and terracotta Mangalore tile shingling with gables and vents allowing rising hot air
•Curved walls enter Baker's architectural vocabulary as a means to enclose more
volume at lower material cost than straight walls, and for Laurie, "building [became]
more fun with the circle.
If burnt-brick is available, and if a
nine-inch thick wall is required, then
twenty-five per cent of the total
number of bricks, and of the cost of
the wall, can be saved by using a
'rat-trap' bond. It is simple to build,
looks well, has better insulation
properties and is as strong as the
ordinary solid nine-inch thick brick
Door frames cost a lot of money and
are often not actually necessary.
This picture shows how planks can
be screwed together by strap iron
hinges to form a door, and this
carried by 'hold-fasts' built into the
wall, thus eliminating the outer door
Bricks are often slightly irregular in
length. So even if we can get a smooth
'fair face' on one side of a wall, the other
side will be lumpy and irregular.
Therefore, many builders say we must
plaster the wall. But plaster is costly (it
accounts for up to ten per cent of the
total cost of a building).
The sketch and the plan show how the
mortar can fill over the sunken end of
the brick to produce a special fair face
on the second side of the wall. Plaster is
not required and a pleasing pattern has
been made. Besides it has no painting
and maintenance costs.
• The Hamlet', Laurie Baker's home in Thiruvananthapuram, built on a
steeply sloping and rocky hillside that hardly had any vegetation when
Baker started constructing it , is now a visual delight.
• STEPS DIRECTLY CUT IN ROCK
• THE WALL IS DECORATED FROM BROKEN POTTERY, PENS, GLASS
• A CALLING BELL FOR VISITORS TO ANNOUNCE THEIR PRESENCE
• USE OF NATURAL LIGHT
• NEVER CUT TREES INSTEAD ADAPTED HIS DESIGN ACCORDINGLY
• COURTYARD HAS MANY GARDENS AND PONDS
• PITCHED ROOF MADE OF MANGLORE TILES
• GABLES FOR PROPER AIR CIRCULATION AND VENTILATION
• SIMPLE AND COST EFFECTIVE WINDOWS
• GRILL MADE OF BITS AND PIECES
• CONICAL STRUCTURE USED.
• LOUVERED WINDOW
• STAINED GLASS EFFECT
• WATER TANK FOR STORING RAIN HARVESTED WATER
• After the arrival of the Portugese and the capture of Cranganore by them,
the jews, who settle down there,and in the immediate neighbourhood
experienced a second dispersion in their history in Malabar.Their colony was
burnt by Portugese.They came over to Cochin and the Raja of
Cochin,extended them a kind welcome,and granted them a site for building
houses and a place of worship.
• This free gift of land enabled therm to build this town, according to their
traditional custom.The houses were built contiguously, so that, they may all
together form as it were one house with many compartments. The idea
underlying it is, the oneness of the community.
• The houses are fashioned more or less on the dutch style, and are large and
well ventilated ones and are almost similar in their outward appearence.
• The projections in the walls of the house are the outlets to let out water
from upstairs when washed.
• Residential buildings resemble Kerala type in external appearance.
• Ground floor is used as shops and first floor has the rooms.
• Frontage along the sides are continuous with adjoining buildings.
•The Paradesi Synagogue is the
oldest active synagogue in
the Commonwealth of
Nations, located in Kochi, Kerala,
in South India.
• It was built in 1568 by the Malabar
Yehudan people or Cochin
•Paradesi word is applied to the
synagogue because it was
historically used by "White Jews", a
mixture of Jews from Cranganore,
the Middle East, and
•The synagogue is located in the
quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew
Town, and is the only one of the
seven synagogues in the area still in
•The complex has four buildings.
• The Loyala complex contains a high school and post-graduate
complex, both sharing a common chapel and an auditorium.
• In at attempt to construct both the auditorium and the chapel
within the budget for only one building Baker realized that the cost
of placing one large hall above the other would be far too
• He proposed instead to put them side by side, and decided that the
biggest cost-reducing factor would be to avoid the use of steel and
reinforced concrete, and to use load-bearing walls with a timber
roof frame carrying an asbestos sheet roof.
• In order to increase the lateral strength of the high brick wall,
without the introduction of any steel or concrete, Baker devised a
wide cavity double-wall with cross-bracing brick.
LAURIE BAKER'S CENTRE FOR
DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (CDS),
• The campus for the research institute, Centre for Development
Studies, is located in a residential area on the northern outskirts of
• The 10 acre campus stretching across a heavily wooded site houses
the Library, Computer centre, Auditorium, hostels, guesthouses and
residential units for the staff.
• The design is a response to the sloping contoured site and seems to
grow out of it.
• There is hardly a straight line with each structure curling in waves,
semicircles and arcs.
• Baker pays careful attention to the contours on the site and also the
location of trees.
• Often, when trees are obstructing the building, Baker simply moulds
his walls around the trees so as not to disturb it.
• There are little courtyards in between buildings, often acting as an
extension of the building itself and also pools of water which help in
microclimatic control through evaporative cooling.