Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)

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Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)

Information

  • Project Name: Bay Leaf House
  • Practice: Project 51 A(h)
  • Products: Ardex Endura , Somany , Orientbell , Johnson , Kohler , Faber , Toughie interlock bricks
  • Completion year: 2023
  • Gross Built up Area: 2200 SQFT
  • Project Location: Kottayam
  • Country: India
  • Lead Architects/Designer: Ar. Nandagopal B, Ar. Shrilakshmi K
  • Design Team: Ar. Nandagopal B, Ar. Shrilakshmi K, Ar. Christopher Antoo
  • Clients: Lekshmi Prasad and Nidinchand
  • Structural Consultants: Hari Associates
  • MEP Consultants: Rahul P Chandran
  • Landscape Consultants: Chaithanya Gardens
  • Contractors: Vijayan – Gowri constructions
  • Project Manager: Ar. Nandagopal B
  • Collaborators: Ar. Midhun P
  • Interior + Furniture: Ar. Shrilakshmi K
  • Photo Credits: Prasoon suresh
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Excerpt: Bay Leaf House by Project 51 A(h) is a project that harmonizes the structure with the natural slope, resulting in a residence nestled within a verdant haven, characterized by a multi-tiered arrangement of spaces. Each interior level seamlessly connects with a corresponding layer of the outdoor natural landscape, with the bay leaf tree at the highest level, maintaining continuous connection with the communal areas.

Project Description

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

[Text as submitted by architect] At first glance, an extraordinary sight captivates the viewer: a 50-year-old majestic bay leaf tree, the sole arboreal presence on the site, reigns over it with its abundant foliage, instilling a sense of pride in the midst of lush tapioca plantation. This tree held cherished memories not only for the grandparents but also for the clients, Mr. Nidin and Mrs. Lekshmi. Mrs. Lekshmi had witnessed the tree throughout her life and wished for her children Nila and Nilav to experience its presence in their home. Thus, a house was built in the shadow of this bay leaf tree, akin to a fallen leaf, a BAY LEAF.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
Floor Plans © Project 51 A(h)
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

The 20 cents of land gently sloped down about 20 feet along its length, giving rise to a house spread across various levels of topography. The adjustment of the site’s gradient was executed with utmost care, ensuring minimal disruption to existing site conditions.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
Elevation © Project 51 A(h)
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

This meticulous approach harmonized the structure with the natural slope, resulting in a residence nestled within a verdant haven, characterized by a multi-tiered arrangement of spaces. Each interior level seamlessly connects with a corresponding layer of the outdoor natural landscape, with the venerable bay leaf tree always reigning supreme at the highest level, maintaining continuous connection with the communal areas.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
Section © Project 51 A(h)
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

The entry seamlessly extends interior living space into the encompassing outdoor canopy, featuring a porous structure and an uninterrupted linear corridor that runs alongside the outdoor landscape. Within the courtyard, sunlight bathes the lush greenery, gently yielding to the porous, exposed-brick living structures.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

Dividing the house into layers of living spaces, a flight of steps descends from elevated public areas to semi-private zones, while simultaneously ascending to family spaces, including the kids’ room and home theatre. This creates a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces, enhancing depth and perception of the surroundings at various times of the day.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
Section © Project 51 A(h)
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

Lower levels of house feature a meticulously designed kitchen tailored for an Indian joint family. Implementation of an open kitchen concept has been a resounding success, as it encourages equal interaction among family members during meal preparations, accommodates studying children, provides a relaxing environment for the grandmother, and ensures an enjoyable culinary experience for all.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

Notably, grandparent’s bedroom on the lower level offers convenient access to a paved patio that offers picturesque views of the lush greenery. Moving along the corridor that connects children’s spaces above with family gathering areas below, children’s bedroom is a dynamic space that caters to their various activities, with the bed area nestled between an indoor courtyard and a raised attic floor.

Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh
Bay Leaf House | Project 51 A(h)
© Prasoon suresh

Orienting the house along the East-West axis, walls are strategically aligned to accommodate wind movement and provide ventilation while shielding the interiors from the tropical sun for effective thermal control. Reclaimed old wooden planks from a demolished house have been thoughtfully repurposed for the staircase and other openings, adding character to the design and no trees were cut for the construction of this house.

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