- Project Management: Nandagopal B
- Interior Design: Midhun Prabhakar
- Design And Graphics: Ajay Sree Nair
- Design And Detailing: Shrilakshmi
- Landscape Execution: Chaithanya Gardens
- Civil Contractor: Vijayan K
- Electrical And Plumbing Consultants: Rahul P Chandran
- Fabrication Group: Sunil Kumar
- City: Kottayam
- Country: India
Text description provided by the architects. 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 amid a lush tapioca plantation. This tree held cherished memories of the grandparents and 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.
BUILT. 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. Adjusting the site’s gradient was executed with utmost care, ensuring minimal disruption to existing site conditions. 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 a continuous connection with the communal areas. The entry seamlessly extends interior living space into the encompassing outdoor canopy, featuring a porous structure and an uninterrupted linear corridor alongside the outdoor landscape. Sunlight bathes the lush greenery within the courtyard, gently yielding to the porous, exposed brick living structures. 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.
Lower levels of the house feature a meticulously designed kitchen tailored for an Indian joint family. Implementing 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. Notably, the grandparent’s bedroom on the lower level offers convenient access to a paved patio with picturesque views of the lush greenery.
Moving along the corridor that connects children’s spaces above with the family gathering area below, the 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. 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.