• Zikr Inculcates Natural Ventilation and Living Among Nature in its Very Being | Barefoot Architects

    Barefoot Architects have included natural ways of traditional planning, like natural ventilation and native landscaping to an heartfelt extent.

    The house, designed with a formal layout centered on a central courtyard, celebrates the traditional planning and arrangement found in Kerala’s historic homes, emphasizing the importance of natural ventilation and daylight.

    Editor’s note: An Another significant addition to the Southern architecture fabric that so intuitively engages us. The central courtyard hosts to make memories for the members and enhances all the spaces attached to it. All the factors necessary for a dialed-down and relaxed dwelling are accommodated and acquainted in amicable terms. ~ Nishal Sevak

    Zikr Inculcates Natural Ventilation and Living Among Nature in its Very Being | Barefoot Architects

    The house is set amidst agricultural land in Alanallur, Palakkad and the site’s naturally elevated setting offer a modest view of the town nearby. The client’s desire to build a home surrounded by the houses of their friends and relatives highly influenced the planning and designing aspects. 

    The site, originally an ancestral property, has an area of approximately 3,600 sq.ft and is a part of their agricultural land. Since the client primarily resides abroad, the house is mostly used by his mother with the assistance of a few workers.

    The house is designed in a way that maximizes the use of natural light and ensures excellent ventilation across all the rooms. The centrally placed courtyard is remarkably impactful in regulating the microclimate of the building and furthermore lets in the natural context into the house. It is designed to ensure barrier-free standards making it accessible to those with mobility difficulties.

    When it comes to planning, the layout skillfully integrates spaces and rooms around a central courtyard, in perfect harmony with the client’s desire to infuse nature into their living space. The courtyard is flanked on both sides by the dining and living areas, both of which open onto an inviting sit-out courtyard, elevating the overall ambiance of the space.

    The adjacent study area not only allows for supervision but also ensures that the courtyard’s essence permeates this part of the home. The lengthy verandahs lend the house the charm and atmosphere of a traditional Kerala tharavadu. 

    The house’s interiors and furniture boast a harmonious blend of traditional and modern finishes. Many of the furnishings are reclaimed from the client’s former residence and have been customized to meet their specific preferences. The use of Rattan cane weaving in the furniture, coupled with the incorporation of modern art and various mud pottery, contributes to a splendid interior ambiance.

    The inclusion of classic architectural details such as woodwork, combined with contemporary features like open floor plans and sleek, minimalist furnishings, imparts a polished and sophisticated feel to the interiors. The choice of materials, including Kota green and Jaisalmer yellow color flooring, pays homage to tradition while celebrating the house’s rich heritage.

    For the purpose of welcoming intermittent rain and breezy winds into the core of the building, a retractable shading system graces the central courtyard. Adorned with terracotta jaalis, meticulously arranged to create a stylish play of shadows, this feature imparts a dynamic quality to the space, offering varying patterns on the floor as daylight transitions.

    The house’s exterior showcases a classic sloped roof supported by steel truss work, adorned with clay tiles. The exterior pavement is crafted from cobblestone, seamlessly blending with the surrounding landscape, which features alocasia plants, coconut trees, and heliconia.


    Designed by: Barefoot Architects

    Project Type: Residential

    Project Name: Zikr

    Completion Year: 2023

    Gross Built Area: 3683 sqft

    Project Location: Alanallur, Kerala

    Principal Architects: Basil Kalladi, Nithin Raj

    Photo Credits: Justin Sebastian 

    Firm’s Instagram Link: Barefoot Architects

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