Laurence W Baker, well known as Laurie Baker, an eco-friendly architect and engineer, known as the brick master of Kerala
, was born in Birmingham, England on 2nd March 1917. Combining the factors of simplicity, order and regularity in his design, he evolved a method of providing low-cost housing, in accordance to the needs, climate, lifestyle, and preferences of clients.
Besides his knowledge in planning and building experience, he has some knowledge of leprosy and its treatment. In 1945 he came to India with the aim of converting old refugee centers into actual hospitals. He was in
Pithoragarh, Uttar Pradesh for about 16 years. In 1963 he came to central Kerala to a remote village, Vagamon. In 1965, he and his wife moved to Thiruvananthapuram and committed themselves to the leprosy work and also built homes and institutions for a wider clientele. Today, Baker model houses are the most sought after homes in Kerala.
First Indian National Habitat Award,
Padmashree Award, U N O Habitats Award, U N Roll of Honor, People of the Year Award, Doctorate of University of Central England and of Sri Venkateswara University, and the Basheer Puraskaram are some among his achievements.