Laurence Wilfred Baker
Born: March 2, 1917, Birmingham, England
Education: Graduated from Birmingham School of Architecture, 1937
The Brick Master of Kerala
While watiing three months in Bombday for a boat back to England in 1844, became
influenced by Gandhi. Returned to India for good after a brief spell at Home. In 1948, married Dr. Elizabeth Jacob and lived
in Pithorgarh till mid-60s. Moved to Kerala thereafter.
Pioneered low-cost nature friendly housing in India. Known as the 'brick master of Kerala'
for offering housing solutions to the roofless millions. Some prominent Baker buildings: Centre for Development Studies,
Thiruvananthapuram; Chitralekha Studio Complex, Thiruvananthapuram.
Order of the British Empire, Padma Shri, Great Masters Architect of the Year, UNO Habitats
Award & UN Roll of Honour.
Way back in 1988, Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India thought of a concept in construction sector where by a substantial saving in housing sector in a five year plan could be affected. The saving in funds so achieved could be utilized for more housing stock at a national level. This concept was to create building centers that would promote cost effective construction. The Paranjpe committee was formed under the chairmanship of K.G. Paranjpe and the recommendation of this expert group resulted in the building center movement.
Under the aegis of this scheme, about 400 building centers came into existence under the overall monitoring of Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). Laurie Baker Building Centre is one of them.