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/