Thiruvananthapuram salutes Laurie Baker

Thiruvananthapuram salutes Laurie Baker

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More than 500 architects participated in Beyond Bricks’, an event organised by the Thiruvananthapuram centre of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) to mark the birth centenary celebrations of master architect Laurie Baker. With the help of the Corporation, IIA collected nearly one lakh bricks discarded by devotees after Attukal Pongala. The bricks so collected were used to create hundred installations.

The installations were arranged on the stretch leading from Kowdiar to Spencer Junction. Many architects, designers, artists, students and masons participated in creating the installations. Later on, the bricks used in these installations will be re-used to build houses for the poor.

Popularly known as the ‘poor man’s architect’, Baker, who made Kerala his home for many decades, devoted himself to popularising low-cost housing across the country in general and Kerala in particular. Laurie Baker, who was granted Indian citizenship in 1990 and honoured with Padmasri the same year, passed away at the age of 90 at his residence in Kerala in 2007 following age-related ailments.

Every year lakhs of women gather in the month of Kumbham (February-March) around Attukal Devi Temple and prepare Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as well as other ingredients) in the open in small pots to please the Goddess Kannaki. Rice is cooked in makeshift stoves made of bricks and after the 10-day event bricks were wasted.