Satheesh has seen his friends and relatives complaining about their concrete houses as the temperature inside those structures soar during harsh summers. However, heat has no trace in his elegantly unique house at Chokli in Kannur, Kerala. As he had already decided to tread a different path in building construction.
Satheesh was inspired by the eco-friendly homes designed by architect Biju Balan. He was particularly impressed by the house called ‘Chaman’ which was amazingly designed by the architect. When Satheesh shared his dream of owning an eco-friendly home like Chaman, Biju happily agreed to design his dream dwelling.
The house is built without leveling the plot which lies in many levels. This difference in height is perceived inside the house as well. Laterite stones which are abundantly available in the area were used to build the structure. The walls aren’t plastered and the termite treatment has been done to effectively prevent termite attacks. Three different types of roofs are built over the house and this is a feature which makes this house unique. The temperature inside the house would be regulated according to the nature of these roofs.
Concrete roofs are done above the sit-out, living and dining areas and kitchen. Steel and cement boards are used in some parts in the ground floor. Steel and GI sheets are used on the roof in the upper storey. Truss work is done over it and is paved with roofing tiles.
There are living and dining areas, kitchen and four bedrooms in this beautiful house which has an area of 1800 sq ft. The use of tiles and marbles were avoided as they wanted the house to be perfectly in sync with nature. Elegant Kadappa and Kota stones are paved on the floor adding a rustic charm to the interiors. Concrete ceiling is retained as it is, without plastering, at many places. An entire wall in the living area has been turned into a huge glass window with metal frames. Cool breeze always enters the house through this window and helps maintain a pleasant atmosphere.
The courtyard which opens to the lush greenery outside is the favorite spot of the family members. One would get the view of the courtyard from all corners of the house. A grille, with metal and glass, has been installed here to ensure security. The saplings of two trees are planted here to fill the space with more greenery. Satheesh’s wife Divya enjoys gardening and she is all set to grow a beautiful organic vegetable garden on the terrace.
The use of wood for furnishing is limited in this house. Readymade furniture wasn’t purchased at all. The cot in the master bedroom has been made in – built in a concrete frame. The cots in the other rooms are made with steel and plywood. This helped save significantly on furnishing as well. The dining table is beautifully made in wood and metal. The open kitchen has lots of storage facilities.
Other than a solitary wall fan in the living area, no ceiling fans are installed anywhere in this house. The interiors of the house are so cool and comfortable that there is no need for a fan in this house. Satheesh says that his friends often drop in during evenings to have a chat, enjoying the cool atmosphere. The family credits architect Biju Balan for envisioning and designing such a beautiful and charming house and they are extremely grateful to him for helping them realize their dream of building an environmental friendly house.
Among the many factors which contributed to keep the expenses at bay, limiting the use of concrete played a significant role. The locally sourced laterite stones have great heat resistance properties and it helps control the temperature inside the house. Sunlight do not fall directly on the house as the roofs reflect it outwards. Huge windows and the open courtyard bring in lots of natural light and air. The presence of trees and plants makes the environment cooler and beautiful.
Location – Chokli, Kannur
Area – 1800 sq ft
Owner – Satheesh
Architect – Biju Balan, Laurels Designs, Calicut
Mob – 90746 63763