Posted on: July 30th, 2019
Gopi Karelia | thebetterindia.com | July 19, 2019, 6:55 pm[/vc_column][/vc_row]
“An ideal house in the village should be built using material that is found within a five-mile radius of the house”
This belief of Mahatma Gandhi left a lasting impression on young Laurie Baker. The British-born Indian architect was a pioneer in constructing sustainable homes using mud and other local resources.
Baker, who is fondly referred to as ‘Gandhi of Architecture’, went on to inspire architects to opt for green materials in the Pre and Post Independence era. It is no wonder that India has 65 million mud houses of the total 118 million, as per Down To Earth magazine.
As India opened its doors to the outside world, the construction industry flourished, accommodating other modern construction materials like cement, glass and marble. Houses in urban areas underwent horizontal and vertical expansion as traditional methods replaced the machine-intensive one. People’s definition of a house changed, as it turned into an asset with a long-term investment.
Spending large amounts of money for a mud house was not an appealing prospect anymore, causing a rise in the demand for modern construction materials. Mud houses soon came to be associated with rural areas and economic backwardness.
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