Charles Correa – Church At Parumala and Belapur Housing

CHURCH AT PARUMALA

  • The church can accommodate 2000 people inside the walls and 3000 outside.
  • The form of the church has been derived from  tri-partite structure of  Coptic  and Syrian traditions .
  • However the rituals themselves , with the faithful sitting and kneeling on the floor are completely indigenous.

BELAPUR HOUSING

  • Project demonstrates how high density housing (500 people per hectare) can be achieved in a low-rise typology, while including open to sky spaces and services, like schools, that the community requires
  • Overriding principle – to give each unit its own site to allow for expansion (Incrementality)
  • Consequently, families do not share walls with their neighbors , allowing each to expand his own house (Participation)
  • Houses constructed simply and can be built by traditional masons and craftsmen – generating employment for local workers (Income generation)
  • several plans exist that cover the social spectrum, from squatters to upper income families (Pluralism)
  • Yet, the footprint of each plan varies little in size (from 45 sqm to 70 sqm), maintaining equity (fairness) in the community
  • Scheme caters wide range from the lowest budgets of Rs 20000, Middle income groups Rs 30000-50000 and Upper income Rs 180000.
  • Though ratio of costs is 1:5 the variation of plot is much smaller , from 45 to 75 square metres.
  • Seven units are grouped of 8×8 meters
  • 3 cluster combine to form a larger module of 21 houses surrounding space of 12×12 metres
  • 3 such modules interlock to define the next scale of community space approximately 20×20 metres
  • The houses are structurally simple , can be built and altered by local mistries
  • Scheme caters wide range from the
  • lowest budgets of Rs 20000, Middle income groups Rs 30000-50000, Upper income Rs 180000
  • Though ratio of costs is 1:5 the variation of plot is much smaller , from 45 to 75 square metres.
  • Seven units are grouped of 8×8 meters
  • 3 cluster combine to form a larger module of 21 houses surrounding space of 12×12 metres
  • 3 such modules interlock to define the next scale of community space approximately 20×20 metres
  • The houses are structurally simple , can be built and altered by local mistries

Charles Correa:

Education

  • 1946-1948 inter-science. St. Xavier’s college, university of Bombay
  • 1949-1955 B.Arch., University of Michigan.
  • 1953-1955 M.Arch., Massachusetts institute of technology.

Professional Experience

  • 1955-1958 partner with G.M. BHUTA associates
  • 1958- to date in private practice.
  • 1964-1965 prepared master plan proposing twin city across the harbor from Bombay.
  • 1969-1971 invited by the govt. of Peru
  • 1971-1975 chief architect to CIDCO
  • 1975-1976 consultant to UN secretory-general for HABITAT
  • 1975-1983 Chairman Housing Urban Renewal & Ecology Board
  • 1985 chairman dharavavi palnning commision

About him:

  • Born into a middle-class Catholic family in Bombay
  • Became fascinated with the principles of design as a child
  • At Michigan two professors who influenced him the most – Walter Salders and Buckminister Fuller.
  • Kevin lynch , then in the process of developing his themes for image of the city triggered Correa’s interest in urban issues
  • ‘India of those days was a different place, it was a brand-new country, there was so much hope; India stimulated me.’
  • —Architect, planner, activist and theoretician, an international lecturer and traveler.
  • —Correa’s work in India shows a careful development, understanding and adaptation of Modernism to a non-western culture. Correa’s early works attempt to explore a local vernacular within a modern environment. Correa’s land-use planning and community projects continually try to go beyond typical solutions to third world problems.
  • —India’s first man of architecture has a very simple philosophy: “Unless you believe in what you do, it becomes … boring,”

AWARDS:

  • 1961 Prize for low-income housing early
  • 1972 Correa was awarded the PadmaShri by the President of India
  • 1980 Correa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Michigan
  • 1984 He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal          Institute of British Architects
  • 1985 Prize for the Improvement in the Quality of Human
  • Settlements from the International Union of Architects.
  • 1986 Chicago Architecture Award.
  • 1987 the Gold Medal of the Indian Institute of Architects
  • 1990 the Gold Medal of the UIA (International Union of Architects)
  • 1994 the Premium Imperial from Japan society of art.
  • 1999 Aga khan award for vidhan sabha, bhopal

Diversity

  • In Bombay – Salvacao Church at Dadar ; Kanchanjunga Apartments
  • In Goa for the Cidade de Goa Hotel and the Kala Academy,
  • In Ahmedabad – Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya ; Ramkrishna House
  • Delhi – The LIC Centre; British Council Building
  • Kerala – Kovalam Beach Resort Hotel
  • Andamans – Bay Island Hotel in Port Blair

Architectural utility and grandeur spread over the subcontinent

Principles

  • Few cardinal principles in his vast body of work;
  • incrementality
  • pluralism
  • participation
  • income generation
  • equity
  • open-to-sky space
  • disaggregation.

