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Laurence WilfredLaurence Wilfred
LAURIE BAKERLAURIE BAKER
HITKARINI COLLEGE OF
ARCHITECTURE AND TOWN
Laurie Baker, an architect fromLaurie Baker, an architect from
Birmingham, now settled inBirmingham, now settled in
Thiruvananthapuram, has effectivelyThiruvananthapuram, has effectively
combined traditional techniques withcombined traditional techniques with
indigenous innovations and has managedindigenous innovations and has managed
to bring down the cost of construction byto bring down the cost of construction by
His techniques not only use cheaperHis techniques not only use cheaper
materials but also eliminate redundantmaterials but also eliminate redundant
details from the design.details from the design.
Concrete is rarely used. Mangalore tilesConcrete is rarely used. Mangalore tiles
are used for the roof which makes itare used for the roof which makes it
light and inexpensive.light and inexpensive.
► His approach and simple principles to low cost housing areHis approach and simple principles to low cost housing are
Gandhian, which can be adopted by every builder. The followingGandhian, which can be adopted by every builder. The following
are the mainstay of design and construction of his houses.are the mainstay of design and construction of his houses.
► Planning of spacePlanning of space– lesser walls, multiple uses of space, short– lesser walls, multiple uses of space, short
spans of roof, agglomeration of building services, flexibility inspans of roof, agglomeration of building services, flexibility in
► Local building material–Local building material– bricks, tiles, lime, surkhi, timber,bricks, tiles, lime, surkhi, timber,
thatch, stone, palm, mud.thatch, stone, palm, mud.
► Bricks and jalisBricks and jalis – play of light and shade, unidirectional vision.– play of light and shade, unidirectional vision.
► Unplastered walls.Unplastered walls.
► Lintels and arches.Lintels and arches.
► Attention to details.Attention to details.
► Baker’s works include, private residences,Baker’s works include, private residences,
some institutional buildings, like ‘centersome institutional buildings, like ‘center
for development studies’, Kerala. He isfor development studies’, Kerala. He is
very active in the works of all the buildingvery active in the works of all the building
centers working in Kerala as well as in thecenters working in Kerala as well as in the
other parts of country. Rather it was hisother parts of country. Rather it was his
initial effort to promote the low costinitial effort to promote the low cost
housing in India, where housing is a bighousing in India, where housing is a big
► His techniques not only use cheaperHis techniques not only use cheaper
materials but also eliminate unnecessarymaterials but also eliminate unnecessary
details from the design. Concrete isdetails from the design. Concrete is
sparingly used. Mangalore tiles are usedsparingly used. Mangalore tiles are used
for the roof which makes it light andfor the roof which makes it light and
Architectural styleArchitectural style
► Designing and building low cost, highDesigning and building low cost, high
quality, beautiful homesquality, beautiful homes
► Suited to or built for lower-middle toSuited to or built for lower-middle to
lower class clients.lower class clients.
► Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs,Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs,
with one side left open and tilting into thewith one side left open and tilting into the
BrickBrick jalijali walls, awalls, a
perforated brick screenperforated brick screen
which utilises natural airwhich utilises natural air
movement to cool themovement to cool the
home's interior andhome's interior and
create intricatecreate intricate
patterns of light andpatterns of light and
► Baker's designs invariably haveBaker's designs invariably have
traditional Indian sloping roofs andtraditional Indian sloping roofs and
terracottaterracotta MangaloreMangalore tile shinglingtile shingling
withwith gablesgables and vents allowing risingand vents allowing rising
hot air to escape.hot air to escape.
► Curved walls to enclose more volume atCurved walls to enclose more volume at
lower material cost than straightlower material cost than straight
► Baker was often seen rummagingBaker was often seen rummaging
through salvage heaps looking forthrough salvage heaps looking for
suitable building materials, doorsuitable building materials, door
and window frames.and window frames.
► Baker's architectural method isBaker's architectural method is
of improvisation.of improvisation.
► Initial drawings have only anInitial drawings have only an
idealistic link to the finalidealistic link to the final
construction, with most of theconstruction, with most of the
accommodations and designaccommodations and design
choices being made on-site bychoices being made on-site by
the architect himselfthe architect himself
His respect for nature led himHis respect for nature led him
to let the idiosyncrasies of ato let the idiosyncrasies of a
site inform his architecturalsite inform his architectural
improvisations, rarely is aimprovisations, rarely is a
topography line marred or atopography line marred or a
tree uprooted.tree uprooted.
►This saves construction costThis saves construction cost
as well, since working aroundas well, since working around
difficult site conditions isdifficult site conditions is
much more cost-effectivemuch more cost-effective
Baker created a cooling system byBaker created a cooling system by
placing a high, latticed, brick wall nearplacing a high, latticed, brick wall near
a pond that uses air pressurea pond that uses air pressure
differences to draw cool air throughdifferences to draw cool air through
the buildingthe building
►. His responsiveness to never-identical. His responsiveness to never-identical
site conditions quite obviously allowedsite conditions quite obviously allowed
for the variegation that permeates hisfor the variegation that permeates his
LOW COSTLOW COST
20-35% Less materials
Decorative, Economical & Reduced
Almost maintenance free
25-30% Cost Reduction
Energy saving & Eco-Friendly
Decorative & Highly
•Energy saving eco-friendly compressive
•Decorative & Highly Economical for larges
•Energy saving eco-friendly compressive
•Decorative & Economical
LOW COSTLOW COST
Low cost constructionsLow cost constructions
•Traditional spanning sytem.
