Laurie Baker in Vadodara
This project was led and initiated by Prof. Pragya Shankar with team consisting of Mr. Darshil Patalia and a group of students. The background of this project is that the architect Laurie-Baker was invited by Vadodara-based industrialist Mr. Nanubhai Amin, then Chairman and Managing Director of Jyoti Industries Ltd., in around mid-1970’s to design buildings for Jyoti Ltd. and Navrachana Education Society.
The significance of this project is about the progressive outlook of Nanubhai to get Laurie Baker to design environmentally responsive buildings for an industrial setup. The three buildings studied and documented for this project were unique and diverse in functions as well. Out of them Administrative Block, Primary Health Centre are at Jyoti Ltd., and Centre for people with disability is at Navrachana School, Sama.
Each of these buildings posed a unique challenge in terms of construction techniques, access to material and trained local artisans, arriving at universally accessible design solution for differently abled people and also achieving climatically responsive building. These projects became testing ground for Laurie Baker as concerns generated during design and construction of these buildings guided him to arrive at customized solutions for each of them.
Administrative Building Jyoti Industries, Vadodara
The architectural principles and language of Laurie Baker were derived through low rise domestic structures he had designed in Kerala and the Administrative Block posed an interesting challenge for him. As the head-oﬃce for Jyoti Ltd., it needed to have a relevant imageability. The program also demanded it to be a mid-rise structure to house all functions. Hence, this building is a unique translation of his principles on a new typology.
Primary Health Centre
Located in Jyoti Ltd. compounds, primary health centre was an existing building to which Laurie Baker made several additions at ground level and added a floor above. It is a small building, where Laurie Baker has experimented with construction techniques and materials. The building has many diﬀerent brick jali patterns and a slab with earthen disk infill. The spaces are exploratory with a double height space on first floor overlooked by a small bridge on mezzanine. At ground level, several curved jali walls create small courtyards while enveloping the entire building.
Centre for People with Disability
The centre was part of the philanthropic works initiated by Nanubhai Amin as place of living for people with physical disabilities. It is located at Navrachana Higher Secondary School, Sama.
The building consists of 10 dormitories arranged around a circular corridor. The common areas, including a courtyard with a stage and tree, are located towards inside, with a small circular service court in the centre of the building. Living quarters for the warden are located on the first floor.
The is a unique building on many fronts, from conception of space to adaptations of construction techniques.
Project Team: Pragya Shankar, and Darshil Patalia