An ode to the master

Versatile integration of coloured glass bottles

An ode to the master

Versatile integration of coloured glass bottles

By Published On: December 28, 2023

“One of the things I’m noted to be crazy for is that I use old colored bottles set in cement—they give a nice light.”

– Laurie Baker, from The Brick Master of Kerala by Adam Hochschild

The imprint of Laurie Baker’s design philosophy is indelible in the architectural narrative created by GoodEarth in all its projects. Baker, renowned for his adept use of brick, commitment to nature-centric designs, and advocacy for locally-sourced materials, has etched a lasting impact on the architectural world. His legacy, encompassing adaptive methodologies, bold experimentation, and the seamless integration of art into architecture, resonates through the corridors of GoodEarth’s creations.

Yet, within this homage lies the hallmark of GoodEarth’s unique design sensibility, a true exemplar of what drawing inspiration means. It’s a testament to the fine line between inspiration and imitation, where Baker’s influence is undeniable, yet the design sensibility is inherently that of GoodEarth.

Consider, for instance, the use of coloured glass bottles, a signature element in Baker’s repertoire. Often dismissed as waste, these bottles became a central feature in Baker’s designs, introducing vibrancy and an eco-friendly touch to his buildings. Strategically placed within walls, they allowed natural light to filter through, transforming mundane structures into aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious works of art.

Laurie Baker [1917 – 2007]

The use of coloured bottles in a residence for
stained glass effect by Baker.

Following this philosophy, GoodEarth seamlessly integrates coloured glass bottles across a spectrum of spaces, introducing bursts of colour, dynamic changes in texture, and a captivating play of light when touched by the sun’s rays. What sets this design apart is the innovative reimagining of the same material to play diverse roles, adding depth and character to even unconventional spaces.

Not confined solely to walls, the coloured bottles extend their artistic touch across various spaces. They gracefully crown the roof of a gazebo in the cluster park, mirroring the bright blue hues of its seating. Functioning as both screens and partition walls, they elegantly break the monotony in plain walls, defining and enhancing the spatial experience.

In the spa, these bottles transform into decorative elements surrounding mirrors, turning a simple reflection into an artful composition. Even in the surprising setting of the washroom, they find their place, creating a hypnotic feature that adds a unique and unexpected element to the space.

Adorning the mirror, the bottles act as a decorative element and create a ‘wow’ factor in a confined space.

The Gazebo at Mosaic: The bottles adorning the roof act as a skylight. Mirroring the same hues as the seat, the space in itself acts as a harmonious integration of textures and colours

As a partition wall from the stairway, the addition of bottles as a feature wall creates a sense of drama to the walkway of the Confluence Club by illuminating it with different hues.

The stairway at Terraces is bright with indirect sunlight, what otherwise would require artificial source. The blue and the green bottles illuminate and add vibrancy to the space.

The bottles are meticulously aligned according to the measurements and placed in the set pattern as per the design, set directly in the wall or with the help of a wooden frame.

Through these unique applications, GoodEarth has not just replicated Baker’s ideas but has breathed new life into them, elevating the legacy to new heights.

Each space, touched by the play of light and burst of colour, becomes an invitation to experience architecture as more than a structure, it is an immersive journey into art, sustainability, and the timeless dance between inspiration and innovation. In this intricate dance, GoodEarth’s creations stand as a testament to the enduring magic of Laurie Baker’s influence, reimagined and renewed in every colourful detail.