Laurie Baker – The Gandhi Of Architecture

Laurence Baker is the pioneer of vernacular architecture. It inspires one to use locally available construction materials and traditional building methods. These kinds of architecture are low-cost and highly energy efficient.

Laurie Baker used naturally occurring local materials to construct sustainable buildings. Laurie Baker found the urgency to build buildings that are highly energy-efficient long before global warming was a global concern. Gandhi’s speeches on the usage of local materials in construction deeply moved him and inspired him.


He was not inclined to the usage of concrete in construction. One of the main constituents of concrete is cement. Yet it is the most hazardous construction material for the environment. Baker did not have any plans drafted using a similar formula for every situation. Instead, he created unconventional construction methods on-site meeting the requirements of his clients.

Bakers’ choice of construction materials changed based on the purpose of each project. He improved, innovated, and improvised at every stage of construction.



Some Of The Construction Techniques Used By Laurie Baker

Laurie Baker was the first person to have introduced the rat-trap bond in Kerala in the 1970s. It is a double-walled construction that reduces the cost of a building significantly. It minimizes the usage of mortar and acquires thermal efficiency without sabotaging the strength of the wall. The gap formed between the bricks due to the vertical alignment creates an internal cavity. This reduces the usage of construction materials by 30%. It nоt оnly сuts the соst оf the оverаll building but it аlsо yields thermаl energy аnd mаkes the аrсhiteсture eсоnоmiсаl аnd energy effiсient.

Some of the other techniques used by him are utilizing filler slabs, arches, and domes. Arches and domes provide immense structural strength to a building.


The utilization of terracotta roofing and flooring is eco-friendly and has high durability. Using frameless doors and windows, brick jali walls, curved walls, latticed brick walls were some of the other commonly used building techniques used by Laurie Baker.

Baker commonly used mud in his construction as it is highly energy-efficient and not at all harmful to the environment. He let the trees live by adapting them as a part of his design.

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