Due to innumerable requests and emails, please find below some information for those of you looking to build a cost-effective house based on Laurie Baker's principles.
- Laurie Baker passed away in 2007.
- Baker did not have an architectural firm. He had no associates or architects working for him.
- He designed by himself and used a team of masons, carpenters and labourers who he trained himself to build his houses and public buildings.
- An unplastered brick building is not a Baker building, it is just an unplastered building. On the other hand, a painted building could also be a Baker building.
- Laurie Baker did not believe in a "Baker model" house that was based on superficial elements - jalis, arches, exposed brick - using these does not mean you are following Baker's design philosophy
CHECKLIST TO IDENTIFY IF A HOUSE IS BUILT PER BAKER'S PRINCIPLES:
- Any house that:
- uses locally available materials (wood, stone, brick,mud, bamboo,etc)
- builds along the lay of the land instead of levelling it
- uses materials energy efficient in their manufacture
- minimises damage to the environment
- eliminates unnecessary wasteful architectural elements
- employs rain-water harvesting, good ventilation and natural lighting design
- is built uniquely to meet the real needs of the house owner
- A house that features the above qualities that may look vastly different from an exposed brick house with jalis, arches, filler slab and rat-trap bond masonry is a true Baker house
WANT TO BUILD A BAKER HOUSE?
With that in mind, these are some organizations that claim to follow the above design and architectural principles that Baker held dear.
We cannot vouch for the extent to which these organizations are following, exceeding or not exceeding Baker's principles outlined above. We leave it up to your personal judgement once you meet with them to come to that conclusion yourselves. Please note again we are only providing contacts of firms that claim to follow a similar design philosophy, and not recommending them as "Official Laurie Baker" firms.
COSTFORD (Kerala) - http://www.costford.com/ - Contact: Mr. P.B. Sajan
Inspiration (Kerala) - http://inspire-india.com/ - Contact: Mr. Jaigopal
Habitat Technology Group (Kerala) - http://www.habitattechnologygroup.org/ - Contact: Mr. Shankar
Architecture Autonomous (Goa) - http://www.archgoa.org/ - Contact: Mr. Gerard da Cunha
Besides the above mentioned organizations there are several architects around India, in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharastra, etc who as individuals have adopted some aspects or have been influenced by Laurie Baker's work. If you want to be sure that you are engaging architects or a firm who are actually following Baker's principles just check if the houses they have built or plan to build for you adhere to the check-list given above.
WANT A JOB OR INTERNSHIP?
Remember Laurie Baker is no more and he had no architectural firm. So if you are looking for a job or internship, this website and the Baker family cannot help unfortunately. You may try contacting the organizations listed above and decide whether they might provide you with the experience you are looking for.
If you would like to learn about Laurie Baker's architectural and design ideas and do some practical hands-on building you may also contact the Laurie Baker Centre which runs periodic courses for architectural students and practising architects. Find more information about the Centre here:
Laurie Baker Centre - http://www.lauriebakercentre.org/
The Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies (LBC) was created by his friends, students and admirers to propagate his philosophy of the concept of sustainable development through research, extension, training, documentation, dissemination and networking. At its core, it is intended to include such areas as design and use of appropriate materials for buildings, creation of support facilities such as sanitation and drinking water, waste treatment, water harvesting and management, land development, promotion of non-conventional and eco-friendly sources of energy and creation of awareness of the need for sustainable development.
LBC Summer School 2014: LBC Summer School 2014 will be held during the period 19 May 2014 to 1 June 2014.
LBC-NASA Exposure Programme : In 2012 the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies has launched an exposure programme for students of architecture in different colleges in the country. For this a memorandum of understanding was signed with the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA) to conduct a three day exposure programme on cost effective design techniques and principles. Under this programme architecture students from different colleges were exposed to alternatives in architecture that are cost effective, affordable, environment friendly and aesthetically appealing building construction techniques along with topics in habitat studies. A framework for this programme was anchored in the concept of Green Economy. During 2012 ten such training programmes have been conducted with an enrolment of around 700 students. The programme was a combination of lecture sessions, hands-on training, field visits, films and interactive sessions. The enthusiastic participation of the students had made this programme a great success and the LBC proposes to continue the programme in the years to come.
India Winterim Programme : In collaboration with its sister organization COSTFORD, the LBC has been organizing an international training and visit programme since 2010. Such a programme is being conducted in collaboration with the International Development Programme called The India Winterim Programme, organized by the University of IOWA, USA. The students in this programme came from different disciplines spend a period of sixteen days.
Summer School on Green Habitat : The LBC is in the process of designing a summer school with a duration of three weeks for those interested in gaining knowledge in Green Habitat that will include architecture, cost-effective and affordable building construction, alternatives in energy, waste management, spatial planning, as well as economic and social issues related to Green Economy. This Summer Schoolis intended for senior students as well as young professional architects, planners, engineers, social activists as well as policy advisers.
For more information visit: http://www.lauriebakercentre.org/