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Blending Modern Topical Design and Traditional Architecture

Updated: May 16, 2020

The Skew House by Thought Parallels Architecture:

Driving through winding narrow roads of the Malapuram district in Kerala, brings us to a site overlooking lush rubber plantation. The site is abundantly grown in and around gradual slopes which in turn camouflages the house from plain view.

Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels Architecture

Spread over an acre of land, this house depicts a dialogue of modern tropical design amalgamated with traditional architecture. The design of the house utilizes the extents of its plot exceedingly well by a planning scheme that spreads out convincingly. The design is driven by a design brief which was to create distinctive spaces.

Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels Architecture

This clearly leads to the formation of two blocks a guest and family

Connected with each other by a semi-private living. The guest block houses a guest living, a prayer room and a guest bedroom arranged in a linear form. The presence of the prayer room prompted the architect to align the block along the traditional direction of pray, thus creating a tilt and breaking the initial parallel axis between the two blocks, hence deriving the name “THE SKEW HOUSE”.

Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels Architecture

Views of the minimalistic horticulture combining both hard and soft paving around the

house from every room is another dimension added to the design. Rooms are well lit and

aerated with large open spaces around. The subtle slope of the traditional styled Mangalore

tile roof makes the entrance veranda and inner spaces well proportioned in terms of

height.The connecting semi-private living is a cozy space with doorways leading into the

landscape on either side.

On entering the family block through the connecting semi-private living, one is welcomed

by a large living and dining. The linear arrangement of spaces continues with the placing of

the staircase followed by 2 bedrooms on one side and a kitchen and other utility spaces on

the opposite end. The linearity in the arrangement of spaces brings in natural illumination

and ventilation.

Wooden, steel, and exposed concrete, open riser staircase leads upwards to the first floor.An element by itself, the staircase has a steel railing with a traditional wood carving pattern cut into it which is a subtle but powerful addition.
Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels Architecture

Located on the first floor are 2 bedrooms and a linear pool. The south-facing facade of the bedroom and corridor leading to the bedrooms have been adorned by louvered openable shutters to keep out the harsh glare and heat from the south but creating a dramatic play of light all along the corridor and bedroom floor and walls. The use of traditional Mangalore roof tile roof along with an inner lining of plywood helps in insulating the rooms from the harsh summer heat.

Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels Architecture

The material pallet has been kept very minimal with steel, wood and exposed concrete as

the primary materials. Few elements such as exposed clay brick walls and natural mosaic

marble flooring add value to the quality of spaces.

Project name: The Skew House Location: Kerala, India Completion Year: 2018 Firm: Thought Parallels Architecture

Instagram: Photo credits: Prashant Bhat Photography

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