Lonely Canopy Art & Travel

Traveling the world, one sketch at a time!

Eco-friendly Laurie Baker Houses

Day 5 (E) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z challenge

All art work is copyrighted by Lonely Canopy.

#BlogchatterA2Z posts:

A , B , C , D , E , F , G , H , I , J , K , L , M , N , O , P , Q , R , S , T , U , V , W , X , Y , Z



Bricks to me are like faces. All of them are made of burnt mud, but they vary slightly in shape and colour. I think these small variations give tremendous character to a wall made of thousands of bricks, so I never dream of covering such a unique and characterful creation with plaster, which is mainly dull and characterless. I like the contrast of textures of brick, of stone, of concrete, of wood. -Laurie Baker

If houses had flavors, Baker houses and buildings would be honey and cinnamon. His brick houses come in a variety of shapes, with spiral staircases, open roofs, circular rooms, gabled roofs and many other innovations that make his work unique and memorable.



My cousin’s wife grew up in a Laurie Baker style house in Trivandrum. Many, many years ago we passed through the town and were invited to her house for lunch. I still remember the magical house … one very suitable to get lost in. That was the first time I heard of Laurie Baker style houses.

Over the years, I’ve always made it a point to visit homes and buildings designed by him, whenever possible.

“Laurie Baker was also an accomplished cartoonist, artist and innovative designer. He has been at various times of his life an anesthetist, a nurse, a missionary and an architect. He served in the Second World War in the Friends Ambulance Unit and lived for four years in isolation in remote China taking care of lepers. After a meeting with Gandhiji he was convinced to come to India, initially as the chief architect of the Mission to Lepers building leper homes throughout India. He has since lived in Pithoragarh in the foothills of the Himalayas building hospitals and schools and in the tribal areas of Vagamon in Kerala before finally settling down in the city of Trivandrum.”  – From http://lauriebaker.net.

Unassuming, full of stories, passionate about service … these are some of the common threads when I read about him. At a time when the emerging Indian upper class was looking to the West for modern architecture, he was a sane voice that reminded them to value what they had.

Baker’s philosophy – that we must build homes and public buildings suitable to local climate with indigenous tools  and materials – makes so much sense.

My observation is that vernacular architecture almost always has good answers to all our problems. In every district, wherever you go, the people themselves take an active part in making their houses. Now, for whatever reasons, they have lost their skills, and need to look outside for help. – Laurie Baker

“The Hamlet” Laurie Baker’s home in Trivandrum. What started as a small hut on a barren, sloping and rocky hillside is now a magical house amidst dense forests.


Seema Misra

Seema Misra undertakes freelance projects for illustrations, content creation, copywriting, and social media marketing through her blog Lonely Canopy. To unwind, she watches world cinema or travels across it. She talks to her plants and sometimes people as well. But more often than not … you will find her curled up in her favorite corner reading a book while sipping strong coffee.

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Sayan Bhattacharya

I stay in Trivandrum and have visited quite a few Laurie Baker homes here. The very famous Loyola School and College have a chapel designed in the Laurie Baker style.. Enjoyed reading your article.


Laurie Baker houses are so fabulous – hugely creative and affordable. Rethink, revise and re invent is a good motto. This is such an interesting theme you are writing on.


Didn’t know about this. Thanks for sharing. Loved the illustrations. Did you do it?


I came across this for the first time. Very fascinating! Will keep an eye when I get to visit Trivandrum next time. Love all the quotes of Laurie Baker. They sound simple yet profound.


[…] E: https://lonelycanopyblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/eco-friendly-laurie-baker-houses/ […]


I havent wandered into any of the homes built by this genius though I wouldlove to. Thanks for sharing this Seema; made a mental note to look up this architect’s creations in my town.

L is for Laini Taylor #atozchallenge

Keith's Ramblings

I’ve learned something today! You’ve tempted me to look into his work more deeply.

A-Z of My Friend Rosey!


This seems just so nice and It was so good to read about Laurie Baker. I didn’t know about this earlier. Beautiful illustrations and the philosophy to ponder on.