Thursday, January 19, 2012


  • To me probably the most interesting part of designing a building is dealing with the clients— getting to know them, how they live and work and finding out what sort of a building they dream of. It is exciting to put on to paper what you think is in their heads, and then to go on altering or adding or deleting until you think you have put down what they want
  • 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
  • This common burnt brick is usually pleasing to look at with warm colours ranging from cream, through orange sandy colours to brown and even blue brown. When built into a wall, pleasing and interesting simple patterns appear. Like people who all have one nose, one mouth, two ears and two eyes but no two look exactly the same, so each brick, although so simple in shape, has its own individuality.
  • An equally interesting and absorbing part of practising architecture is translating your two-dimension drawings into three-dimension buildings. I have to be on the site to enjoy this transition from drawings to buildings. Not to be involved in building would be, to me, as foolish as buying a camera and film, viewing and clicking the trigger, getting a negative done, but not getting the print.
  • There's an old saying: manners maketh the man. I think they also make good architecture.
  • Every district has its own traditions and, by trial and error, over thousands of years, people have learned how to use, and to cope with, all the many factors which are involved in Architecture. – The Site, the Topography and Geology. The climate and vegetation, the available local materials – the religious and cultural patterns of living, and the main local occupants. Unsatisfactory items have long since been discarded and alternatives have been tried until a satisfactory solution has been found.
  •  Windows are costly. One square foot of window can cost upto ten times the cost of simple brick or stone wall it replaces. A window has varied functions – to look out of, to let light inside a room, to let in fresh air, or to let out stale air and so on. In many of these situations a ‘Jali’ or ‘honeycombed’ wall is just as effective. Far from being a lot more costly than the basic wall, if made of brick it can be less costly than the house wall!
  •  Most materials have their own special characteristics and if used honestly and simply they contribute to the “looks” of a building merely from their colour, their texture and the patterns formed by joining them together. There is no need to cover them over with costly finishes. Let a brick wall look like a brick wall and a stone wall should look like a stone wall. Concrete should look like concrete and not be plastered or painted to look like marble.
  •  My feeling as an architect is that you're not after all trying to put up a monument which will be remembered as a 'Laurie Baker Building' but Mohan Singh's house where he can live happily with his family


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