Featuring the best of green in Chennai

Benny kuriakose Reuses Waste, Uses Mud & Timber to Build Green Homes


Benny Kuriakose has had a celebrated career for the last 30 years in vernacular and sustainable architecture which started in 1985.

Product or concept

Chennai-based architect is widely known for his versatility which spans restoration, conservation, disaster rehabilitation, and working with the new buildings as part of vernacular architecture.

Problem being solved

Increased the use of repurposed and sustainable local materials in architecture designs against materials that harm the environment.

Process or technology involved

  • Benny has built residential buildings, resorts and commercial structures using traditional, locally-sourced and eco-friendly materials like timber, stone, and earthen.
  • Vernacular designs that is used in his buildings have a high interplay of natural light and air and use mostly natural and eco-friendly materials.
  • Benny explores the architectural style that is appropriate to the environment, cost effective, sustainable and at the same incorporating the principles of vernacular architecture in the modern context. 
  • His design principles/ideology is about eco-friendly techniques and show people that it is possible to have a sustainable building even in urban spaces.

Sustainability benefits

Vernacular architecture and building construction is done in a cost effective and environment friendly manner when compared to current construction mechanisms.

User segments that will benefit

Residential Communities

Reconstruction Projects based Governmental Bodies

Real Estate Developers

People or organizations involved

Benny Kuriakose

Innovations or USPs

  • Tradition and heritage is not used as a style, but more as a concept, with the use of natural materials and using elements from vernacular architecture. He believes that the concept is much more important than the style in design.
  • Benny Kuriakose does not impose his ideas on to buildings which he designs, He designs each building according to each one’s needs and hence each of the buildings are different.

Related engineering, science or business topics

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Policy-makers

Awards & recognitions

  • Charles Wallace (India)
  • Trust Award (1986)
  • Designer of the Year Award by Inside Outside Magazine (2002)
  • Celebration of Architecture Award by Inside Outside Magazine (2011)
  • Editor’s Choice for Exemplary Body of Work, Trends Excellence Award (2017)

Other interesting highlights

Laurie Baker is the inspiration behind Benny Kuriakose’s design philosophy in architecture.

Office located at:



Ace Architect - Benny Kuriakose Part I

Ace Architect - Benny Kuriakose Part II

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How Benny Kuriakose, heir to the legendary Indian architect Laurie Baker, keeps it real : The blog post explores Benny Kuriakose's style of architecture and how he was inspired to pursue the same.

Why Benny Kuriakose wants young architects to sustainably re-purpose old buildings : The article explores Benny Kuriakose's ideas and determination to pursue sustainability.

Make a visit to get a first-hand experience

Benny Kuriakose - Contact : For more information regarding projects completed, you can contact him through the website.

Benny Kuriakose - LinkedIn : For more information regarding conservation architecture, you can contact Benny Kuriakose who specialises as a conservation consultant, through his LinkedIn profile.

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Connect with experts

Ten Indian architects who are harnessing traditional wisdom to build the homes of the future : The article lists the different firms across the country practising vernacular architecture.

Experiment through do-it-yourself projects

Learn more

Sustainability and Vernacular Architecture: Rethinking What Identity Is : The report investigates sustainability potential of vernacular architecture in the Arab region.

Importance of Vernacular Architecture : The article talks about the importance and the different types of vernacular architecture styles found in the country.

Vernacular Principles : The article explores the principles of vernacular architecture since the 18th century.

What traditional buildings can teach architects about sustainability : The article talks about the principles that can be derived from traditional buildings.