It is indeed a challenge to design a house blending needs and aesthetics perfectly. This often puts pressure on designers and the intensity of that pressure goes up especially when the designers are just students of architecture. However, young designers Abrar Ali and Ujwal confidently took up the project as a tribute to the beautiful friendship that they share with Sangeeth Satheesh, who is a fellow student at the College of Architecture in Thiruvananthapuram. They had given a new lease of life to Sangeeth’s house at Mannanthala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, whose construction had been stalled for 9 long years. The house, named Charu Villa, which got a facelift, has transformed into a beautiful, modern abode, which exudes elegance.
The exterior look of the house is so chic and classy that it would immediately charm anyone’s heart. The house stands on a plot which is close to the road. The plot is a bit raised from the level of the road and this feature was made use of while designing the house. The exterior, designed in the contemporary architectural style, emanates a special charm. All the faulty features of the old structure have been replaced with robust and mesmerizing modern features.
The architecture students, who came forward to give a new life to Sangeeth’s house, had to face an array of challenges and difficulties. It was extremely challenging to transform an old incomplete conustruction into a beautiful home, suitable for the modern living.
As the house had stood abandoned for so many years, many of the features were damaged. The construction was resumed after analyzing the strength of the structure. The designers had discussions with the engineers in the locality to understand more about how strong the structure was. After scrutinizing the plan and acquiring expert opinions from the engineers, many walls were removed from the original structure. This ensured abundant supply of natural light and air in the interiors. Besides, the stairway from the first floor to the terrace is built with steel and flamed granite to avoid extra weight on the walls on the ground floor.
The interiors are designed in the open style. The unique exteriors, designed according to the interests of the owner, are a highlighting feature of this house. The granite claddings and louvers on the elevation add a rugged charm to the exteriors. Various materials in different shades and textures were used to make the exteriors look unique and scintillating.
The traditional padipura gateway, thulasi thara (sacred stone platform where tulsi plant is grown) and the sit-out designed in the rustic style are just a preview of the mesmerizing sights that awaits you inside. The incredible beauty of the lush green garden can be enjoyed from the sit out. The interiors are designed in the open style and the spaces are arranged as per the interests and preferences of the family members. To avoid adding weight onto the old walls, the steel stairway has flamed granites as steps. This stairway has a chimney effect as it pushes out the warm air from the living area. The unique design features on walls and floor separate the spacious living area into two compartments.
The kitchen is where all the modern features meet in an extremely impressive way. There is a pantry between the dining area and the kitchen which allow the family members to have a hearty chat with guests while cooking delicious meals. The sunshine, from the east direction, enters through the louvers and falls on the breakfast counter. These louvers which bring in sunshine from the east protect the walls from extreme heat that come from the west direction.
The master bedroom and the sit out flaunt the elegance of the ceiling done in the traditional style. This unique design of the ceiling is inspired from the exquisite ceiling at the Padmanabapuram Koyikkal palace. The traditional ceiling goes amazingly well with the overall modern look of the house. Cornees reaper and veneer sheet have been used to make this ceiling, in a cost effective way, by recreating the texture of the teak wood.
Space for gatherings
The beautiful garden is the most active space in this house. This spot is the perfect place to host small family gatherings and barbecue parties. The women folk love to spend the evenings here, chatting and unwinding. The plants and trees are well maintained by the family. All these features have been arranged with excellent planning. Pipelines required to arrange a washbasin to supply water to the landscape was installed in the beginning itself. This wash basin not only serves as a designer element in the garden but also saves the guests time as they could wash their hands here instead of going to the wash room.
The architects didn’t forget to design comfortable reading spaces for the family members. A cozy reading area is arranged in the northeast side of the bedroom. There is a bay window with overhead shelves. This shelf could be converted into a reading or writing table as well. The interiors, with minimal decor and furniture, look as elegant as a beautiful painting. Expensive decorative features or decor wouldn’t be spotted inside this house. The young architects say that they have given prime importance to comfort and minimalism while designing this house rather than concentrating on making it look luxurious.
Location – Mannathala, Thiruvananthapuram
Area – 3400 SFT
Owner – Sangeeth Satheesh
Architects – Abrar Ali and Ujwal