Belapur housing being the one project where he has literally used these principals

Correa and Corbusier

Like most architects of his generation he has been influenced by Le Corbusier , but by his response to the Mediterranean sun with his grand sculptural decisions he believes that Corbusier’s  influence in the colder climates has not been beneficial because these heroic gestures had to withdraw into defensible space, into mechanically heated (and cooled) interiors of the building.

On way back to Bombay in 1955 – saw the Jaoul House (le Corbusier)  in Paris under construction

‘I was absolutely knocked out . It was a whole new world way beyond anything being taught in America at that time .then I saw Chandigarh and his buildings in Ahmedabad . They seemed the only way to build.”

Correa and Gandhi

  • Gandhi’s goal for an independent India had been a village model, non-industrial, its architecture simple and traditional
  • In these early works Correa demonstrates uncompromising execution of an idea as a powerful statement of form

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Charles Correa – Kovalam Beach Resort

About the building:

  • Accommodates 300 guests  , centers for massages and yoga,  water sport etc.
  • The facilities had to be deployed in the manner which would create a critical mass for each activity and at a time open up several strategic  points  on the site so as to increase future growth  options.
  • The master plan there fore does not concentrate all the facilities in one area , but generate a large number of potential growth points, thus allowing a more flexible response to future demands .
  • The guest rooms come in 3 configurations-:
  1. On the edge of the beach hidden under the palm trees . They are suits for longer stay with cooking facilities etc.
  2. overlooking the beach there are 100 guests rooms. Here the facilities are such that every room gets its own private sundeck..
  3. Between these two are private detach ho units .
  • Construction is in traditional vernacular of Kerala-: plaster walls with red tiled roofs
  • Other pavilion consists of little bamboo chhatries with coir matins on the floor and local Kerala handicrafts.

Charles Correa:

Education

  • 1946-1948 inter-science. St. Xavier’s college, university of Bombay
  • 1949-1955 B.Arch., University of Michigan.
  • 1953-1955 M.Arch., Massachusetts institute of technology.

Professional Experience

  • 1955-1958 partner with G.M. BHUTA associates
  • 1958- to date in private practice.
  • 1964-1965 prepared master plan proposing twin city across the harbor from Bombay.
  • 1969-1971 invited by the govt. of Peru
  • 1971-1975 chief architect to CIDCO
  • 1975-1976 consultant to UN secretory-general for HABITAT
  • 1975-1983 Chairman Housing Urban Renewal & Ecology Board
  • 1985 chairman dharavavi palnning commision

About him:

  • Born into a middle-class Catholic family in Bombay
  • Became fascinated with the principles of design as a child
  • At Michigan two professors who influenced him the most – Walter Salders and Buckminister Fuller.
  • Kevin lynch , then in the process of developing his themes for image of the city triggered Correa’s interest in urban issues
  • ‘India of those days was a different place, it was a brand-new country, there was so much hope; India stimulated me.’
  • —Architect, planner, activist and theoretician, an international lecturer and traveler.
  • —Correa’s work in India shows a careful development, understanding and adaptation of Modernism to a non-western culture. Correa’s early works attempt to explore a local vernacular within a modern environment. Correa’s land-use planning and community projects continually try to go beyond typical solutions to third world problems.
  • —India’s first man of architecture has a very simple philosophy: “Unless you believe in what you do, it becomes … boring,”

AWARDS:

  • 1961 Prize for low-income housing early
  • 1972 Correa was awarded the PadmaShri by the President of India
  • 1980 Correa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Michigan
  • 1984 He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal          Institute of British Architects
  • 1985 Prize for the Improvement in the Quality of Human
  • Settlements from the International Union of Architects.
  • 1986 Chicago Architecture Award.
  • 1987 the Gold Medal of the Indian Institute of Architects
  • 1990 the Gold Medal of the UIA (International Union of Architects)
  • 1994 the Premium Imperial from Japan society of art.
  • 1999 Aga khan award for vidhan sabha, bhopal

