The brand new house of fashion photographer Mathew Mathan, close to his ancestral home in Muhamma, Alappuzha, Kerala, is special and interesting in so many ways. It is the owner himself who designed this beautiful abode. Instead of concrete, the walls of this house are built using the fiber cement boards. “We wanted to complete the construction of the house as soon as possible. That is why we enquired about the prefabricated houses built using fiber cement panels. The GFRG panels were purchased from the FACT in Aluva. Only a few walls inside the house are built using regular building blocks,” says Mathew.
The looks of the exteriors of this house, which sports a semi circular shape, weren’t given much importance while designing it. However, the family’s commitment in preserving nature is quite evident from the way trees and lush greenery is maintained here. The structure, in fact, is built around two trees as they didn’t want to cut down any trees to build the house. A jamun and a mango tree are retained inside the structure, bringing spectacular nature into the house. The impeccable beauty of rain showers could be enjoyed from inside the house itself.
This enchanting house, in 3500 sq ft area, has formal and family living areas, courtyards, dining space, kitchen with an adjacent work area, and four bedrooms. Unnecessary walls are avoided in the interiors to make spaces open and spacious.
A corridor which opens to the central courtyard connects the living area with the dining space. One can enter the three bedrooms from this corridor as well. The courtyards are the highlight of this mesmerizing house. The trees are retained in the courtyard beside the stairway. Meanwhile, there is a small garden with beautiful flowering plants in the courtyard near the dining area.
Flooring in this house is done using mosaic that matches the general theme of the house. Mathew says his extended family and other relatives often visit them. A long dining table crafted in a single piece of gulmohar wood, which can accommodate quite a few guests, is the highlight of the dining area. The antique furniture that dons the interior spaces adds a unique old world charm to the house. The boundary wall is what creates the border for the interior courtyard. The exposed brick work here is an eye-catching feature.
The bedrooms open to the lush greenery of the beautiful courtyards. The bath-attached bedrooms have wardrobe facilities for storage. The modular kitchen too has been designed with lots of spaces for storage.
“Many are curious to know how these trees are protected inside the house, without actually having problems of leakage or security concerns. This is not rocket science. The lower branches of the trees have been cut, while allowing the rest of the tree to grow and spread upward, above the house. A toughened glass roof on metal frames is installed for additional security. The most amazing thing about it is that we can pluck fresh, ripe mangoes, during the mango season, from inside the house itself,” says Mathew with a smile.
Location – Muhamma, Alappuzha
Area – 3500 SFT
Owner – Mathew Mathan
Mob – 94471 03531