This house at Perumadappu, a Malappuram village near Thrissur border, oozes traditional Kerala charm from each brick.
When NRI Noushad Ali and family decided to build a house, they only wanted to have a simple structure in contemporary style which could be easily maintained and kept. That’s how they approached Sadiq Ali and Zainul Ali who run the architectural firm Bricks and Stone in Ponnani. The magnificent 2,500 sq ft elevation which stands in almost an acre was built as per the architects’ design and plan. Today, it’s a structure that showcases the typical traditional designs of Kerala.
It was material re-use that contributed to cost-cutting with items being brought in from about 15 old structures which were pulled down and sold. A lot of tiles, wood, attic finishings, door and window frames and furniture were thus bought at throwaway rates.
The sloping roofs were laid with old tiles which were spruced up and polished. Windows in blue finish, a standout design of old structures were carted out and used in the new house with colored glass strips above them giving the window frames an ethnic look.
Another design element which makes the walls outside look fetching are the terracotta-hued cladding tiles which give the effect of laterite on walls. A small patch of green adds to the look of the structure.
To the right stands the colorful and design-layered sit-out. This is one place where Kerala in all its traditional glory has been recreated. Vintage arm chairs, Kerala style utensils and a hanging brass lamp complete the decor. The exquisitely beautiful Chettinad tiles give the floor an old-world charm.
The interiors are flush with air and light and have been given a rustic finish. The highlight here is a pebbled courtyard. The dining space and the courtyard have been done up in the open style. The insides, especially the main hall, have no doors which set limitations to an expansive look. Instead of doors, rooms have been separated with wooden frames sitting inside walls.
The living section looks truly grand with large windows framing its three sides. The rich look of the hall comes from the furniture in teak wood with its sheen from the fresh polish. An eight-seat dining table adds to the dining decor. The false ceilings have also come from old structures. They have been polished and re-used.
It’s a simple staircase that lands in the dining section, but looks rich because of the wooden handrail and the steps too in wood. A pantry table finds room below the staircase. The washbasin stands fixed on one side of the courtyard wall with a common toilet next to it.
There are three bedrooms with attached bathrooms. The floors have been laid in clay tiles. A bed in one of the bedrooms with wooden frames to hold a mosquito net is a special design element.
The kitchen is extremely simple. There are windows all over and they bring in air, light and plenty of breeze.
The space atop the courtyard has been converted to a balcony. The owner is happy that he had to shell out only Rs 32 lakh for the structure. The house is every bit a reminder of our rich architectural heritage. It’s still relevant today and is sure to stand the test of time.
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