Diversity

  • In Bombay – Salvacao Church at Dadar ; Kanchanjunga Apartments
  • In Goa for the Cidade de Goa Hotel and the Kala Academy,
  • In Ahmedabad – Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya ; Ramkrishna House
  • Delhi – The LIC Centre; British Council Building
  • Kerala – Kovalam Beach Resort Hotel
  • Andamans – Bay Island Hotel in Port Blair

Architectural utility and grandeur spread over the subcontinent

Principles

  • Few cardinal principles in his vast body of work;
  • incrementality
  • pluralism
  • participation
  • income generation
  • equity
  • open-to-sky space
  • disaggregation.

Belapur housing being the one project where he has literally used these principals

Correa and Corbusier

Like most architects of his generation he has been influenced by Le Corbusier , but by his response to the Mediterranean sun with his grand sculptural decisions he believes that Corbusier’s  influence in the colder climates has not been beneficial because these heroic gestures had to withdraw into defensible space, into mechanically heated (and cooled) interiors of the building.

On way back to Bombay in 1955 – saw the Jaoul House (le Corbusier)  in Paris under construction

‘I was absolutely knocked out . It was a whole new world way beyond anything being taught in America at that time .then I saw Chandigarh and his buildings in Ahmedabad . They seemed the only way to build.”

Correa and Gandhi

  • Gandhi’s goal for an independent India had been a village model, non-industrial, its architecture simple and traditional
  • In these early works Correa demonstrates uncompromising execution of an idea as a powerful statement of form

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LAURIE BAKER – FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE

LIFE HISTORY:

(March 2, 1917 – April 1, 2007) British-born Indian architect

  • He went to India in 1945 in part as a missionary and since then lived and worked in India for over 50 years
  • He obtained Indian citizenship in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala.
  • In 1990, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in recognition of his meritorious service in the field of architecture.
  • Baker studied architecture in Birmingham and graduated in 1937, aged 20, in a period of political unrest for Europe.
  • During the Second World War, he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit in China and Burma.

CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

  • Worked as an architect for an international and interdenominational Mission dedicated to the care of those suffering from leprosy.
  • Focused on converting or replacing asylums once used to house the ostracized sufferers of the disease – “lepers”.
  • Used  indigenous architecture and methods of these places as  means to deal with his once daunting problems.

Initial work

  • Baker lived in Kerala with Doctor P.J. Chandy,
  • He received great encouragement and later married his sister
  • while Laurie continued his architectural work and research accommodating the medical needs of the community through his constructions of various hospitals and clinics.
  • Baker sought to enrich the culture in which he participated by promoting simplicity and home-grown quality in his buildings.
  • His emphasis on cost-conscious construction,
  • An ideal that the Mahatma expressed as the only means to revitalize and liberate an impoverished India

Architectural style:

  • Designing and building low cost, high quality, beautiful homes
  • Suited to or built for lower-middle to lower class clients.
  • Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open and tilting into the wind.
  • Brick jali walls, a perforated brick screen which utilises natural air movement to cool the home’s interior and create intricate patterns of light and shadow
  • Baker’s designs invariably have traditional Indian sloping roofs and terracotta Mangalore tile shingling with gables and vents allowing rising hot air to escape.
  • Curved walls to enclose more volume at lower material cost than straight walls,
  • Baker was often seen rummaging through salvage heaps looking for suitable building materials, door and window frames.
  • Baker’s architectural method is of improvisation.
  • Initial drawings have only an idealistic link to the final construction, with most of the accommodations and design choices being made on-site by the architect himself
  • His respect for nature led him to let the idiosyncrasies of a site inform his architectural improvisations, rarely is a topography line marred or a tree uprooted.
  • This saves construction cost as well, since working around difficult site conditions is much more cost-effective than clear-cutting
  • Baker created a cooling system by placing a high, latticed, brick wall near a pond that uses air pressure differences to draw cool air through the building
  • His responsiveness to never-identical site conditions quite obviously allowed for the variegation that permeates his work.

