Despite owning an ancestral home, Nooruddin Kunju and his family were staying in a small 2 -bedroom house for years. This was because he just could not bring himself around to demolish his 'tharavadu', nor could he live there giving the state the house was in. Gradually, the house became a store room. But then, over the years his relatives convinced him to renovate this old building - and giving it a brand new makeover.
This was when designer Sajesh entered the scene. Sajesh knew that working on such a tharavadu, taking into consideration its decrepit condition was not going to be an easy task. The idea was to go about it without making major changes to the basic structure. More than renovation, it was almost like giving the house a total rebirth, a revival of sorts.
Both the walls and the roofing had deteriorated and hence every move had to be with care and utmost patience. The first phase was to work on the walls by retaining the roofing as such. A small bedroom and the adjoining pathayam (a store-room) was joined together to make a bigger room. This was the major modification done here.
The kitchen used to be in the front portion of the tharavadu. The bedroom behind the kitchen was converted into a kitchen and the room in the front was made into a bedroom. The limestone coating on the walls was scrubbed off and a layer of cement used instead. Some sections of the walls had to be rebuilt. Once the base structure was made strong enough, the team began work on the roof.
The position of many of the supporting beams were wrong and these had to be fixed. The crooked and damaged parts of the roof had to be erected with some extra work. In the ancient times, Muslim tharavad used to follow the practice of building slanted roofs to ensure that the women in the house were not seen outside. Few pillars and slanting roofs were also added to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the tharavadu. All the additional pillars were purchased and the required repairs and polish done to it.The main door was replaced with a new one and parts of the old door was given a fresh lease of life as seating for the Nadumuttom. The narrow pillars that used to be in the front of the house was also used for this purpose. The 'Mukhappu' in the centre was newly added to beautify the exterior look of the tharavadu.
Methods to increase the height
The verandah surrounding the home was built in double height and hence the interiors seemed pretty low. The height of the verandah was reduced and this helped to rectify the problem. The verandah behind the house was done away with and turned into a work area and the one in front was reduced in width.
Beyond the verandah at the back of the house, there was another courtyard with four walls. The bars from here was used to build the work area. The flooring was done using vitrified tiles. The ceiling of most of the rooms used to be of wood. Since it was in decay, it was changed and extra wood was bought to lay over the kitchen and the other bedrooms. These were polished.
Though the number of rooms are only 2, Nooruddin and family is elated that they could revive the old tharavadu for the better. Maybe in the future, when the funds are sufficient they will think about adding 1 or 2 rooms or making the tharavadu fit enough to be a palace!
Area: 1800 sq. ft.
Designer: Sajesh Nandiyatt
Nandiyatt Designers, Cherthala
Owner: Nooruddin Kunju, Kayamkulam
Cost: 10 Lakh
HighlightsA dilapidated tharavadu was given a new lease of life.The cost of renovating 1800 sq. ft. came to about 10 lakhs.The roof tiles and wood was reused.The number of rooms were reduced and changes were done to the positioning.Old pillars were purchased and given a new look and feel.Seating for the Nadumuttom made using the old wooden door panels and pillars.Old wood was used to build a cabin as there was no space designated for dining or a wash area.The base structure was retained as such.
(By arrangement with Veedu)