Sipson, a native of Thrissur, had come across a beautiful house designed by Architect Albin Paul. When he was planning on constructing his dream home, he knew that Albin would be the person to who could turn his dreams into reality. The 3000 sq. ft. house set on a 12 cent plot near Kottakara stands proud as a testimony to that trust.
All the common areas in the house follows an open plan. The partition that separates the living and dining area doubles up as a TV unit. This partition was built using plywood paneling on a metal structure. The thin and compact partition saves a lot of space in the room. There is a prayer area adjacent to the living room. The sliding windows in the hall let in ample light. The wall paper is an attractive element. The gypsum false ceiling has a layer of wall paper too.
The staircase is an important part of the decor and it starts from the dining area. This is made of a metal frame and wooden planks. The wood for this was procured from an ancestral home. The making charges were pretty high though.
In place of the hand railing we can see 304 Grade stainless steel wires. The advantage of using this, is that maintenance is absolutely hassle-free. Below the staircase there is a carpet of fake grass. The wall adjacent to the stairs is of toughened glass. So the stairs can be seen from outside the house.
The courtyard near to the dining area is another interesting feature. The courtyard plays the role of brightening the interiors. Above the courtyard there is a concrete pergola. A vertical style pergola has been added from the middle of the wall. The presence of a palm in this space is indeed a lovely touch. A stand-alone wash area has been set in the courtyard.
The dining area has a double height ceiling. This helps in better lighting, unobstructed air flow and in bringing some connection between both levels of the house. The design is in such a way that you can get a view of the dining space from the top floor. The lantern collection from Mattancherry adds a unique feel to the space. One of the walls has been given a highlighter wall paper. On this there is an artwork of Plywood CNC cutting in the shape of a tree. The false ceiling here has wall paper too.
The glass wall near the stairs faces the courtyard portion. Cross ventilation done by giving aluminum louvers in double height helps to reduce the heat in the interiors to a great extent.
You can see the entrance of the house from the kitchen. This makes it easier for the lady of the house to know when there are guests. There is a work area and a separate utility area with sheet roofing near the kitchen. The kitchen cabinets are of plywood with a Duco paint coating. The counter-top is made of white Nano glass.
As for bedrooms, there are four bedrooms with an attached bathroom -one bedroom in the basement and the rest on the first floor. The decor elements, room sizing etc. are quite similar for all the rooms. The bedrooms have a separate dressing area. A special design element above the headboard, made of plywood with veneer finish gives the room a a magical lighting effect. Some space has been left out for building an extra bedroom in the future. All bedrooms have a false ceiling with wall paper.
Metallic finish wall paper has been used for the upper living area. The furniture here is from the family’s old collection.
Doors and Windows
Pincoda wood has been used for the doors and windows. The cut works on these are done using plywood. The windows have a Duco paint finish.
Albin Paul is a known name among the new –generation architects in Kerala. He completed his B. Arch degree from the MES College, Kuttipuram in 2009. He runs the firm DE Studio based in Kakkanad, Ernakulam.
There is a common misconception that contemporary style houses are not fit for our climate. Is there any truth in this?
Issues arise only when you blindly follow the contemporary style of conventions. Sunshades are not a necessity in foreign countries but in places like Kerala, where there is abundant rainfall; these are essential. I always make it a point to lay 2 inches of projected granite over the main slabs and over the sunshade. This prevents leakage or water seeping in. For flat roofing, a 2 inch projection is always given for protection sake. When glass is being used for the design, ventilation should be taken care of to reduce heat.
What are the major factors that need to be addressed when you undertake a project?
We try our best to deliver according to the preferences of our clients. Sometimes we do advise them on better cost-effective options without the need to compromise. Many want large sized houses but they don’t know if it will stay within the set budgets.
Area: 3000 sq. ft.
Architect: Albin Paul, De_Studio, Kakkanad, Kochi
Owner: Sipson & Suman, Thrissur