LOW COST CONSTRUCTION

  • Filler slab : Advantages:
    • 20-35% Less materials
    • Decorative, Economical & Reduced self-load
    • Almost maintenance free
    • 25-30% Cost Reduction
  • Jack Arch:Advantages :
    • Energy saving & Eco-Friendly compressive roofing.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Dome, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical for larges spans.
    • Maintenance free
  • Funnicular shell, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Arches,Advantages:
    • Traditional spanning sytem.
    • Highly decorative & economical
    • Less energy requirement.

Awards:

  • 1981: D.Litt conferred by the Royal University of Netherlands for outstanding work in the Third World
  • 1983: Order of the British Empire, MBE
  • 1987: Received the first Indian National Habitat Award
  • 1988: Received Indian Citizenship
  • 1989: Indian Institute of Architects Outstanding Architect of the Year
  • 1990: Received the Padma Sri
  • 1990: Great Master Architect of the Year
  • 1992: UNO Habitat Award & UN Roll of Honour
  • 1993: International Union of Architects (IUA) Award
  • 1993: Sir Robert Matthew Prize for Improvement of Human Settlements
  • 1994: People of the Year Award
  • 1995: Awarded Doctorate from the University of Central England
  • 1998: Awarded Doctorate from Sri Venkateshwara University
  • 2001: Coinpar MR Kurup Endowment Award
  • 2003: Basheer Puraskaram
  • 2003: D.Litt from the Kerala University
  • 2005: Kerala Government Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2006: L-Ramp Award of Excellence
  • 2006: Nominated from the Pritzker Prize

FISHERMEN’S  VILLAGE, Poonthura ,Trivandrum(1974-75):

CHALLENGES:

  • Severity of environment in which the tribal’s live.
  • Limitation of resources
  • Conventional architects stayed away from these projects
  • Dealing with large insular groups, with set ideas and traditions.
  • Dealing with cyclones

Area of each unit : 25 sqm

Design strategies:

  • Construction:
    • Exposed brickwork and structure
    • Sloped concrete roof
    • Openness in design and individual units offset each other
    • Continuous latticework
    • in the exposed walls
  • Dealing With Cyclones:
    • Low sloped roofs and courts serve as wind catchers
    • Open walls function to dispel it
    • Long row of housing replaced by even staggering
    • Fronting courts catch the breeze and also get view of sea
  • Open Spaces
    • Little private rectangle of land in between houses for drying nets , kids play,
    • Provides sleeping lofts within and adequate space outside for mending nets and cleaning and drying fish


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LAURIE BAKER – Mrs Nalini Nayak’s residence and Computer Centre at Ulloor

LIFE HISTORY:

(March 2, 1917 – April 1, 2007) British-born Indian architect

  • He went to India in 1945 in part as a missionary and since then lived and worked in India for over 50 years
  • He obtained Indian citizenship in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala.
  • In 1990, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in recognition of his meritorious service in the field of architecture.
  • Baker studied architecture in Birmingham and graduated in 1937, aged 20, in a period of political unrest for Europe.
  • During the Second World War, he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit in China and Burma.

CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

  • Worked as an architect for an international and interdenominational Mission dedicated to the care of those suffering from leprosy.
  • Focused on converting or replacing asylums once used to house the ostracized sufferers of the disease – “lepers”.
  • Used  indigenous architecture and methods of these places as  means to deal with his once daunting problems.

Initial work

  • Baker lived in Kerala with Doctor P.J. Chandy,
  • He received great encouragement and later married his sister
  • while Laurie continued his architectural work and research accommodating the medical needs of the community through his constructions of various hospitals and clinics.
  • Baker sought to enrich the culture in which he participated by promoting simplicity and home-grown quality in his buildings.
  • His emphasis on cost-conscious construction,
  • An ideal that the Mahatma expressed as the only means to revitalize and liberate an impoverished India

Architectural style:

  • Designing and building low cost, high quality, beautiful homes
  • Suited to or built for lower-middle to lower class clients.
  • Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open and tilting into the wind.
  • Brick jali walls, a perforated brick screen which utilises natural air movement to cool the home’s interior and create intricate patterns of light and shadow
  • Baker’s designs invariably have traditional Indian sloping roofs and terracotta Mangalore tile shingling with gables and vents allowing rising hot air to escape.
  • Curved walls to enclose more volume at lower material cost than straight walls,
  • Baker was often seen rummaging through salvage heaps looking for suitable building materials, door and window frames.
  • Baker’s architectural method is of improvisation.
  • Initial drawings have only an idealistic link to the final construction, with most of the accommodations and design choices being made on-site by the architect himself
  • His respect for nature led him to let the idiosyncrasies of a site inform his architectural improvisations, rarely is a topography line marred or a tree uprooted.
  • This saves construction cost as well, since working around difficult site conditions is much more cost-effective than clear-cutting
  • Baker created a cooling system by placing a high, latticed, brick wall near a pond that uses air pressure differences to draw cool air through the building
  • His responsiveness to never-identical site conditions quite obviously allowed for the variegation that permeates his work.

