Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dream House II - The Cliff House in Kerela

OK, so I know I said before in a post that I had found my perfect house.

Well..... I'm fickle, I changed my mind! I mean, think about it, what am I going to do with that house in Colombia...,...first of all the chance of my EVER staying there is practically nil, nada, zero; I don't speak the local dialect; its too far away from home here in Hyderabad. Now THIS house is perfect in every way. For one thing it is right here in India in Kerela, my ancestral homestate; there is a slightly better chance I will get to live here someday...maybe a .001% chance as against 0 %; and I may not speak Malayalam, but I am sure I can manage with my English, Hindi and smattering of Tamil; or better still I'll take my mom along with me and she can jabber away with the locals; its a 1 hour flight away from home....so, from hence forwards this shall be my Dream House...the one I will be striving to live in for the rest of my life!
There is great architecture and there is AMAZING architecture; architecture that follows all rules of form and function; as aesthetically pleasing as functionally viable; using local and indigenous materials as far as possible; built with a reverence to the local and traditional architectural vernacular; paying homage to the culture and civilization of the locals. And in my (humble) opinion, this house has done all that and more! Its the perfect blend of the old and then new, the traditional and the modern, the east and the west....just the way I like it!
Perched 200 ft. above an expansive stretch of green along the Arabian Sea coast, at the edge of a cliff, its most prominent feature is an asymmetrical sloping roof set against the fronds of a coconut plantation. The client lives in London and commissioned the house as a holiday home to enjoy the Kerala sun, the views, and requested for a large outdoor pool, several decks and meditation areas. He was keen to use local artisans and material and his empathy towards the active fishing community in Chowara prompted his decision to buy a plot of land that had some distance from the beach.

Look at these gorgeous pictures of the home, and you will understand why I am hyperventilating about this home
The architects designed the home keeping the180 degree panorama of the sea constantly in mind. The response to the site was a bold and emotional one as the designers imagined the dramatic wall and roof bringing the sea, air and the sky in without barriers. Half of the built up area is kept open and intelligently permeable to the elements.

In the interest of keeping the view foremost and the ambience pleasant in Kerala’s tropical heat, large openings were essential to all spaces, thereby allowing the penetration of seasonal winds. Ample overhangs were provided specially on the main roof to protect against the fierce western sun and monsoon rain.

Since large expanses of glass would trap the heat in this environment, the Architects devised a system of louvered wooden sliding and folding shutters for the doors and windows. These slatted shutters can be modulated and allow for un-interrupted air circulation.
The entrance faces northeast and the entry walkway is made of a straight line of monolithic stone steps flanked on either side by lush tropical water bodies. The concrete wall to the right and mysterious louvered wood screen wall deliberately conceal what lies beyond.
On entering the house, the open plan voluminous foyer not only separates the private and public spaces but also extends all the way from the front entrance to the rear deck, where you can wade straight into the 420 sqm. infinity pool. The double height foyer separates the two wings and separates public and private spaces.


Guest bedrooms and shaded decks lie to either side of the outdoor pool whose prominent position and expanse compensate for the missing beach access. Additional guest rooms and master bedroom connect to each other on the upper level via a walkway and terrace.

The house is climate sensitive and allows for light, air and the breeze to flow right through. All bathrooms have tropical open-to sky courts that are integrated visually with the bedrooms and several open courts and water features punctuate and soften the scale of the foyer. The overriding canopy roof is clad on the underside entirely with eco-friendly timber that offsets with warmth the large expanses of kota flooring, concrete and polished cement.



Images via contemporist.com                                                                                                                                        

16 comments:

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Wow...please please move there so I can visit you there. Stunning architecture.

GB said...

Kamini, Its gorgeous. But it's a resort. not a house. LOVE that door in the last picture. If you do decide to move there and open a resort (that's an idea...!!!)I'll be the first one to book a room for a month. Please have a good cook at hand. When can I mark it on my calendar?

PS: my dream house would be the one you live in currently. :D I'll take your veranda, macchars and all.....

Kamini said...

It is a big house isn't it! Ok Anu, will invite you for sure, GB when I move to this house you can move into mine, and when you come visit, I'll cook! Just let go my cook of 4 years on Monday...so am relearning everything I knew! By the time I move into this house, I should be quite good! :-)

Concrete Jungle said...

Absolutely stunning....and right in Kerela my favorite part of India...Thanks for showing us....it is perfect!

Shalini said...

Hi Kamini ,

I came across your blog recently and totally love it.
The Cliff house is beautful.
I saw it a couple of days ago while link hopping.
Check out more of the architects work at http://khoslaassociates.com/
My fav is the Majumdar House.

GB said...

Oh, I'm pretty good at the cooking dept....I'll cook for you....

when can I move in?
:D

simone leblanc said...

wow! gorgeous.

Rekha said...

simply beautiful...owning such a place would be a dream come true..

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

nice find kamini.the last image just took my mind..
thanks for sharing
laksh

Sharon Colaco D'Souza said...

I really can't imagine you in a house with such modern lines!:) ..but this is a lovely place to stay...loved the pic of the snake boat and all that brass!

Sharon Colaco D'Souza said...

Oh and I just read the other comments - I'll help you keep house...it's a big house, and you won't be able to do it all by yourself:)

Kamini said...

Oh I could totally stay in a modern house Sharon...architecturally modern that is, but I would add lots of color to this house. I cannot live with the all white look...i would def add color. And I would bing in lots more traditional stuff to balance the modern, lots of little Ganeshas around, frangipani in bowls, brass diyas, terracotta and brass urlis, earthenware pots, simple cotton dhurries...ohhhhh the possibilities are endless! We can all dream on right?

Patricia Torres said...

Oh such a gorgeous find... Its more like a mansion... I'll have one room please... Love how the modern architecture.. easily blends with the rest of the gorgeous home..

Sidu said...

wow this is like the perfect mix between modern and traditional... the blend is just purrrrfect

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home but too contemporary for that part of the world! I kinda feel bad that too many Indian luxurious homes seem to copy western style architecture and I sometimes worry that our own wonderful architecture will be lost if every one wants to live like in the west!

Kamini said...

@ Anonymous....hmmmm I think I might have to disagree. I don't think there is anything such as too contemporay or too traditional, it all depends on what the person living in the house wants. I also think building homes completely in the traditonal way might not be too practical today, and Western architecture has a lot to teach us in terms of methods of construction and detail....this house - in my humble opinion - seems to have the best of both, cutting edge design along with embracing tradition by way of materials used! Thanks for stopping by :-)