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Philosophies in Architecture

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Lists of Best philosophies that are selected for overview

1| “Form Follows Function” by Louis H. Sullivan

2| “The details are not the details. They make the design.” by Charles Eames
3| “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” by Joe Sparano

4| “Life is chaotic. Buildings should Reflect it.” by Frank Gehry

5| “Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.” by Eric Reiss

6| “All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.” by Frank Lloyd Wright

7| “Cost-effective houses are not just for the poor; they are for everyone” by Laurie Baker

  • Selected Philosophy is Laurie Baker”s Philosophy of “Cost-effective houses are not just for the poor; they are for everyone

Who is Laurie Baker?

Nationality/occupation– Indian Architect

Born – 1917, Birmingham, England

Died – 2007 (aged 90),  India

Awards– Padma Shri-4th -highest civilian award of the Republic of India
– MBE – 3rd Highest ranking order of British empire award, after CBE and OBE

Buildings – – School of Drama & Fine Arts Theatre, – Centre for Development Studies, – Literacy Village, – Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History , – Chitralekha Film Studio, – The Indian Coffee House, – Pallikoodam School, – Loyola Chapel & Auditorium, – Attapadi Hill Area Development Society, –DakshinaChitra , – Chengalchoola Slum dwelling units, – Nirmithi Kendra, – Tourist Centre, – Mitraniketan


  •  what is philosophy ?

and what criteria should fulfil any quote or sayings inorder to be said is a philosophy ?

  • Philosophy can be Any personal Belief

but as a definition,  Philosophy is a Rational investigation of Questions about Existence knowledge & ethics


  • Criterias to be called any saying is a philosophy

  1. Skepticism – Not accept answer without question until justification
  2. Basis in justifying reason– Information, explanation, reason why opinion is what it is
  3. World – Group of people who share same system of meaning
  4. theorization – formulating a theory, an explanation and a principle

“Cost-effective houses are not just for the poor; they are for everyone”

In the present scenario, low-cost construction is synonymous with architecture for the poor. Although many tried replacing it with the term affordable housing, this misconception has never changed over the years. Low specification and simple architecture fail to captivate the eyes of the middle-income and high-income groups

First motivation, The equation that a cost-effective house is a house for the poor, implying a bad looking house, can definitely be proved wrong. And This entire classification is wrong.

Baker believed that cost effective buildings are affordable, environment friendly and sustainable. And these are what humans needed for the overall development of health and productivity…

In 1972, the then chief minister of Kerala decided to use Baker’s ideas to streamline housing programmers for the state. His designs were incorporated in a manual published in 1986 by the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development. This manual was translated into Malayalam and was distributed among local building offices in Kerala.

Main Materials – Brick, Wood and Stone

Cost effective methods – there is a full document that supports his ideas on building

Components, envelops and technologies to make the house cost


  • Baker strongly believed that “less is more” (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)

What/ how do it contribute to advance Architecture?

Advanced Architecture –focus on Emerging Methods of design and fabrication through architectural design to speculate upon future modes of architectural practice, enhanced construction method, and material culture within the built env’t.

  • Materials and their fabrication
  • Construction method

Contributing by

  1. It’ll tries to maximize insulation by using cost effective materials
  2. By encouraging natural light and passive solar heat to the possible limit
  3. By choosing green and sustainable material

By using renewable technologies


  • No big glass windows to reduce cost
  • No active HVAC system installed but it kept BPT by itself
  • No direct sunlight
  • Solar panel for water heating
  • Chimney for air extract
  • Window hood for sun sliding
  • Green façade
  • Precast floor
  • Vaulted concrete ceiling
  • Passive cooling system
  • Very low cost
  • Cost per sq m Z$ 6545 / US$ 595



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