‘Harikrupa,’ a two-storey house in Mukhavoor, Kozhikode, was built 45 years ago. The ground floor of the 1350 sq.ft. house comprised of a verandah, a corridor, three bedrooms and a kitchen, while the first floor consisted of three bedrooms. Manjor Kumar, the current resident of the home who is also a designer, felt that the rooms were not spacious enough for the changing lifestyle. That was how he decided to go for a total renovation of this ancient house. The task of renovating the house was entrusted with his friend and architect A N Krishna Mohan. Let us listen to story from the architect himself:
Since Manoj, the owner of the house, is a friend of mine, I had a lot of support and was given complete freedom with regards to designing the house. The original ‘Harikrupa’ was an east-facing home with the verandah in the front leading to the three bedrooms. The kitchen was on the right of the corridor.
The first thing I did was to ensure that the house faced the west. A new verandah was built on the western side, which leads to the living space. The three bedrooms of the old house were converted into the living-cum-dining space in the new house. The wall that separated the bedrooms was pulled down. Each of the three bedrooms were 7.30 meters in length. Out of this, 4 meters were allotted to the living space and 3.30 meters to the dining area. In the center, the TV unit was set.
A courtyard and a car porch were newly added towards the right side of the living space. Stones were used for building the old house. When it was pulled down, the stones that were intact were reused for constructing the new rooms besides the newly bought ones.
One of the major amendments done to the structure of the house was the addition of four new bedrooms, two on the ground floor near the verandah and two on the first floor. A new staircase was built from the old verandah. A courtyard and a prayer room were also built on the space where the old verandah was constructed. The old kitchen was retained as it was, and a new work area was added.
The spacious new bedrooms have a bathroom and a dressing area attached to them. The three bedrooms on the upper floor were converted into a home theater. The old roof, thatched with dried coconut leaves, was dismantled. The new roof was built by paving the weld mesh and concreting it with an inch of inclination. The old tiles were laid on the roof.
Wood gathered from the old roof, doors and windows were reused in the renovation. The old doors were only 190 centimeters tall, which was augmented to 210 centimeters in the new house. This was made possible by fixing new wood to the jambs and at the bottom of the doors. The bamboos collected from the old verandah were reused to build the pergola over the new courtyard.
In the new design, a lot of emphasis was given on ample air circulation and light inside the house. Two courtyards and windows were included for this purpose. Aluminum turbines were installed over the courtyard to expel hot air from the inside. Likewise, the innovative ‘light well’ system installed over the staircase using a PVC pipe also brings in plenty of light and expels the hot air.
This is how the ‘light well’ system is installed: A PVC pipe with eight inch thickness is fixed on the roof during the time of concreting. The pipe has to be fixed vertically, with eight inches of its length seen above the level of the roof. Drill holes on the sides of the pipe to let the air in. Cover it with a glass lid and cover it with a mosquito net. The ‘light well’ system that ensures a lifetime of light and air is ready!
The old thulasi thara coated with oxide was replaced with a more nature-friendly variety one made of Kota stone. Tiles were used only in the bathrooms. The old well was preserved, which is now inside the work area. The renovated ‘Harikrupa’, which spans 3600 sq.ft. offers everything the owners of the house desire.
About the Architect
A N Krishna Mohan had his degree in Architecture from Government Engineering College, Thrissur. He has won the Best Architect Award from IIA Thrissur division. After securing Masters degree from University School of Design, Mysore, Krishna Mohan worked for 11 years as an assistant to some of the leading architects in the industry. In 2010, he started his own firm named ‘Akruti Architects’ headquartered at Kozhikode.