When you drive past Arkka Kadavil at Vennala in Kochi, you can see a beautifully constructed two-storey house next to the bridge – The Vadakanethu House. With traditional Kerala style exteriors, this is one attractive house and it belongs to businessman Badusha. He resides here with his wife Sajitha, daughters Sarfeena, Farhana, Fathima, Fasila and Sarfeena's husband Sahid.
The design of the house complements the plot characteristics quite well. The house has been built in multiple levels to go with the natural terrain. Instead of leveling the plot, Badusha added fillers to the low lying portion and constructed the main door, sit-out, car porch, garden and landscaping here. The total area of the plot is around 12 cents and the house is set on 6 cents of land.
“When you get into leveling a plot, a lot of space is often wasted and again the expenses incurred for the extra loads of sand is high. What I had in mind was a home that looked somewhat like the traditional Kerala Mana and the architect Jayadevan helped me make this dream a reality,” said Badusha.
As soon as you enter the gate, there is a courtyard paved with granite stones which leads to the car porch. On the left side of the car porch, there are steps that lead to the sit-out. Towards the right side of the sit-out is a corridor. From the corridor, there are a few steps that leads to a mini garden with potted plants.
In the sit-out, a double panel main door, with an antique style Chithrapoottu lock, leads into an open space. From here, one enters a dining room. On the right, one can see the living room. The flooring is done with red granite stones. Another highlight of the house is the ample light in the interiors. The well planned design of the interior layout ensures enough privacy for the living area and the kitchen.
On the left of the dining space is the kitchen. The cabinets are all of wood and there is a small breakfast counter made of granite that can seat two people. The kitchen slabs are made of black granite.
From the dining room you can enter two bedrooms on this floor. A small corridor has been constructed near the bedrooms and on the left there is a prayer room. At one end of the corridor, there is a wash basin and to the right, a common bathroom. There are 20 steps each in the dining room that leads to the ground floor and to the top floor. The first floor has an area of around 3500 sq. ft. All the doors and windows are made of teak wood.
Stairs of red granite lead up to a spacious hall on the first floor. All the three bedrooms are near this hall. The hall has been decorated with a sofa set and chairs. There is a door in the hall that opens into a veranda. This is one spot that allows excellent air circulation and light into the house.
“Having a hall this large is especially useful when there are functions happening in the house, like the eldest daughter’s wedding that happened last year,” added Badusha.
On the right side of the hall, there is a small passageway that takes you to the terrace. All the three bedrooms on the first floor have attached bathrooms and large cupboards. The space on the first floor has been used judiciously.
From the hall on the third floor, an iron ladder goes up to a small space that resembles an attic. This is the top-most portion of the house. After concreting the house, iron bars were used to make the roof support and pillars. Roof tiles were laid over this. These help in making the interiors of the rooms on the top floor cool enough.
There are around 20 steps heading downstairs too. This goes to another open space with a small passageway leading to the second kitchen in the house. This kitchen uses a traditional smoke-less stove. There is a bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor. A door in the passageway again opens out to a spacious area. Badusha has converted this into a workshop-cum-storage space for metal and iron scraps.
When he had decided to build a house, it was the architect Jayadevan that suggested he uses this space for storing the stuff related to his work. There is a well with two tanks next to the storage area. One of the tanks is for storing pipe water. The water to all the six bathrooms and the kitchen is heated using solar power.