Earthy Sophistication with Whimsical Color Palette redefines Contemporary Architecture | Saleek Ahmed Architecture

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Tucked upon the lofty hills of Carmel, Hesed, which alludes to kindness, is an contemporary architecture vision located in Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India. The vision originated from the owner’s wish to embrace the natural terrain and at the same time offer modern comforts to his joint family. The client’s family consists of 8 members. So, the design was focused on providing enough space for all purposes.

Earthy Sophistication with Whimsical Color Palette redefines Contemporary Architecture | Saleek Ahmed Architecture

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Built upon 1213.8 sqm of verdant terrain, this house was placed over an existing plateau in the highest point of the lot, to make best of the views over the hills.


The house is divided into two levels, a double height living room is designed along with a semi open courtyard in the dining area given for a feel of openness and for augmenting natural cross ventilation on all sides.  

With an uneven contour, it was a challenge to develop the site without making any major changes to the topography and nature.

Hanging plants suspend a green curtain over the front entrance of the house and protect the main entrance from heat and dust.  

A round window in the living room pulls in nature’s beauty into the house. Hesed encompasses the modern fabrications and furnishings needed to maintain a contemporary lifestyle, at the same time keeping in frame the traditional stance in which the family grew up.

Conforming to the natural contours of the terrain, the outside landscaping provides a cool siesta area around a lotus pond. Hesed also promotes a sustainable lifestyle with a dedicated 5KW hybrid solar system, biogas from kitchen waste, cultivation of vegetables and fruits on-site and the reuse of harvested rainwater for sanitary and irrigation using a 30,000-litre capacity of underground tank.

The lower level has three bedrooms, office, living and dining; and the first level has two bedrooms and a reading space. A steel-wood combo staircase and simple wireframe furniture is selected to maintain a sense of lightness.

The open book compartments in aquamarine color with two comfy sofas gives the calm and quiet space for the reading.

The kids room has a built-in bunk bed with cabinets to utilize storage spaces. Leading off from the first-floor bedroom is the balcony ensuring a panoramic view beyond the misty hills.

Natural brick cladding provided on the exterior wall prevents direct sunlight on the wall and thus minimizes heat transfer inside the house. The red brickwork also contrasts with nature’s greenery and gives a rustic living vibe. A sloped roof on top of the concrete slab with louvers in the front and back was constructed for heat reduction. The louvers exhale out the hot air through the air passages.

Natural stones from ‘Kota’ and ‘Kadapa’ have been used in the flooring to provide cooling and slip resistance. The terracotta lattice in the living and dining rooms aid in good cross ventilation, making use of nature’s air, which is so essential in the warm humid tropical context in which the house is located.

Fact File

Designed By: Saleek Ahmed Architecture

Project Type : Residence Architecture Design

Project Name: Hesed

Year Built : 2021

Location: Pathanamthitta, Kerala

Duration of project : 15 Months

Built up : 4300 Sq.ft

Project Cost : 3000/Sq ft

Principal Architect : Saleek Ahmed

Photograph Courtesy : Turtlearts Photography

Products & Materials : Finishes: Rustic & Modern / Wallcovering: Brick, Laterite & Natural Stone / Construction Materials:  Solid brick / Lighting: Dtale Décor / Doors and Partitions: Nilambur Teak Wood / Sanitaryware: Grohe, Kohler, Jaquar, Bathx / Facade Systems: Terracotta Vietnam Camp Jallis, Custom Diamond Concrete Jallis / Windows: Lesso EITI uPVC with Saint-Gobain Toughened Glass / Furniture: Nilambur Teak wood & Steel / Flooring: Interior- Kota, Kadapa, Vitrified tiles /  Exterior: Tandur Stones & Cobble Stones / Kitchen: Plywood, PVC Mica /  Walls: Imported Tiles / Flooring: Mirror polished Kota Stones / Paint: Berger Paints / Artefacts: Custom design by Architect, Instyle Creation The Purple Turtles / Hardware: Local & Imported Tiles / Carpet & Rugs: The Rug Republic / Bedding: D’décor, Instyle Creation

Consultants for the Project

Civil: Platinum Constructions

Landscape Architects: Saleek Ahmed

Structure Engineers: Platinum Constructions

Contractors: Platinum Constructions

Project Managers: Niyas M

Firm’s Website Link : Saleek Ahmed Architecture

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