“I have my ownprinciples, which I amunwilling to abandon. Idislike falsehood anddeceit. A building shouldbe truthful.” - LaurieBaker. (1917-2007)
Born Laurence Wilfred Bakerin Birmingham in 1917Trained at the BirminghamSchool of Architecture 1937.Through Quaker friends, he metMahatma Gandhi, who sent him tosee the citys concrete slums andasked the young architect to thinkabout better ways of housing Indiaspoor.Inspired by Gandhischallenge, Baker wenthome to England andpromptly returned toIndia .
‘Bricks to me are like faces.’ All of them are made of burnt mud, but they vary slightly in shape and colour. I think these small variations give tremendous character to a wall made of thousands of bricks, so I never dream of covering such a unique and characterful creation with plaster, which is mainly dull and characterless.”Quotes I like the contrast of textures of brick, of stone, of concrete, of wood.
Quotes People in most countries of the world are accusing their architects of failing to produce a modern form of their own previously distinctive architectural styles!
Quotes “I dont think Ive ever been inspired by what other architects have done but more by what ordinary craftsmen have created. “
ArchitecturalPrinciples•Cost-effectiveness•Use of locally availablematerials•Respect for nature•Avoidance of energy-intensivematerials• Wastage minimization tocreate low-cost, beautiful, highquality buildingswhich long pre-empted modernconcepts such as eco-friendliness andsustainable architecture.
"Cost-effectivehouses are not justfor the poor, theyare for everyone.”The equation that a cost-effective house is a house forthe poor, implying a badlooking house, can definitelybe proved wrong.This entireclassification iswrong."
“The practice of anarchitect cannot bedivorced from thatof a builder. “Architecture as a craft meansits theory and its practice areindivisible.
Construction techniques •Use of Rat Trap Bond •Filler Slab •Arches •Corbelling •Terracotta Roofing
Baker also innovateddifferent bondingtechniques for brick,which allowed him tobuild of half- brickthickness.To add rigidity,many a times thesewalls were designedin a stepped orcurved form.
Stairwell in NaliniNayaks residence inThiruvananthapuram,Perforated brickwallscreate dappledpatternsof light.
Bakers innovativeuse of discardedbottles, inset inthe wallAt Col. Jacobs residence inThiruvananthapuram,creates a stainedglass effect.
Laurie Baker has notturned his back on themodern world; the homesand offices he has built haverunning water, electricity, andsometimes garages.But in his embrace ofbrick, mud, bamboo, and muchmore, Baker has done whattragically few people in anyfield in the Third Worldhave done, which is to beintelligently selectiveabout what they take
In an era of superstararchitects designingmuseums more famous thanthe artwork theydisplay and skyscrapers astestaments to corporatepower,Baker’s philosophy is awelcome change.“My feeling is that you’re not tryingto put up a monument which will beremembered as ‘Laurie Baker’sBuilding,’ but Mohan Singh’shouse where he can live happily withhis family.”- Baker.
Bakers great sorrow about Indian government policymakersM YOPI A was that "They havent the faith in their own materials.“ And I would add “within themselves also.”