Lightness Of Being | Thought parallels architecture

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Lightness Of Being | Thought parallels architecture

Lightness is not a technical term and cannot be measured in a finite way. It can be neither quantified nor specified but is a qualitative ingredient of modern architecture which is gaining momentum. The concept of ‘lightness’ concerns the physical weight and property of materials, but it relates as much to the visual appearance of structures, components and even spaces. It is a quality that comes from the form, composition and economical use of materials. It also relates closely to light and the way light is treated.

Transparent and translucent materials also play with light in an interesting way. Transparency by definition allows space and light through, and seems to offer the kind of freedom that people want. We like to be able to experience the comforts of the inside whilst still enjoying the delights of the outside. We need light from the sun and we like to see it moving round throughout the day, for it helps us to orientate ourselves and to define time.


  • Site – Nadakkavu , Calicut , Kerala, India.
    Plot area – 4200 Square feet residence in 15 cents plot.
    Status – Completed
    Architecture, Interior design and Landscape – Thought parallels architecture.
    Photography – REDZ Photography

It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see – Thoreau

When architecture attempts to merge two paradoxical forces, there arises a metaphorical meaning to what has been achieved. The concept of ‘lightness’ generally relates to the physical weight of objects or materials. In the realm of design, it can take a surrealistic stance when used to alter the perceived visual mass and ambiance. Through the manipulation of forms, play of materials and control of light & shadow, the concept evolves into a sensory experience.

Located at the coastal city of Kozhikode in Kerala, the project was given an architectural envelope that orientates to the north providing privacy to the entrance facade. The house then rests within a completely inwards focused environment, separating both the social and co-existence space on the ground floor and the private space on the upper floor.


There are vast concrete slabs that float and interlace with each other creating living spaces, while glass – a prevailing element in the project – helps to demarcate the interior spaces, without dissecting them from the lush foliage in the external areas. The benevolent qualities of wood put to use at the roof level ensures that the ambient temperature within the house stays comfortable and helps to further the natural connect with the surrounding nature and greenery.

The cities we live in are becoming increasingly claustrophobic. Most client’s briefs categorically state that they want the homes to be uncluttered. The underlying reason for this being that among other functions it must serves, the home is where one heads back to for rest and rejuvenation.

This understanding lead us to instill ample airiness in the inner sanctum by the use of double heights and made the interior spaces completely illuminated by openings. Voids within the high ceiling and large framed windows offer unobstructed views to the ground floor and first floor. The zoning distribution blends the family’s common space and an inside-out living area adjacent to one of the fundamental parts of the project – the indoor courtyard. A sense of intrigue is created when the courtyard unexpectedly appears beyond the facade wall that leads to the main living hall.

The client’s role in facilitating this project is immeasurable – a young, educated couple with a curiosity and interest about architecture in general and our vision. Client(Entrepreneur in  Dubai) five family members including his parents and brothers. He Being an orthodox Muslim family, they required a separate living spaces for guest and family.


Creating a sense of intrigue beyond the bare exposed concrete wall is a courtyard that welcomes the guest in to the guest living and the family living , which is something no one would expect as they enter the house through the main door  – Courtyards on either sides of living and dinning area makes one feel surrounded by the nature-Addition of the green roof over the guest living which has a rather low roof acts as a insulation against the afternoon heat.



The bare concrete wall act as a visual barrier and gives privacy to the family living and dining area .

-Creating openness in otherwise cramped surroundings by moving the face of the building back.

-Cantilevered office space doubles up as an entrance porch as well as a car parking space.

-Rampway for easy access to the ground floor space


Cross ventilation and double height spaces with hollow brick slab keeps the temperature in the house within acceptable levels thus avoiding the use of artificial air conditioning. Terrace roof garden keeps the room cooled during the day. Louvers in the south facade let in filtered light keeping away the heheat.arge double height window on the north facade gets in the north light, lighting up the space throughout the day.



Slit window-Narrow slit window provided between glass panels for air to enter into the office room (venture  effect)allowing  air exchange

Louver with mosquito net –wooden louvers used to screen the direct sun light from south side and it allows  the air to enter the living cum dining area

INTERIOR COLOUR – very few colours are used  in the interiors. The texture of concrete  and wood adds a natural touch . Since the  hall has two adjacent courtyard spaces, the shaded light spreads around the living cum dining area.

THROUGH THE DESIGNSite plan with setbacks for permissible area to build,

Narrow abutting road  and houses around led to moving the face of the residence back creating openness.The front facade of the structure was treated as a bare exposed concrete wall with only the main door and window openings for the guest living thus creating an  atmosphere isolating the house from the busy city life.



Overhanging office space creates an entrance porch which also doubles up as  a parking area Thus avoiding the need for a separate car parking structure .

– Green spaces in the form of courtyards are added around the family living and dinning area creating a envelope of GREENERY


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