LOW COST CONSTRUCTION

  • Filler slab : Advantages:
    • 20-35% Less materials
    • Decorative, Economical & Reduced self-load
    • Almost maintenance free
    • 25-30% Cost Reduction
  • Jack Arch:Advantages :
    • Energy saving & Eco-Friendly compressive roofing.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Dome, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical for larges spans.
    • Maintenance free
  • Funnicular shell, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Arches,Advantages:
    • Traditional spanning sytem.
    • Highly decorative & economical
    • Less energy requirement.

Awards:

  • 1981: D.Litt conferred by the Royal University of Netherlands for outstanding work in the Third World
  • 1983: Order of the British Empire, MBE
  • 1987: Received the first Indian National Habitat Award
  • 1988: Received Indian Citizenship
  • 1989: Indian Institute of Architects Outstanding Architect of the Year
  • 1990: Received the Padma Sri
  • 1990: Great Master Architect of the Year
  • 1992: UNO Habitat Award & UN Roll of Honour
  • 1993: International Union of Architects (IUA) Award
  • 1993: Sir Robert Matthew Prize for Improvement of Human Settlements
  • 1994: People of the Year Award
  • 1995: Awarded Doctorate from the University of Central England
  • 1998: Awarded Doctorate from Sri Venkateshwara University
  • 2001: Coinpar MR Kurup Endowment Award
  • 2003: Basheer Puraskaram
  • 2003: D.Litt from the Kerala University
  • 2005: Kerala Government Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2006: L-Ramp Award of Excellence
  • 2006: Nominated from the Pritzker Prize

Mrs Nalini Nayak`s residence,(A  Social Worker), Ulloor, Trivandrum (1971)

Requirements:-

  • Meeting place.
  • working place (training).
  • Open spaces.
  • Classroom & dormitories.

Features:

  • External Views: Generous sprawling ground floor with three floor staking of pentagon
  • The main house is formed by a simple three-floor stacking of the pentagon on nine-inch-thick brick walls
  • internally each floor divides into the bedroom, bath and landing
  • The additional segment on the ground, forming the living/dining and kitchen, is structured with bays of half-brick thickness, alternating wall and wall and door
  • Built furniture of bricks
  • 1st floor bedroom entrance: Common door for entry and bathroom
  • Jali walls: Sun light merging inwards.

COMPUTER CENTRE, Ulloor, Trivandrum (1971)

Challenges :

  • Solution of Computer Centre Design Problems
  • Fitting in naturally and harmoniously with the elevations of the twenty five year old institution

Features:

  • Using principle of lattice wall planning, breezeways and built of natural brick and stone keeping in consideration the electronic sophistication
  • He proposed a double walled building with an outer surface of intersecting circles of brick jalis
  • Internal shell fulfilled the constraints and controls necessary for a computer laboratory.
  • Space between the two walls accommodated the secondary requirements for offices and storage areas.
  • Two storeyed outer wall is stiffened by a series of intersecting circles,

 

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LAURIE BAKER – The Hamlet

LIFE HISTORY:

(March 2, 1917 – April 1, 2007) British-born Indian architect

  • He went to India in 1945 in part as a missionary and since then lived and worked in India for over 50 years
  • He obtained Indian citizenship in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala.
  • In 1990, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in recognition of his meritorious service in the field of architecture.
  • Baker studied architecture in Birmingham and graduated in 1937, aged 20, in a period of political unrest for Europe.
  • During the Second World War, he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit in China and Burma.

CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

  • Worked as an architect for an international and interdenominational Mission dedicated to the care of those suffering from leprosy.
  • Focused on converting or replacing asylums once used to house the ostracized sufferers of the disease – “lepers”.
  • Used  indigenous architecture and methods of these places as  means to deal with his once daunting problems.

