Why Laurie Baker is known as the "conscience keeper of Indian architecture"and "Gandhi of Indian architecture"? Evaluate his architectural style.

Laurie Baker is known as the “conscience keeper of Indian architecture” and “Gandhi of Indian architecture“. He is known to have learnt from the practices of vernacular architecture and turned the indigenous methods into the modernism. He was famous as a builder of affordable homes for the poor. His greatest contribution was showing that cost-effective and ecologically sustainable construction does not automatically imply shoddy building and reduced creative freedom. Instead, when technologies are adopted with care and creativity, they could lead to a unique architectural expression.
He was known as the conscience keeper of Indian architecture because his method was the very opposite of the prevalent model in India which followed the British system. At a time when Indian architects were following the British way of designing and directing operations from their drawing boards as ‘consultants’ far away from the bustle of the site, Baker organized his work as a designer-builder in the manner of the traditional Indian mason.
He is known for cost-effectiveness design. His architecture has been associated with brick (largely exposed), landscaped courts, jaalis, traditional Indian sloping roofs.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Why Laurie Baker is known as the “conscience keeper of Indian architecture” and “Gandhi of Indian architecture”? Evaluate his architectural style.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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