Ashraf Ali’s house stands towering, a good 20 metres above road level, on the Palakkad-Kozhikode road in Chirakkalpadi, Mannarkkad, to set the exact location. It’s true that those who drive along, pause for a moment to take in the classic architectural style of this eye-catching structure. And to real estate businessman Mani, as Ashraf Ali is known locally, his house is his proudest possession. The 7,170 sq ft house on a sprawling 78.46 cents of land was conceptualized, designed and constructed by designer Shabeer Saleel.
Open the main gate and drive up. You’ll feel you are going up a high range hill. A magnificent winding tarred road snakes up to entrance from the main road. The sloping tar road concept was to prevent soil erosion and land spill from the top in the eventuality of heavy rains. A small hairpin bend flanked by undulating grass slopes makes the place look as pretty as a picture postcard.
The raw earth lay in several steps and slopes before touching 20 metres above the road. The owner’s ancestral home stood close by. The biggest challenge before the construction team lay in leveling out an ideal landscape. The designer refrained from meddling with the original plot layout. He built the house on the land the way it was left by nature.
The usual and traditional style of erecting structures on land of such nature is by reinforcing its strength with concrete and granite. However, here, the landscape was styled using earth from the plot itself and setting it to a slanting style technique called pitching.
Pitching is cost-effective, nature-friendly, visually striking and enables maximum land utilization too. The highlight of the house is its beautifully laid out garden with its sprawling and winding lawns. The paving tiles laid in the garden complements its rich look.
The owner had this particular concept of interior design, especially when it came to the furnishings. He was neither in favor of using polished wood nor keeping the furniture always polished, as he believed that the weather would easily rob the sheen and polish off the wood. In accordance with his choice, the exteriors, interiors and even the classic furniture were all set in themes of white.
There’s nothing flashy or ornate about the interiors. On the contrary, there’s a show of taste and elegance. Hence, the formal living, family living, hall, six bedrooms, bathrooms, dining hall, kitchen, pantry, work area and home theater room have this touch of elegance and dignity. The flooring in Italian marble heightens the dignified look of the insides. The fine teak used for furniture and the staircase add to the richness of the classical style. The imported living room furniture looks chic and stylish. The spiral staircase in carved teak wood completes the picture of elegance.
To set off an impression of expansiveness, the formal living has been done in double height. A side garden area has been provided where family get-togethers can be arranged. This space has been paved with shahabad stone. A wooden pergola roof connects this space with the family living. The owner’s office space sits cozily on one side of the sit-out.
The natural lighting is enhanced by the false ceiling in gypsum veneer and warm-toned lighting. The dining area has been designed in the open style and looks stylish. The special hanging lamps and ornate chandeliers have all been imported.
The bedrooms stand apart in six different color themes. The false ceiling and lightings in these rooms have been arranged to suit the color and mood of each space.
The kitchen is minimalist in design. A small breakfast counter has been arranged here.
A well-equipped home theatre space adorns the floor up.
A long fencing in rustic finish stands along the garden border of the green length. The fence looks like it’s been crafted in cast iron. But in reality, it’s been done up in MS grill. A lamp-post adds to the charm of the garden. The paint in rustic green finish on the fence and lamp-post cannot be missed.
The house, a sure stunner by night, stands bathed in a golden glow. As for Ashraf Ali, his dream house has been far beyond and way above his deepest expectations.
Area: 7170 sq ft
Plot: 78.46 cents
Owner: Ashraf Ali
Location: Chirakkalpadi, Mannarkkad
Year of completion: 2016
Architect and designer: Shabeer Saleel
Shabeer Saleel Associates, Kozhikode