•Highly decorative &
•Less energy requirement.
BAKER’S HOUSE, “THE HAMLET”BAKER’S HOUSE, “THE HAMLET”
► Baker’s own residence isBaker’s own residence is
called ‘The Hamlet’. It hascalled ‘The Hamlet’. It has
been built inbeen built in
Thiruvananthapuram, built onThiruvananthapuram, built on
a steeply sloping and rockya steeply sloping and rocky
hillside that hardly had anyhillside that hardly had any
vegetation when Bakervegetation when Baker
started constructing.started constructing.
► Baker has truly adopted hisBaker has truly adopted his
motto to “make low-costery amotto to “make low-costery a
habit and a way of life” byhabit and a way of life” by
reusing everything, fromreusing everything, from
brick to glass bottles, asbrick to glass bottles, as
building materials.building materials.
• Key features of his house are:
All the walls are made of mud bricks.
Timber salvaged from an old boat jetty.
► One of the other signatureOne of the other signature
elements of his designelements of his design
includes the use of circularincludes the use of circular
walls, which use far lesswalls, which use far less
brick than rectangular walls.brick than rectangular walls.
► In addition, when he doesIn addition, when he does
use concrete for a roof, heuse concrete for a roof, he
embeds chipped or brokenembeds chipped or broken
terra cotta roofing tilesterra cotta roofing tiles
into the mixture.into the mixture.
► These tiles, which normallyThese tiles, which normally
would be thrown away,would be thrown away,
contribute to the strengthcontribute to the strength
of the roof, allow less ofof the roof, allow less of
the expensive concrete tothe expensive concrete to
be used, and reduce thebe used, and reduce the
structural load of thestructural load of the
► He used broken tiles forHe used broken tiles for
the outer paved area of histhe outer paved area of his
► He made an extensive use ofHe made an extensive use of
timber in his house, like in thetimber in his house, like in the
living room of house, theliving room of house, the
detailing in wood and muddetailing in wood and mud
bricks are wonderful.bricks are wonderful.
► The living room, An integrationThe living room, An integration
of new building and salvagedof new building and salvaged
timber from traditionaltimber from traditional
buildings that were beingbuildings that were being
► Baker's innovative use ofBaker's innovative use of
discarded bottles, inset in thediscarded bottles, inset in the
walls giving a very good effectwalls giving a very good effect
of light and creating an illusionof light and creating an illusion
of stained glass.of stained glass.
PLAN AND ELEVATIONPLAN AND ELEVATION
UP TO FRONT
A VIEW FROM THE
CUT IN ROCK
AREA FOR GUESTS
THE WALL IS
A CALLING BELL FOR
VISITORS TO ANNOUNCE
A MORNING AT HEMLET
USE OF NATURAL LIGHT
USE OF NATURAL LIGHT
INNER COURTYARD …CLOSE TO NATUREINNER COURTYARD …CLOSE TO NATURE
NEVER CUT TREES INSTEAD ADAPTEDNEVER CUT TREES INSTEAD ADAPTED
HIS DESIGN ACCORDINGLYHIS DESIGN ACCORDINGLY
ARCHES LED INTO A
COURTYARD HASCOURTYARD HAS
MANY GARDENSMANY GARDENS
AND PONDSAND PONDS
FONDNESS OFFONDNESS OF
SIMPLE YETSIMPLE YET
GABLES FORGABLES FOR
PROPER AIRPROPER AIR
GRILL MADE OF BITS AND PIECESGRILL MADE OF BITS AND PIECES
CONICAL STRUCTURE USED…CONICAL STRUCTURE USED…
COST EFFECTIVECOST EFFECTIVE
BAKER’S WINDOWBAKER’S WINDOW
typical of baker’s type
STAINED GLASS EFFECTSTAINED GLASS EFFECT
Mrs Nalini Nayak`s residenceMrs Nalini Nayak`s residence
(A Social(A Social
Ulloor, Trivandrum (1971)Ulloor, Trivandrum (1971)
• Meeting place.
• working place (training).
• Open spaces.
• Classroom & dormitories.
External ViewsExternal Views
Generous sprawling ground floor withGenerous sprawling ground floor with
three floor staking of pentagonthree floor staking of pentagon
► The main house is formed by a simpleThe main house is formed by a simple three-three-
floorfloor stacking of thestacking of the pentagonpentagon on nine-inch-on nine-inch-
thick brick wallsthick brick walls
► internally each floor divides into the bedroom,internally each floor divides into the bedroom,
bath and landingbath and landing
► The additional segment on the ground, formingThe additional segment on the ground, forming
the living/dining and kitchen, is structured withthe living/dining and kitchen, is structured with
bays of half-brick thickness, alternating wallbays of half-brick thickness, alternating wall
and wall and doorand wall and door
Ground floor plan
The EntranceThe Entrance
View of entrance from living roomView of entrance from living room
floor bedroom entrance.
Common door for entry and
Jali wallsJali walls
Sun light merging
Jali window.Jali window.