Ancestral home lost to highway development, family builds house in 2 cents

There were some practical difficulties to build a house in such a small plot. Photo: Special arrangement

Even though infrastructure development is the necessity of the age, its often the common people who have to pay the price for it. Josy, a native of Pathirappally, Alappuzha too has a similar story to tell.

The family had been living in their ancestral home that stood in 11 cents on the side of the National Highway at Pathirapally. Josy had an adjoining shop and a plant nursery in the same plot. It was only five years ago that he had renovated the ancestral home by spending a hefty amount. So, he was disheartened when 9 cents were taken over for highway development. The family was left with meagre 2 cents in order to build a new house.

There were some practical difficulties to build a house in such a small plot. So, Josy decided to purchase some land in Kollam where his daughter is settled and build a home there. Even though he saw many plots, nothing worked out due to the exorbitant land price. The family then decided to build a house in their own plot, by making some alterations in the plan.

Only a few walls of the old structure were remaining in the plot. The new structure was built as part of these. The family, meanwhile, wished to retain the grand old mango tree, that is more than a century old. They were emotionally attached to the memories related to that mango tree. Architect Ramesh too said ‘yes’ to their wish and designed a brand-new house by retaining the tree.

The part where the tree stands has been separated into a cozy courtyard. You could enjoy the fabulous beauty of the old tree and pluck plump mangoes easily during the season.

The interiors have been designed by ensuring privacy as the national highway runs in the front. Meanwhile, the open spaces make the interiors look and feel vaster.

Designed in 1200 sqft, this quaint yet elegant house has a sit-out, living area, dining space, kitchen and a bath attached bedroom on the ground floor. Meanwhile, there is an office room that could be converted into a bedroom on the upper floor.

The staircase that connects the interiors, designed in multiple layers, is made using metal pipes. The cupboards beneath the stairway are a smart addition as it makes the interiors extremely space efficient.

The use of timber has been limited in order to keep a tab on the expenses. Readymade UPVC doors and windows are used in the interiors. The construction of the house, including the structure and furnishing, was completed on a pocket-friendly budget of Rs 35 lakh.

Josy confesses that even though they aren’t against development, it felt extremely painful when they suddenly lost their old house and the memories associated with it. However, the family is joyous that they could build a fabulous home in the same plot, by retaining their favourite mango tree.

Project Facts

Location – Pathirappally, Alappuzha

Plot – 2 cents

Area – 1200 SFT

Owner – Josi Folor and Sheeba

Designer – Ramesh Krishnan

Studio. AF, Alappuzha

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