Shelter in a Natural Ambience

Shelter in a Natural Ambience

Project: Spring Chalet, Calicut

Architects: De Earth, Calicut

The house on the hill overlooking the river has a perfect natural setting with cool evening breeze and a never-ending view all around. The idea was to create a shelter in this setting and appreciate the natural ambience, and also minimising the enclosed spaces and prioritising the verandahs and terrace spaces, where one can sit back and relax. The idea of a home itself is subtle, down to earth, minimising the built spaces and cost through methods of unfinished: an early beginning to an aesthetic of the under-constructed.

The house wraps its private, inner and transparent spaces with an enclosure of uneven plastered spaces and exposed granite walls framing the structure into a similarly unfinished roof structure with GI frames and clay tile roofing – raw finished interiors with bare cement flooring enhanced by border bright colour tiles, wooden open joints and finishes that give a rustic and under-constructed feel to the spaces, extending one’s concentration towards the exterior spaces.

The textures and grey ceiling create an intimate spatial quality inside. The interior spaces are well lit naturally, and west side lights are channelled with horizontal openings to create dramatic lighting inside. The windows are mixed with glass and wooden louvers to control the lighting inside for a different ambience. Maximum openings are provided for natural ventilation. The breeze from the riverside is utilised to make the spaces well ventilated. The roof is designed with GI box section with clay tile roofing, which reduces the weight of the roof and at the same time creates unsealed spaces within. This helps in creating natural ventilation through the roof, allowing the hot air to escape through the open joints between the clay tile roofing.

Clay roof tile is further provided in a double layer fashion, where the bottom part is plain tile which creates a neat space within as well as reduces the heat intake during the day time.The rainy season is the best time to be in the house. The rainwater is channelled towards the middle portion of the house by inverting the sloping roof towards the middle part, where the central part is designed as a rainwater gutter which channels the water and an open drain diverts it to the pond beneath creating a natural waterfall during the rain.

The pond has an overflow towards the garden which reduces the speed of rainwater fl owing out and allows maximum seepage of rainwater, nourishing the ground water table.Natural landscape is enhanced with a range of tropical trees. The landscape was given due importance and the planting of trees were done from the beginning of the construction itself. Native landscaping which requires minimum maintenance is provided for the home.

The entry features natural laterite mount shaped for vehicular entry, which is zoned away from the home. Rough granite stone paver marks the entry with bamboo clusters leading the way towards the home giving a welcome feel. Pebble yard in the front creates different texture and allows rainwater seepage.Native plants are given importance in the landscape, where neem and other herbal and spice trees are spread around the house. Fruit trees and flowering trees are also planned throughout the site. The contour is well managed for a walkway towards the bank of the river.

Fact File

Client: Thanveer Azeez

Consultants: Projem Consultants (Structural), Sathyan (Electrical, Plumbing), De Earth (Interior), Anwar (Landscape)

Built-up area: 2840sq ft

Cost of project: 50 Lakhs

Year of completion: 2016

Company names of products/materials used: SquarezA