Architect Anoop from Thriprayar has an interesting story to tell about one of his clients. A client who renovated his home for the sake of his love for cinema. Minakumar who is passionate about the world of films wanted to give his house a total makeover. When his kids grew up, the need for more rooms came up and even more importantly, he wanted a theatre at home!
His old house was a 2-storey concrete building, around 25 years old with 2 bedrooms, a sit-out & car porch. There were no rooms on the top floor, but the stairs led to a landing from where the living room down below could be seen. All this was changed. With a few modifications, the house was given a complete and impressive face lift.
The porch sets the tone
The car porch of the old house was merged with the sit-out to make a bigger verandah. Right next to this a new car porch was built. Another car porch was also built a little away from the house. There used to be an office room facing the sit-out and this was converted into a family living room. A door near the puja room opening to the sit-out was removed.
As for the 2 bedrooms on the lower level, just some additions were done to the attached baths and to the rooms. New sanitary fittings & tiles for the baths were put in. The kitchen of the old house followed a traditional style with concrete slabs. The extra slabs were all removed and instead shutters were used to replace this look. However, there was the issue of lesser number of windows for the kitchen.
In order to add a theatre on the top level, an additional room was added to the ground floor. This room came in between the kitchen and the family living room and was turned into a dining area. The living and dining space was a combined section in the earlier house. The work area outside the kitchen was extended as part of the renovation.
There are 4 bedrooms in the house now, 2 on the top floor and 2 on the ground floor. The highlight of the house is no doubt the theatre. Complete with all modern gadgets, the theatre is indeed a real treat. Minakumar has even added a bar counter right next to the theatre at home. When the new rooms were built on the top floor an extra balcony was added.
The old roof was a slanting concrete one. By adding shingles to this, the exterior appearance went a notch higher. Apart from this, wall papers, cladding and texture paints on the exterior and interior walls gave the house an excellent finish. New granite flooring completed the look.
The compound wall and gate was modified to suit the style of the renovated house. Instead of taking down the old wall, some changes were done to the height and structure of the wall. All the main doors in the house were redone using teak wood. On the windows that weren't of teakwood, a teak staining was done. The electrical & plumbing fittings are all brand new.
The walls of the old house and base floor was strong enough and hence these could be retained. For unifying the design elements on the exterior, louvre design was done on the wall and the gate and pergolas were also used. Ready-made GI channels were used for rainwater harvesting.
HighlightsThe sturdy and strong walls were not demolished for the purpose of renovation.
The traditional style windows and doors were given a modern look using a louvre design on the exterior.
The new windows built were corner windows that let in more light into the house.
Only some design modifications were done to the old compound wall and it was retained as such.
GI Channels of various shapes and sizes are available in the market. These were used in the front of the house.
Project FactsArea: 3500 sq. ft.
Architect: Anoop Chandran, Thriprayar, Thrissur
Owner: Minakumar, Sarovaram, Thriprayar, Thrissur
About the architects
This architect couple completed their B.Arch. from BLDEA Engineering College, Bijapur. Anoop has been practicing in top firms across Kochi, Hyderabad & Dubai for the past 12 years. They have recently started an Architecture Consultancy called AMAC in Thriprayar.
Which is a better option, building a new house or renovating a new house?
This depends on how much area in the house requires renovation. If there is a substantial area, then reuse as much materials as possible from the old house. My personal opinion is that the house should be at least a minimum of 10 years to qualify for renovation. There is no sense otherwise.
Are there simple cost-effective ways to give old houses a face lift?
Certain styles of wall cladding or difference in paint textures can bring about changes to the exterior of the house. As for the interiors, just changing the furnishing will not create a new mood. There has to be changes in the lighting too.