the architect and philosophy


COSTFORD is a voluntary organization, which provides technological assistance for rural development. It was founded in 1984 by Dr. D. R. Chandradutt, Dr. K.N. Raj an economist and the then Chairman of the Center for Developmental Studies, Mr. Achutha Menon, the former Chief Minister of Kerala and Laurie Baker. The idea of COSTFORD took root when Mr. Achutha Menon showed interest in the alternative building technologies promoted by Mr. Laurie Baker.

COSTFORD was registered as a non-profit voluntary organization in 1984 and started its construction activities in 1986. The head office of COSTFORD is situated in Thrissur. It operates form another 13 sub centers, 12 all over Kerala and 1 in Gurgaon. COSTFORD has a very large program of construction, which includes many projects, government as well as private construction work. They have carried out massive rural development projects of Central and State Government agencies. Collectively COSTFORD has been able to realise about 20,000 buildings in Kerala.

COSTFORD attempts to use some of Baker’s construction systems such as Rat Trap Bond walls, Filler Slab roofing, exposed brickwork.They use natural stabilizers such as lime instead of cement. For their core activities, COSTFORD is supported by The Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India; the department of Rural Development Govt. of India; the department of local Self Government, Govt. of Kerala and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).

Baker has served as the Chairman of COSTFORD and was closely involved in their activites.