An A-plus house amid Manjeri’s abundant verdure – that’s how one would describe Mehroof Raj’s house.
Concrete and natural products to the maximum, that was the owner’s maxim. Architect Vajid Rehman followed this to a T and crafted a house, box-structured in elevation and tropical in character. To say that the house is a reflection of nature’s bounty would be an understatement.
The early morning hues suffuse the house with warmth and as the day brightens, the whole house throws back the colors of the sun in all its radiance. The shading under the truss roof keeps the harshness of the heat from stifling those inside and brings down the temperature to normal and cool by night. The box structure offers maximum space utilization and nil area-wastage.
The structure is a meld of architecture and environment. Half an acre is no mean land area. The structure was built on the land as it stood in its original form. No leveling or scooping was done. The only change lay in bringing down a few coconut trees out of the plenty all around. And the wood was put to good use. The house is, therefore, a showcase of coconut wood.
The roofs, furniture, stairway steps, frames, and banisters are all of coconut wood. The stair rails come in a wood-steel combination. A whole lot of wood was bought from the second-hand market. The wood thus obtained helped in cutting costs to a great extent. Another cost-cutting measure was the use of terracotta tiles for flooring.
A process called ‘air gap’ detected that the finest texture of coconut wood would go into making the furniture and roofs. The process involves subjecting coconut wood to air-exposure for over a year in a special set-up cellar. While the thin layers of the wood gradually turn soggy and get covered by moss, the stronger parts remain unaffected by the weather and natural changes. That’s how the wood is classified into what’s usable and not.
The interiors are minimalist in design. Since it’s a small family, the owner has kept his needs to the minimum instead of going in for a show of opulence.
The living room roof comes in double height. A wall erected on the side of the living room provides maximum privacy to all the other rooms. A courtyard has also been designed by its side. The ceiling has been made colorful with a whole lot of tiles on it. The pergola looks magnificent in a contrast of terracotta and glass as the sunlight streams in.
The wood in the bedrooms, living room furniture and kitchen cabinets have all been reused. The design of coconut wood in MS pipes makes the stairway look very modern and stylish and lends charm to the living room. A six-seater glass topped table graces the dining section. The ceramic tiles on the floor, the terracotta cladding, and slate stone cladding give a stunning look to the walls.
The bedrooms are all in the open style with windows and openings all around the bedroom walls. The walls have been designed with frames made of coconut wood.
A pantry and serving space act as the formal kitchen. No space has been provided for a conventional or traditional kitchen.
A small space upstairs doubles up as a gym.
A small landscaped patch of green and the lush greenery around is a luxury to behold and enjoy.
Area: 2,568 sq ft
Owner: Mehroof Raj
Location: Manjeri, Malappuram
Cost: Rs 45 lakh
Year of completion: 2015
Architect: Vajid Rehman