“I HAVE MY OWN PRINCIPLES WHICH I AM UNWILLING TO ABANDON. I DISLIKE FALSEHOOD & DECEIT. A BUILDING SHOULD BE TRUTHFUL.”
Laurence Wilfred Baker
• Laurence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker (2 March 1917 – 1 April 2007) was a British-born
• Graduated from Birmingham School of Architecture, 1937.
• Cost-effective energy-efficient architecture.
• Unique space utilisation & simple but aesthetic sensibility.
• Simple designs with local materials.
• Approach to sustainable & organic architecture.
• "Gandhi of architecture".
• Low cost, high quality.
• Bare brick masonry construction.
• Brick jali walls inviting a natural air flow to cool interiors, & creating intricate
patterns of light &shadow.
• Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open & tilting into
• Traditional Indian sloping roofs & terracotta Mangalore tile shingling
with gables & vents allowing rising hot air to escape.
• Curved walls as a means to enclose more volume at lower material cost than
straight & to provide ready-made shelves.
• Use of local materials eliminates transport costs.
• Use of low energy consuming mud walls, using holes in the wall to get light.
• Using overlaid brick over doorways, incorporating places to sit into the structure,
An alternative to normal
English bond masonry
walls by which 15% of cost
can be reduced without
compromising the quality,
strength and appearances.
Employ replacing unproductive
concrete by a 'Filler' material
which reduces weight & cost of
slab by reducing amount of
concrete used. Also, since weight
of slab is thus reduced, lesser
reinforcement, further reducing
• Provide a structure which
eliminates tensile stresses
in spanning an open space.
• All forces are resolved into
building materials such as
stone, cast iron & concrete
compression but are very
weak when tension, shear
or torsional stress is
applied to them.
• An arch which has
been rotated around
its central vertical
• Have a great deal of
when properly built
& can span large
open spaces without
screen for light &
ventilation & for
interplay of light &
• Contribute in cost
lowering number of
LAURIE BAKER CENTRE FOR HABITAT
• Located in the Nooliyode Village in Vilappilsala
Panchayat, 12 kms away from the centre of
• Campus Area: 3.34 acre (1.35 hectares)
• An undulating piece of land dense with trees and other
flora and fauna.
• Five buildings that represent the last set of buildings
personally designed & built by Laurie Baker:
o an office
o a kitchen with a dining hall
o a dormitory to house 16 persons with a lecture hall
o a guest house to house seven persons
o a tower that houses a rain water harvesting tank & a
view tower where discussion sessions can be held.
• Built on stone quarry.
• No foundations used.
LAURIE BAKER CENTRE FOR
LAURIE BAKER CENTRE FOR
The Indian Coffee House,
• Conceived as a continuous gentle spiral ramp, with a central circular service core
& with dining spaces provided on the outer side.
• Only jalis for ventilation & to let in light.
• Well proportioned, a cylindrical brick-red spiral continuing for a couple of floors &
then terminating in a smaller cylindrical volume on top, giving a very
unsymmetrical balance to whole structure.
• Central circular service consisting of 2 concentric circles.
• Inner smaller circular core is a narrow vertical shaft, for ventilation to central
areas, open on the top, with openings at different levels.
• Walls made of exposed brickwork painted over – white on inner side & brick-red
• Built-in furniture: Table consists of a concrete slab fixed to wall & with a semicircular taper on one side, resting on a small brick arch which serves as legs.
• Absolutely no use of plasters, paints and other embellishments.
• Brick jali- integral to Baker’s vocabulary.
• Use of wooden jail.
• Overlapping brick joinery details.
• Cool interiors.
• Bare structural members.
• Simple spaces in organic forms.
• Negative spaces turned intelligently into useful ones by incorporating storage or
• Low cost construction without compromising with architectural essence to
• Energy efficient.