Get your home interior design budget estimate

This school designed by Laurie Baker is one of the most beautiful in India

  • Ideas & Inspiration
Mar 02, 2020
School interior design with brick walls


What should a school look like? We all know the intuitive answer to that question is that the design of a school must encourage inquiry, learning, and imagination. But how such a thought can be translated into practical design is pretty difficult to understand. In the 60s, when educational institutions around the country looked either socialistic and practical, if they were new, or reverential, if they were old, two people in Kerala set out to do something entirely different. Mrs. Mary Roy, an educationist based in Kottayam, the central Kerala district, had set up a school called Corpus Christi, in the 50s. As her little school grew and she needed a larger place, she approached architect Laurie Baker—an Englishman who became an Indian citizen and lived in Kerala—for its design. Baker took on the project in the late ‘60s with the understanding that Mrs. Roy would admit his daughter as a student at the school. It was an offer Mrs. Roy couldn’t refuse. 

An exclusive tour of Pallikoodam, the school that British-Indian architect Laurie Baker, also an ardent Gandhian, designed for educationist Mary Roy in Kerala

When he began the project, the school was based on the side of a hill and was under 10 acres. The design Baker came up with completely eschewed then prevailing ideas about institutional design. Making the best of the craggy site and its unusual elevations, he created a series of brick-finished buildings, interconnected by pathways running between and around the trees of the site. Walking through the school when it is filled with kids, the space has a wonderful botanical garden-like atmosphere. And when it is empty, the hilltop is spiritual, the buildings standing nobly on either side, still beautiful after all these years. Mrs. Sneha Zachariah, the former Vice Principal of the school, which is now called Pallikoodam, says Baker never intended for the buildings to survive beyond 30 years. But the school administration has always valued the design of the school, ensured it is well-maintained and that newer buildings follow the format of the original designs. And so, Baker’s designs have survived more than fifty monsoons, and still works beautifully.


The school is a private institution and doesn’t usually allow coverage of its campus. This is perhaps the first time the story of the design of the school has been told, and by one of the few people who participated in the design process: Mrs. Sneha Zachariah, who was the first teacher to join Mrs. Roy’s school, and continues to play a role in the institution’s daily life. Mrs. Roy lives within the school campus. Baker passed away in 2007.

Looking for expert guidance to design your

Leave your information and we will call you to book your preferred consultation slot

Please enter your Full Name
Please enter your Pincode
Please enter your Mobile Number
Please enter your Email ID

By proceeding, you are authorizing Asian Paints and its suggested contractors to get in touch with you through calls, sms, or e-mail.


Thank You!

We value your interest in Asian Paints - Beautiful Homes. We will get in touch with you to customise your package.

Tell us more and you may qualify for a

special appointment!

Get a special appointment
1/ 4

What’s the status of your home possession?

2/ 4

What’s the condition of your home/space?

prev Previous Question

Will you be living in your space during the renovation ?

, Previous Question
3/ 4

Is your interior design budget over 4 lakhs?

prev Previous Question
, Previous Question
4/ 4

Book next available appointment slots with our experts!

prev Previous Question

DEC 2023

27 FRI
31 MON

JAN 2024

01 WED
02 THU
03 FRI
05 MON
06 TUE
07 WED
08 THU

Please Select Date and Day

Previous Question

Something went wrong!

We were unable to receive your details. Please try submitting them again.
To reschedule or cancel, call toll-free
Submit again

Appointment Scheduled!

Thank you for giving an opportunity to Asian Paints Beautiful Homes Service! Our Customer Experience Specialist will get in touch with you soon.

Appointment Date & time

17 Oct 23, 03.00PM - 04.00PM

To reschedule or cancel, call toll-free

Thank You!

Our team will contact you for further details.

Similar Articles