Project Name: Aham
Practice: i2a Architects Studio
Firm Location: Kerala
Completion year: 2022
Gross Built up Area: 2800 sqft
Project Location: Thrissur
Clients: Mr.Mahesh & family
Photo Credits: Running StudiosMore Specs
Excerpt: Aham is a residence designed by the architectural firm i2a Architects Studio. The brief aims to revert to a grounded lifestyle setup through a design that captures the essence of being connected to one’s roots and values. The client’s understanding of the relevance of landscape and the design team’s conscious effort to integrate that with the activities inside built spaces pilot the project decisions.
(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)
Architecture that is designed to touch the Soul. This 2800sqft house creates an environment that helps one open up to the stillness within, thus enabling the user to experience a more authentic beauty, function, and meaning in the space. Aham stands beautifully in the middle of lush greenery and mesmerizing natural beauty of Kerala, grabbing one’s attention from very far with its traditional sloped roofing at different heights.
The brief aims to revert to a grounded lifestyle setup through a design that captures the essence of being connected to one’s roots and values. The client’s understanding of the relevance of landscape and the design team’s conscious effort to integrate that with the activities inside built spaces pilot the project decisions.
The conceptual start was to place the central courtyard as the ‘soul’ of the house that ties the rest. The Car porch and sit-out area have a distinct piece of landscape inserted with an elegant backdrop of jali and terracotta tiles carefully placed. The guest living is isolated from the rest of the house with large windows, giving an expansive view of the courtyard. The passage that runs around the courtyard provides privacy and filters the light and wind passing through the jali screens.
The informal living, dining and kitchen spaces are all aligned in a row, in an open plan. Thus, these active cores of the house remain connected and open themselves to the courtyard all the time. The built form is tailored to unwind into these green pockets at numerous points, reassuring the purpose of connecting to nature in an absolute sense. This project is choreographed to create an open, free-flowing movement within the elements of walls and floors around the charming central courtyard. The living space and the two bedrooms on the first floor are designed to cultivate a strong feeling of connection. It is achieved through strategic openings and cut-outs acting as uncompelled visual linkages between floors.
A simple yet bold aesthetic that’s easy on the eyes sets the visual and tactile treatment base. The beige hue on the exterior walls adds elegant contrast to the beautiful greenery around. The terracotta claddings on the surfaces enhance the overall look of the charming house. Finishes are envisioned to age gracefully, adding to the aesthetic appeal over time. The interior is kept minimal by adding the teak wood’s warm tone. Every element is customized to synchronize, creating a wholly perceived house as an artefact, eliminating the need for apparent décor and disconnected furniture.
Aham showcases its unique statement of traditional architecture style in the rural context of Kerala with a touch of modernity, evoking the feel of newness and rawness. This type of architecture may exude a heightened soul-touching quality, reminding one of the powers of nature and architecture.