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Monday, 28 April 2014

Echoes Of Kerala Architects

The voice of Indian as well as Kerala architecture hold its own importance in architecture in our daily life, The use of vastu is a booming trend between elite builders. Here we are exposing the life of  some of the legends in architecture who have Kerala roots.
Laurie Baker
Indian Coffee House,Trivandrum
Laurie Baker : Laurence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker (2 March 1917 – 1 April 2007) was a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and for his unique space utilization and simple but aesthetic sensibility. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he sought to incorporate simple designs with local materials and achieved fame with his approach to sustainable architecture as well as in organic architecture. He has been called the "Gandhi of architecture".

He moved to India in 1945 in part as an architect associated with a leprosy mission and continued to live and work in India for over 50 years. He became an Indian citizen in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala from 1963 and founded COSTFORD (Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development),Throughout his practice, Baker became well known for designing and building low cost, high quality, beautiful homes, with a great portion of his work suited to or built for lower-middle to lower class clients.

 His buildings tend to emphasize prolific - at times virtuosic - masonry construction, instilling privacy and evoking history with brick jali walls, a perforated brick screen which invites a natural air flow to cool the buildings' interior, in addition to creating intricate patterns of light and shadow. Another significant Baker feature is irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open and tilting into the wind. 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 enter Baker's architectural vocabulary as a means to enclose more volume at lower material cost than straight walls, and for Laurie, "building [became] more fun with the circle." A testament to his frugality, Baker was often seen rummaging through salvage heaps looking for suitable building materials, door and window frames, sometimes hitting a stroke of luck as evidenced by the intricately carved entry to the Chitralekha Film Studio (Aakulam, Trivandrum, 1974–76): a capricious architectural element found in a junk heap.
Eugene Pandala

Eugene Pandala: Eugene Pandala studied for a Masters in Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. He had his Fellowship in Heritage Conservation at University of York and at Fort Brockhurst (English Heritage Training Centre) in the U.K. He was the founding head of the department of Architecture at the Architecture School in Quilon where he spent educating and researching on traditional building technologies of India.

Pandala while studying at Delhi School of Planning and Architecture met the legendary architect Hassan Fathy, and was inspired to build with mud. As a nature lover, and cultural heritage conservation activist, he designs buildings with natural materials such as cob or wattle and daub, preferring interesting organic forms. Pandala built his first mud house in Kollam in 1996,comprising 2,500 sq. ft. of building, bringing him to the public's attention.

Mud House
His unique Architecture style paved way to many awards, and recognition. In 2011, Lalith Kala Academy awarded him the first Laurie Baker award .(The Hindu The Sunday, Jan 30,2011). The Designer of the year Award given by Inside Outside design magazine in 2007 (Kerala artist retreat bags best eco-friendly design award Business Standard Sunday, Mar 25, 2012) was for eco friendly design. His heritage Conservation project in East Fort Trivandrum was chosen for a commendation award by Inside Outside magazine in 2004. In 1999 for one of his residential building built with mud "Bodhi", Pandala was given, a Commendation award, by J.K. Foundations, Architect of the year award.

Fort Cochin Heritage conservation project, Trivandrum East Fort Conservation projects, is often cited as good examples of Kerala heritage conservation initiatives. This was led by Eugene Pandala’s conservation team, enabling the State Government to win the PATTA award. Sustainable architecture/Green buildings is a field where Pandala has excelled. His Tsunami rehabilitation projects, and buildings for hospitality industries receives wide acclaim due to its interwoven complicity with nature.

Kerala's elite builders like NeST Infratech, encompass low cost ideas which makes the design more exquisite , following the path of these legends of architecture.

2 comments:

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Radhu Malav says:
at: 25 April 2018 at 21:11 said...

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