Initial work

  • Baker lived in Kerala with Doctor P.J. Chandy,
  • He received great encouragement and later married his sister
  • while Laurie continued his architectural work and research accommodating the medical needs of the community through his constructions of various hospitals and clinics.
  • Baker sought to enrich the culture in which he participated by promoting simplicity and home-grown quality in his buildings.
  • His emphasis on cost-conscious construction,
  • An ideal that the Mahatma expressed as the only means to revitalize and liberate an impoverished India

Architectural style:

  • Designing and building low cost, high quality, beautiful homes
  • Suited to or built for lower-middle to lower class clients.
  • Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open and tilting into the wind.
  • Brick jali walls, a perforated brick screen which utilises natural air movement to cool the home’s interior and create intricate patterns of light and shadow
  • Baker’s designs invariably have traditional Indian sloping roofs and terracotta Mangalore tile shingling with gables and vents allowing rising hot air to escape.
  • Curved walls to enclose more volume at lower material cost than straight walls,
  • Baker was often seen rummaging through salvage heaps looking for suitable building materials, door and window frames.
  • Baker’s architectural method is of improvisation.
  • Initial drawings have only an idealistic link to the final construction, with most of the accommodations and design choices being made on-site by the architect himself
  • His respect for nature led him to let the idiosyncrasies of a site inform his architectural improvisations, rarely is a topography line marred or a tree uprooted.
  • This saves construction cost as well, since working around difficult site conditions is much more cost-effective than clear-cutting
  • Baker created a cooling system by placing a high, latticed, brick wall near a pond that uses air pressure differences to draw cool air through the building
  • His responsiveness to never-identical site conditions quite obviously allowed for the variegation that permeates his work.

LOW COST CONSTRUCTION

  • Filler slab : Advantages:
    • 20-35% Less materials
    • Decorative, Economical & Reduced self-load
    • Almost maintenance free
    • 25-30% Cost Reduction
  • Jack Arch:Advantages :
    • Energy saving & Eco-Friendly compressive roofing.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Dome, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical for larges spans.
    • Maintenance free
  • Funnicular shell, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Arches,Advantages:
    • Traditional spanning sytem.
    • Highly decorative & economical
    • Less energy requirement.

Awards:

  • 1981: D.Litt conferred by the Royal University of Netherlands for outstanding work in the Third World
  • 1983: Order of the British Empire, MBE
  • 1987: Received the first Indian National Habitat Award
  • 1988: Received Indian Citizenship
  • 1989: Indian Institute of Architects Outstanding Architect of the Year
  • 1990: Received the Padma Sri
  • 1990: Great Master Architect of the Year
  • 1992: UNO Habitat Award & UN Roll of Honour
  • 1993: International Union of Architects (IUA) Award
  • 1993: Sir Robert Matthew Prize for Improvement of Human Settlements
  • 1994: People of the Year Award
  • 1995: Awarded Doctorate from the University of Central England
  • 1998: Awarded Doctorate from Sri Venkateshwara University
  • 2001: Coinpar MR Kurup Endowment Award
  • 2003: Basheer Puraskaram
  • 2003: D.Litt from the Kerala University
  • 2005: Kerala Government Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2006: L-Ramp Award of Excellence
  • 2006: Nominated from the Pritzker Prize

The Hamlet

  • This is Baker’s home in Trivandrum.
  • This is remarkable and unique house built on a plot of land along the slope of a rocky hill, with limited access to water:
  • However Baker’s genius has created a wonderful home for his family
  • Material used from unconventional sources
  • Family eats in kitchen
  • Electricity wiring is not concealed

Architectural features:

  • STEPS DIRECTLY CUT IN ROCK
  • ENTRANCE HAS SMALL SITTING AREA FOR GUESTS
  • THE WALL IS DECORATED FROM BROKEN POTTERY, PENS, GLASS
  • A CALLING BELL FOR VISITORS TO ANNOUNCE THEIR PRESENCE
  • USE OF NATURAL LIGHT
  • NEVER CUT TREES INSTEAD ADAPTED HIS DESIGN ACCORDINGLY
  • INNER COURTYARD …CLOSE TO NATURE
  • ARCHES LED INTO A BEAUTIFUL OPEN ROOM
  • COURTYARD HAS MANY GARDENS AND PONDS
  • Pitched roof made of manglore tiles
  • BAKER’S FONDNESS OF ARCHES
  • GABLES FOR PROPER AIR CIRCULATION  AND VENTILATION
  • SIMPLE YET BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS
  • GRILL MADE OF BITS AND PIECES
  • CONICAL STRUCTURE USED.
  • COST EFFECTIVE BAKER’S WINDOW
  • Louvered window typical of baker’s type
  • STAINED GLASS EFFECT
  • WATER TANK FOR STORING RAIN HARVESTED WATER

