The House Flaunts Vernacular Style With Eco-Friendly Aspects | Studio 3twentyone

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The House Flaunts Vernacular Style With Eco-Friendly Aspects | Studio 3twentyone

The design Intent: 

Navapatra was a vision to revamp an existing house to amalgamate the quality outdoor space with the life indoors. Enveloped in the tropical greens, the house flaunts vernacular style with cutting edge eco-friendly aspects. Adhering to the principles of sustainable architecture, we followed a realistic and pragmatic design approach in retaining the existing structural and spatial core.

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The extensions were carefully crafted so that it merged naturally with the original structure and it formed an integral part of the edifice. It is designed to allow filtered views enriched with the foliage across the house, further pushing the barriers of indoors and outdoors. Reflecting the essence of Kerala Vernacular Architecture, the courtyard improves the lighting and air quality of the rooms around it like that in a “Nalukettu”.

The patio extends into the flora around holding delightful sights. Conscious use of tones and textures of teak wood and greenery against the white plastered backdrop, which is enriched with the use of warm lights creating an enchanting indoor experience. The existing contours are complemented with the terraced landscaping without compromising on the dramatic natural setting. The abode wrapped and nourished in the scenery makes the picturesque house, just like a new leaf!

The challenges (while designing):

We were asked to reinterpret the existing 25 years old home situated atop the contour terrains of Kottayam. Amidst the tropical greens, the original built form with strong Kerala vernacular characters was sited. We decided to incorporate new life into the existing structure, retaining most of the structural core instead of demolishing it.

On the exteriors, natural contoured terrain was retained but was seldom used. So we made the existing contour lines advantageous to terraced landscapes. The landscape profile was made bold to highlight using warm lighting and natural stones that were inherited from the old house.

The courtyard was placed in the core of the house, with few enclosures. This was modified to enhance the natural illumination in the indoors by increasing the perforations.

Kitchen block, the outdoor bar and the toilets were added to the original structure maintaining the design language so as to blend with the existing house. Furthermore the spaces were reworked to increase the area and workability within the original periphery.  The Fig tree on the south side was found a huge opportunity to capture the view of the foliage and drove us to create the cantilevered open bar extension. This space provides a well-lit and ventilated space meanwhile shaded from south to avoid the solar radiations, making it usable round the clock hours!

The stunning indoor landscaping enriched with the warm lights helped with the serene ambience. To keep up the Vernacular style with all the modern-day amenities, without making the blend of the 2 styles contradicting. Reusing spaces to ensure better daylighting and natural ventilation and reducing the load on the energy consumption.

The material palette: Stone, Teak, greenery and white plaster


Architecture Firm: Studio 3twentyone

Project Name: Navapatra ~ the new leaf

Client: Sajan Varghese, Mangalam Media

Category: Residential

Location: Kottayam

Floor area: 4800 sqft

Project Completion: June 2020

Principal Architects: Ar. Anupa Kurian

Design Team: Ar. Elizabeth Eapen, Ar. Ashwika George

Photo courtesy: Ar. Prashanth Mohan (Running studios)



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