India-based studio 10×10 Design Consultants has designed the contemporary house for Mr. Mansoor and his family in Palakkad district, nestled in the Western Ghats.
+ Project description courtesy 10×10 Design Consultants
A home is a sanctuary and a retreat. It shelters one against the elements of nature. The modern man is trying to find the lost harmony between him and Mother Nature. With this frame of mind, we set out to design a residence for Mr. Mansoor and his family in Palakkad district, nestled in the Western Ghats.
The brief was to come up with a minimalist design that was almost zen-like in its simplicity. The demand was made for a contemporary design and modern, one-storey residence. The family expressed a strong desire for a feeling of openness without compromising on privacy and dynamic movement of energy.
With the client’s brief in hand, the design team made a detailed study of the climatic conditions of the proposed site. Nestled on the undulating slopes of the Western Ghats , Palakkad is subject to wide range of weather conditions. The dry summer season extends from March to June. In the peak of summer, the temperature hovers around 43’ C. The South West monsoon calls on the district around the second week of June and rains until September. During the coolest months of December and January, temperatures have been known to fall to the early twenties.
While incorporating the family’s requirements in the structure, we incorporated elements that would tone down the effects of the harsh natural elements. Hence, the salient features of this structure are the flow of air and the passage of light.
It was crucial to keep the residence cool even during the scorching summer without incurring enormous energy bills. A water body in the front that can be used to collect the rain water and to replenish the ground watertable, cools the air that enters the house.
Traditional houses in Kerala were built around a square inner courtyard, known as the ‘nadumuttam’. In today’s milieu, it is often unsafe and impractical. Yet, the ‘nadumuttam’ served a vital function, as a means to circulate air and light into all corners of the house. In Mr. Mansoor’s residence, the ‘nadumuttam’ was bifurcated using a passage that connects the public spaces (formal drawing and formal dining areas) to the private spaces of the house. The space between the private and public areas of the house aids in better ventilation and lighting of both sections of the structure.