Elizabeth Baker, widow of noted architect the late Laurie Baker, passed away here on Friday after a brief illness. She was 95.
Born in Kerala and a doctor by profession, she met Mr. Baker in the forties when he was involved in designing a hospital for leprosy patients. After their wedding in 1948, they moved to Pithoragarh, a small village in Himachal Pradesh, where they lived and worked for the next 16 years.
Ms. Baker's professional skills were put to use for the afflicted in the village while Mr. Baker continued his architectural work and research. In 1966, the couple moved to Peerumed in Kerala to work with tribes. Four years later, they settled in Thiruvananthapuram where Mr. Baker designed and constructed a signature house named ‘The Hamlet'.
Ms. Baker was a member of the governing body of the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), an organisation set up by Mr. Baker to promote cost-effective architecture. Her book, The other side of Laurie Baker, is a biographical account of her husband's life, his vision and social commitment.
After Laurie Baker passed away, she became the chairperson of the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies, a non-profit centre for dissemination of the Baker philosophy of architecture.
According to P.B. Sajan, noted architect and executive director of COSTFORD, Ms. Baker shared her husband's vision and commitment to affordable housing for the masses.
Ms. Baker is survived by two daughters and a son. The funeral will be held at the Christ Church cemetery at Palayam here on Saturday.