|Vettamukku, Trivandrum, Kerala
|Year of Completion
The very idea of construction being an isolation from nature, a home that would nourish life and blend nature while designed for utility is always a tough nut to crack. An architect’s enigma, if you will. We believe that a home is the reflection of the people inside. We believe that life lies not in its décor or in its style but its depth. We believe that the less we alter the natural rhythm of a space, the more life giving it is- for sure, mother earth knows more than we do.
When we were approached for this project, to design a modest home for two elderly people who would be living there alone until such a time their children come back from the states, we found ourselves with a limited land and the typical requirements of a small family to just fit in with nothing to brag about it and one almost wilted jack tree in it. It was but an apparent necessity that the tree be cut down to make enough space for any possible design. While discussing about the location though, the mother of the household gently remembered this one time, years back, when the tree bore the sweetest fruit they ever tasted. Though it wasnt It was enough to make us decide to go that extra mile to keep the tree and redesign everything in our heads at that moment. It took tremendous efforts to contain all the utilities in the space we so meticulously designed but it was all worth it to see the tree slowly coming back to life, leaf by leaf, as if in gratitude.
The house is planned in 5.5 cents. The requirement of having two bedrooms and all the amenities with poomugham and traditional style long verandah ended up in utilising the maximum area of the site. There was only one tree in the plot which we retained and developed as the central core of the house which connects all parts of the house. The wish for a 'thulasithara' to lit a lamp in the evening as part of their religious practice was also planned as a focal point in the entry, accessible from the verandah. 'Tulasithara' is planned around a waterbody which cools the interior as well. The long window with the seating overlooking the pond gives visual access to the road leading to the house with a modest privacy of the interior. The verandah leads to the living room which opens to the courtyard through the window designed to have a seating to the courtyard. The pooja room is planned just after the living adjacent to the waterbody with the thulasithara. The dining room is opening into the courtyard at one end with two bedrooms with attached toilet and kitchen/ work area and the stairway around. The first floor have a single bedroom attached and a family lounge which again opens to the yard where the jack fruit stands and thus getting connected to the rest of the house.