Project Name: Kowdiar villa
Practice: Cadence Architects
Completion year: 2018
Gross Built up Area: 30,000 SQFT
Project Location: Trivandrum, Kerala
Lead Architects: Nirali Ashra, Smaran Mallesh, Vikram Rajashekar, Narendra Pirgal
Structural Consultants: S&S Associates
Landscape Consultants: Ficus Landscape Architects
MEP Consultants: MECA
Others: T2 Consultants (Lighting)
Photo Credits: Patricia ParinejadMore Specs
(Text submitted by the Architect)
The conventional courtyard house is conceived around an open space (garden). Typically the courtyard has a distinct character which is homogenous. Questioning this cliché, the idea was to articulate a new experience in the courtyard by having a large garden and a large water body in it. The juxtaposition of the water body and the garden along with central spine of the house helps organize the rest of the program. The central void segments the public and the private zones of the house at the ground level. The central spine which connects the garden and the pool in one axis and the public and private in the other axis is envisioned to transform into a quasi-art gallery over time. The central spine at the upper level accommodates a library and connects the bedrooms on either side of the courtyard. All the spaces flanking the courtyard have a deep porous edge in the form of balconies to negotiate the transition from outside to inside. These deep balconies also help cut the glare and the heat to insulate the interiors better.
The house has three kinds of gardens/ open spaces. A semi-open garden in the foreground with a large overhang that marks the entry to the house. An eventual central courtyard with pool, sequestered, private and as an extension to the interior spaces. And a culminating open to sky garden with a gazebo on the terrace. The terrace also has gym and spa that overlook the garden.
The formal articulation of the house has a minimalistic sensibility to it. Large plane surfaces enclose generous spatial volumes that overlook gardens both internal and external. A syncopated set of louvers along with the deep recesses for the windows help cut the harsh sun but enable picturesque views of the landscape. A similar sensibility flows into the interiors. Just like how museums are conceived in a way to showcase the art work, the house on the inside is imagined to be a mute backdrop to receive all the furniture in varying colors, shapes and textures. The muted backdrop helps create a cohesive feel despite the deluge of colors with the furniture and the art work. Deliberate restraint has been exercised in articulating the form and rendering the same with material.
The house in a certain sense is merely a voluminous strand that weaves around three distinct gardens.