Logement social, écologique et alternatif en Afrique. Autoconstruction.

Glassless Windows

Tuesday 22 November 2011, by Owen Geiger

Jali wall openings in The Center for Development Studies

Jali wall openings in The Center for Development Studies


Jali wall openings provide light and ventilation, and yet preserve privacy.

Jali wall openings provide light and ventilation, and yet preserve privacy.


A jali is the term for a perforated brick, stone or latticed screen, usually with an ornamental pattern. They’re widely popular in hot climates such as India, because they provide light and ventilation, and don’t require glass or costly windows. You can build jalis in earthbag walls. Laurie Baker was a master at incorporating jalis into his designs.

“The late Laurie Baker was a British architect who came to India 60 odd years ago and for the next three years travelled all over the country helping the leprosy mission repair its leprosy homes and build new ones. Here he got exposed to indigenous architecture and was amazed at the way in which simple materials could be used to produce buildings with refined aesthetics and lasting qualities. These formative years laid the foundation of Baker’s approach to architecture.

He believed that a house should seem to be owned by its owner and not be merely a statement made by the architect. He is not the kind of person who would sit cooped up in a room with a drafter. For Baker, the blueprint has no finality about it and he does not get work done by giving orders. He never entrusts work to contractors. Baker builds houses by making sketches on paper that a mason can comprehend. Baker is in effect like a head mason himself who is actively involved in every stage of construction.”

Source: artnlight
Laurie Baker
Tip: search Google Images for ‘jali’ to see lots of great examples

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