Traditional charm combines with modern sophistication at this Manjeri home

The classy traditional architectural style that is intrinsic to Kerala has been smartly utilised to grant a majestic look to the elevation. Photo: Special arrangement

Kesavan and his family are thrilled to show around their brand-new house in their hometown in Manjeri, Malappuram. They had chosen a plot, facing the west, which is filled with lots of fruit-bearing and shade trees. Moreover, they wanted a traditional style naalukettu house with inner courtyards in order to ensure an amazing supply of natural light and air. Interestingly, modern amenities have been included in this traditional house to make it suit the modern lifestyle of the family members.

The family wasn’t interested in cutting any trees to construct the structure. Meanwhile, lush greenery could be seen here from the gateway to the landscape. The grand old mango tree and the jackfruit tree remain in the plot, granting fruits as well as cool shade. Ixora cochinea (chethi), Tulsi, crepe jasmine (nanthyarvattam) and vibrant cassia (konna) fistula are grown in the verdant landscape that is paved with fresh pearl grass. The elevation looks scintillating with the pleasant greenery surrounding it.

Interestingly, the classy traditional architectural style that is intrinsic to Kerala has been smartly utilised to grant a majestic look to the elevation. The truss roof in multiple layers is what gives a regal charm to the structure. Meanwhile, Mangalore terracotta tiles have been paved on the roof. The car porch is arranged on the south side of the structure and an outhouse that looks like an old granary has been built above it.

The entrance door is crafted in a single piece of jackfruit timber and is fitted with the iconic ‘Manichitrathazhu’. The walls built in laterite stones aren’t plastered to grant an old-world charm to the interiors. Meanwhile, the stone pillars adorned with intricate carvings are the highlight of the sit-out. The beautiful mansion built in 4800 sqft has a car porch, sit-out, formal and family living areas, courtyard, dining area, kitchen with work area and four bath attached bedrooms.

The charming courtyard is the soul of this house. Interestingly, the spaces have been designed around the courtyard. The beauty of the courtyard could be enjoyed from anywhere in the house. The open courtyard, meanwhile, welcomes natural sunshine and cool rain showers into the house. Moreover, the courtyard plays a pivotal role in pushing out the hot air, filling the interiors with a pleasant ambience.

Ceilings and panelling have been used to separate the spaces. For instance, the dining area is highlighted with classy gypsum and a wooden false ceiling. The modular kitchen mostly has wooden furnishings in order to complement the traditional theme of the house. However, the kitchen boasts of all the modern facilities including cabinets done in marine ply with veneer finish.

As the rooms are taller than what is seen usually, the interiors look and feel vaster, allowing amazing air circulation. Meanwhile, the interiors aren’t too hot as double-layered sunshades are built on all sides.

The newly dug pond on the north side is connected with the rainwater harvesting system. As this is also connected to the drainage system, the rainwater that falls in the front yard too would reach the pond. This technology helps in well recharging during the summer to ensure ample supply of water.

This house was designed after researching a lot about the traditional homes in Kerala. Even during the harsh summer, there is no need to switch on air conditioners inside the house. You could manage with just a regular ceiling fan. The family is delighted that nature comes into the house, filling their minds with positive vibes.

Project Facts
Location – Manjeri, Malappuram
Plot – 50 cents
Area – 4800 SFT
Owner – Kesavan
Design – LEZARA Designs, Manjeri
Year of completion - 2023

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