 


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Similarities in traditional architecture of Kerala and South-east Asia

Traditional-vernacular architecture of Kerala is an exceptional South-Indian artistic typology, found nowhere else in India, and interestingly shared artistic commonality with traditional architecture in Southeast Asia. In this case, we use sample of architectures in Sumatran, Indonesia as typological comparison. Tropical climate, living culture based on wet-paddy agriculture, matrilineal kinship, and history of maritime trading, had contributed shared characteristic to both regional outlook of the architecture. Aspects of Southeast Asian Architecture, rendered by Roxana Waterson (1988), Gaudenz Domenig (1980); and Jacques Dumarcay (1988) are in many respects applicable to verify traditional-vernacular architecture of Kerala, by marking: hipped and gabled roof running steep- closed to typical of Dongson’s art; significance of granary and its development into residential shelter, wood construction, and the organic settlement’s arrangements. Typical of courtyard house (nalukettu) in Kerala may be the only mainstream characters of Indian architecture that marks discontinuity of Kerala architecture’s vocabulary with the Southeast Asian architecture. For case of Kerala’s architecture, possible background suggested to lend base on the shared characters are: first, the cultural seclusion of Kerala from the rest of Indian sub-continent until first century AD, due to natural boundary of Western Ghatz. This had held progressive Aryanization to deep South-India until the approximate reign of Indianization in Southeast Asia. Second: the development of maritime trading with overseas countries played important role in the establishment of the culture, including contact with Austronesian and Austro-Asian culture. Coedes (1964) has underlined that remnant of the Austro-Asiatic and Austronesian culture was observable by marking existence of social tradition based on canal settlement, wet paddy farming tradition and irrigation, with matrilineal kinship, as well as the importance of coastal community. (Coedes, 1967; Hornell, 1920). These characters are found in traditional-vernacular domestic living culture and residential architecture of Kerala. This  is a discursive attempt to respond on narration of Asian architecture as formatted mostly based on high-traditional architectural artifacts (palaces, religious buildings), and is directed to mainly mark distinctions among Asian cultures. This paper also responds on mainstream viewpoint about South Indian culture which is tended to be mainly explained as affiliated with culture of Central Asia, Mediterranean and Arya. Realm of vernacular architecture study on the other hand shall show how in the operating day-to-day art and craft, the commonality with Southeast Asian culture is more obvious. Before 1960’s field of vernacular architecture (architecture of the commoners) such as house were considered negligible to signify cultural importance. But currently it is realized that vernacular art reflect more indigenous, less historical, less political and more spontaneous living culture than High-Traditional architecture, so as to be able to represent more natural development of a indigenous living culture. Observing case of traditional residential architecture of Kerala and Sumatra, we hopefully learn that it seems obvious that part of Southeast Asian and part of South Asian architecture might have once belonged to a global and homogeneous tradition, regardless current modern but unraveling, different geo-political boundaries. Hypothetically, traditional architecture’s style of Kerala when is compared with Southeast Asian traditional architecture potentially make obvious a sustaining shared typology of the indigenous structure of Asian domestic living architecture.

Courtesy : abstract of Indah Widiastuti’s Paper titled  : A Study of Typology of Vernacular Residential Architecture in Kerala : A Continuity of South India- Southeast Asian Architectural Tradition

Ventilation and wind direction in Traditional Architecture of Kerala

Like a jig-saw puzzle the square or rectangular pieces can be arranged in a U-shaped pattern with equidistant projections or an L-shaped plan with the outer arm or extension generally housing the kitchen, downwind from the living areas to ensure clean fresh air, with the south west air currents carrying the smoke away. Kitchens and toilets were seldom within the main structure, but situated separately. The verandas and corridors around the house and those running the length and breadth of the house prevented direct sunlight from falling on the main walls. This aspect of the design along with ventilators on the triangulation of the roof ensured cool air inside the rooms, at a time before electricity became widely available.

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