Violet | Nestcraft Architecture

SAVE Violet | Nestcraft Architecture

Project Name: Violet

Practice: Nestcraft Architecture

Products: Jaquar, Legrand, Tata Steel, ATOMBERG, Asian Paints, Changi, Fenesta, Finolex, TRUTUFF, Ultratech

Firm Location: Calicut

Completion year: 2022

Gross Built up Area: 2200 sqft

Project Location: Calicut

Design Team: Niveditha Rohit

Photo Credits: Redz Photography

More Specs

Excerpt: Violet is an office designed by the architectural firm Nestcraft Architecture. The location inspired Rohit to flip the architecture inside-out: Green pocket gardens were brought in, windows were encased by aluminium, brick was left bare, walls and ceilings wore concrete (both inside and outside), and the floors went naked. “I don’t believe in cosmetic treatments,” declares Rohit, adding, “I believe there is an inherent beauty in natural textures and colours. I believe in the magic of wabi-sabi: The incomplete and the unfinished satiate my soul”.

Project Description

(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)

On the fringes of Kozhikode, where emerald doves and paradise flycatchers can be spotted just as easily as the friendly neighbourhood dog, Rohit chanced upon a rare opportunity. “Our old office was pressed for space, and we had been scouting around for the perfect site to move our architecture studio, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. When I saw this particular one, I knew I’d hit the scenic jackpot,” says the founder and principal architect of Nestcraft Architecture, about the site’s tropical proportions.

Inside-Out Architecture

The location inspired Rohit to flip the architecture inside-out: Green pocket gardens were brought in, windows were encased by aluminium, brick was left bare, walls and ceilings wore concrete (both inside and outside), and the floors went naked. “I don’t believe in cosmetic treatments,” declares Rohit, adding, “I believe there is an inherent beauty in natural textures and colours. I believe in the magic of wabi-sabi: The incomplete and the unfinished satiate my soul”.

There’s something about Rohit’s design vocabulary that whispers of Le Corbusier. “It’s the tropical brutalist flourishes,” Rohit informs us, referencing the architectural style that picked up steam in India post-independence. “Local architects adapted the brutalist forms of doyens like Le Corbusier and Paul Rudolph to suit India’s tropical context.”

True to his words, the office’s plainspoken geometry, cavernous interiors and concrete are softened by coconut groves, banana plants and areca nut trees around the edges, ferns, calatheas and colocasia in between. “There was no need to plant anything,” says Rohit l, “The site was blessed with a variety of tropical plants and an unending green landscape.”

Multifunctional Avatars

For Rohit, the opportunity of being his own client was rare; it bestowed on him the freedom to flex his design muscle in a way he never had before. “I could finally reinvent my style of architecture,” he shares. And so began an experimental ambit that included cantilevering, beamless concrete slabs, metal-sheet bookcases, industrial-style steel staircases, and water- and termite-resistant workstations that eschewed form for function. 

He turned an antique door into a conference table in his semi-open cabin. At the same time, wooden pillars and other architectural elements were repurposed into the decor. There are no internal partitions: “It’s a single room with two mezzanine levels and 12 workstations,” says Rohit l, making no bones about the stripped-down interior. A minimalist may be, but the office brims with functional pockets: A bijou lobby flanks the main door, and the western mezzanine hosts a pantry and a terrace. 

At the same time, the eastern one features a display court with artefacts and project models. “There’s also a conversation pit, a mini library, a patio and a storeroom,” Rohit reminds me. The office was designed to take on various avatars to suit the occasion: It is sometimes an art studio; at other times, a meeting point for music and social gatherings. The front yard oscillates between serving as a badminton court and an open-air party venue. At the same time, the conference table often masquerades as a dining counter.

Climatic Controls

Kozhikode’s equatorial climate served as the linchpin for the architectural blueprint. Besides angling the building in an east-west direction to mitigate the sunlight, Rohit opted for a double-height ceiling to reduce heat gain, shelf windows, and rectilinear skylights to trap the northern light. “We also created openings along the width of the building to promote cross-ventilation and evolving patterns of light through the day,” explains Rohit. The architect’s ability is evident in the fact that the fans are turned off during the day. “Through a combination of high volumes, clever angles and well-positioned openings, we’ve managed to keep the sun at bay and save as much as Rs 1200 per month on electricity,” he says.

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Read More: Architecture | Commercial Architecture | Tropical Climate | Nestcraft Architecture | Calicut | India

More Projects by: Nestcraft Architecture

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