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  • A Heartfelt Contribution to Kerala Architecture and Earthy Hues | Tropical Tones

    Tropical tones have weaved together a home that encompasses the design concepts of Kerala architecture while delicately backing a story behind it.

    A characteristic of a Malayali household is the quintessential ritual of an evening chai. An act of leisure, of snacking and sipping tea in company in a semi-open, shared space. These shared spaces are the crux of a Malayali family. Ilav in Malayalam translates to relaxation/ rest. Ilav, the protagonist, the house, is a space to perform such acts of leisure and relax. The concept is basically devoid of duties and pressures of work takes its root from the client’s circumstances and Kerala Architecture. Set in Kerala’s luscious green backdrop close to the Mayyazhi river in Mahe in an 18-cent land, the US-settled family’s annual visits were to be hosted at the 3600 sq. ft. holiday home that we envisioned as Ilav.

    A Heartfelt Contribution to Kerala Architecture and Earthy Hues | Tropical Tones

    Editor’s note: Earthy and misty from the outside while calm and content on the inside! Enveloped in shades of contemporary, ‘Ilav” rejoices in its curative existence through a nurturing aura. There is an inescapable charm that this residence holds which is supported by the various inserts that make this home the way it is. ~ Nishal Sevak

    The longing to return home and still belong in the distinct setting of a developing country is often a challenge for the modern migrants. When designing such an abode, the concept was to ground the plan on the behavioral patterns of a local household and make the house relatable through a globalized modern aesthetics.

    Kerala’s global diaspora has brought in various influences on Kerala’s architecture and continue to contribute to the changing styles. The concept of building a home in the hometown has been a recurring dream in every generation and Ilav is one such dream that took a form.

    A home under the shade was the client’s dream. In the tropical climate of Kerala, the trees certainly play a crucial role in resisting the scorching sun and vigorous rains. As much as the trees are conducive for the climate, so are they a memory of place. Along with large concrete overhangs, the landscape is planned as natural overhangs to suit the climatic conditions.

    The veranda is a tropical construct that acts as a threshold between the public-private space and is a buffer for the exterior and interior to cut down extreme weather conditions. Also, an open to sky peace lily plant bed adjacent to the veranda brings ample of sunlight to the living room.

    The veranda frames views of the landscape in three directions for winding down and provides visibility for catching up with neighbours like the good old days when housefronts were spaces for communal living. The front yard and the side yard are essentially a part of the house than of the outside.

    The terracotta brick bond on the façade arches the house to its surrounding context. The earthy tone is indeed borrowed in the interior design to create a minimal modern language that resonates to the client’s lifestyle. The walls in the communal spaces are dual tones of beige with a layer of lime wash.

    The natural colour of the walls accentuates the teak wood furnishing. Each element, from the clothe Crete foyer wall décor to the dining table are custom-made for a bespoke experience. A priority in interior design was to craft spaces that require minimum maintenance and that can be wrapped up intact for most of the year when the house is vacant. The choice of teak was thus to ensure durability.

    A splash of colour against a neutral backdrop is the colour palette. The kitchenette is a fine example of using a red laminate in a sober space. The fluted green tinted concrete panel against the cement texture of the bedroom wall plays with the western light during evenings, making the textures a deeper visual experience.

    Monotony is disrupted in spaces like living room and few bedrooms using patterns and textures. In the living room, even though the TV wall is a beige travertine natural marble, the texture of the marble highlights the wall. The same device whereas is used in bedrooms where wooden reapers on lime washed walls make a pattern and where fluted concrete panels steal the spotlight.

    The textures, patterns and colours not only treat the eye but the haptic senses. In the meantime, the landscape and the petrichor nurtures the olfactory senses within the house through the patio near the dining space. The abundance of natural light in the patio-dining-kitchenette axis, thus engages with the materials. We believe in the multi-sensory experience of a space in connecting users beyond visual level.

    With drawers to climb on, an elevated seating on the stair landing is a nook of the house to read a book and look out of the window. Looking out of the window and sitting out enjoying a cool breeze, surrounded by the familiarity of tropical plants are pleasures of living in Kerala that NRIs long for. When a Malayali returns to Kerala deficient of “Pachapum Haridhabhayum” (a popular Malayalam movie dialog that translates to Kerala’s greenery), as architects we create a space where they can have two worlds. A home for a ‘glocal’ living, Ilav.

    Fact File

    Designed by:
    Tropical Tones

    Project Type: Residential Architecture Design

    Project Name: Ilav

    Location: Mahe, India

    Year Built: 2023

    Duration of the project: 3 Years

    Plot Area: 18 Cents

    Built-up Area: 3600 Sq.ft

    Principal Architects: Ar. Jasim & Ar. Sruthi

    Photograph Courtesy: Syam Sreesylam

    Structure Engineers: Diseno structural

    Products / Materials / Vendors: Finishes – Fniche / Wallcovering / Cladding – Marble Gallery / Construction Materials – wigwam ply, Luvih laminates, Corian / Lighting – Aura Electric Studio, Bela Casa Doors and Partitions – Aristo / Sanitaryware – Jaquar / Flooring – Marble Gallery / Kitchen – Lascito Kitchen And Hardwares / Paint – Jotun / Artefacts – pausefor

    Firm’s Instagram Link: Tropical Tones

    For Similar Projects >> 402 Serene Home: A Harmonious Blend of Modern and Traditional Residential Interiors



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