Aluva may be a suburban hub, but it stands out as Kerala's industrial epicenter, with easy access to various channels of transit and transportation.
A relatively unpolluted town, it is a favorite among NRIs due to its proximity to Nedumbaserri Airport.
Varghese Thadikaran, who is based in Muscat, took all these in to consideration before buying land at a gated community called Harit Havens near Chalakkal, Aluva. For the 12 cent square plot, Architect Jibu John gave them the design for a contemporary style home.
The beauty of multiple levels
The plot is located right next to lush paddy fields and since this was a low lying land from the road level, extra mud was added to the front portion and two separate levels were made. The rooms that come in the front part of the house are at the same level as the road. Meanwhile, kitchen, sit out, family living room and work area come on the raised level. The family living room and the two bedrooms on the ground floor are on the same level.
As boundary walls are not allowed for a gated community, just a metallic frame gate surrounds the house. The design of the house comes with an elevation that makes the house appear large. The angular roofing also adds to the look. After leveling with concrete, truss roof has been given at a height of six to seven feet. Over this, concrete roof tiles were laid.
The slate stone cladding makes the exteriors beautiful indeed. Another highlight of the exteriors is the double height windows. One of the drawbacks of contemporary style homes is the high level of moisture that affects doors and windows. This was solved by giving a covering of powder coated aluminium for the windows with tempered glass. As for the main door, flush doors that open to the outside were used. All the doors in the interiors are made of wood.
The higher the better
The sit out leads into a living room, and a staircase built with a cast iron frame and wooden planks in the interiors separates the living room and the family living area. This adds to the regal feel in the house. It is this staircase that connects the rooms on all levels. A major attraction in the interiors is the extra height of the rooms. The ground floor rooms have a height of 13 feet and those on the top level are at a height of 11 feet. This is a smart trick to make the rooms seem large and spacious.
Adjacent to the stairs on one side, there is a partition wall separating both the living areas. This was made by doing a veneer cladding on an aluminium frame and then fixing marine ply over this.
From the living room, there is a path near the stairs leading to the dining space. The dining space, kitchen and work area lie close by and are connected. Like those seen in foreign homes, a separate servant quarters with a kitchen has been built at a lower level to this section. This helps to keep both the parties ‘privacy intact.
There are four bedrooms in the house, two on the ground floor and two on the top floor. There is a balcony that is a common feature for all the bedrooms. The entrance to the balcony is through large windows that can be fully opened. The balcony flooring is done using TechWood.
Multiwood, Marine Ply and Veneer are the mostly used elements in the interior decor. The cupboards in areas with a tendency to humidify faster are made of Multiwood and the others are made of Marine ply. All the furniture here was custom-built to suit the interior layout. The fabric furniture of the family living room has a peculiar look and feel. Imported tiles have been used for the flooring. The common areas on the top floor were given wooden flooring. The bedroom has curtains and the rest of the areas have fabric blinds for the windows. In every aspect, we would say that this house is the perfect example of the saying simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Area - 4200 sq. ft
Architect - Jibu John
Jibu and Thomas Architects
Location - Aluva