Laurie Baker



Social responsibility, research on cost-effective building systems and the interest in India’s vernacular construction methods define the work of Laurie Baker, who passed away at the age of 90 in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, India. Born to a methodist family in Birmingham, Lawrence Wilfred Baker graduated in 1937 from the School of Architecture of that same city. During World War II he served in China and Burma. Influenced by Quaker beliefs and by the figure and example of Mahatma Ghandi, he decided to settle in India for good in 1945, where he initiated his architectural practice joining a missionary team to repair and build leper asylums. In the sixties decade he moved with his family to Kerala, where most of his pieces are located: mainly exposed brick structures for the poor and communal facilities built by local craftsmen with reused materials and with a minimum use of steel and concrete. Baker, an architect able to transform the limitations of the context into virtues, as in the Centre for Development Studies (1972), received the Order of the British Empire in 1983.

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