Sunday, January 20, 2008

A fusion home in Kerala

I like fusion. It means taking two very different things and making something new. It takes courage, it takes imagination & bit of irreverence. This post brings you exactly that. On my trip to Trivandrum I was hoping to see an exciting home. Something I could show here. I had no clue what it would be- I hadn’t spoken to my brother-in-law. And anyway what does one say- ‘Do you know any interesting house – typical keralite architecture hopefully- which I could showcase on my blog?’ So I didn't say anything. I land up at my sister's new home and am instantly interested in the neighbouring house which follows the Laurie Baker style of architecture which I wrote about here. I request if I can take pictures. And end up meeting Balagopal S whose home it is. He tells us that there's another house he has built which might interest me- And we go to this amazing home called ‘Neelakantham’. This home is a fusion of the Laurie Baker style of architecture which is very bricky and the traditional Keralite architecture which is poetry in dark wood.

The roofs, the gatepost and the wooden windows are typically keralite in style. All of it is held together by neat brickwork.
Note the beautiful windows and the conical roof details which are original antique woodwork rescued from an old keralite home.
The traditional gate or 'Padippura vathil'...
...opens to a pretty little garden

The verandah/balcony/corridor that is held up by traditional wooden pillars
A traditional brass lamp contrasts beautifully with the dark wood panelling

I love the brass rivets that embellish the panelling. Simple, but so elegant.
The house opens to the traditional courtyard which lets in the sun and ventilates the home.
One looks up the central courtyard or 'Nadumittam' to see 2 floors of the home.

I love the traditional wooden windows with its carved bars embedded in the brick wall. This fusion works so well- it doesn't seem like fusion at all.

Lookking down at the 'Nadu mittam'
The home belongs to Professor N Radhakrishnan, chairman Indian Council for Gandhian studies who had some very inspiring stories to tell of fellow Gandhians.
There are books EVERYWHERE which makes the place so real and lived in.
Books also line the high wooden stairs that lead to the library.
The curved and graceful keralite windows let the light in in warm bands.
The interesting thing is Balagopal who designed this and got the rather reluctant contractors to try this experiment is not a trained architect. He just loves building homes & it really shows.

56 comments:

Christine said...

wow - i have read your blog for a while but never left a message until now. this house is breath taking....there is something very peaceful about the grace of this home....thank you for sharing
Christine
Boston

small talk said...

that is a really nice house - did not know trivandrum had such nice ones. the next time, definitely do padmanabhapuram palace. i hear it is beautiful. also the kanakunnu palace. i am hoping to go to these places soon too.

vineeta said...

Hi Christine :) its always great to hear from new-regular readers. Cause til you comment I dont know you. Yes, this home was peaceful. It had a nice academic feel to it because of the people whose place it is :)

vineeta said...

Parvathy, I was really hoping you would see it, cause I had mentioned it tou you :) Infact Im sure Trivandrum is quite filled with interesting homes. I'd love to do a proper regal 'Naalukettu'. In palakkad I happened to pass by a newly erected palatial home done in the Naalukettu style. The next time I go to there I will somehow manage to get pictures. I don't know how, but it might just happen cause I want it so badly :) I did do kanakakunnu this time. I will do a small post on it. And there's no way im missing padmanabhapuram palace the next time :)

bhumika said...

Loved the rich wood and the brass embellishments. The central courtyard with the sun rays shining through gives it a very warm feel.You surely have an eye for detail!

vineeta said...

Bhumika :) You've spotted the one thing that is most singular about Kerala homes. The 'nadumittam' or central courtyard is the light filled space around which the kerala home or 'Nallukettu' wraps itself.

shuma.rani said...

wow - I really like your blog and will be visiting more often.

shuma.rani
London

~ ॐ ~ said...

I get to see so much through your blog Vineeta...

thanks for writing and posting..

thanks !!!

vineeta said...

Shuma, thanx, Im really happy to hear that- :)

vineeta said...

Prashant, sometimes I wonder if what interests me will interest others as well. For instance this post is not just pretty pictures- there are other blogs where you will find real prettiness. But your comment gives me heart :) By the way are you still in London, ki waapas aa gaye?

Arch at Rang said...

Vineeta-

I admire your love for architectural styles and I still remember your 'Dakshinchitra' post where you had researched and posted in detail:-)

That is what I like in your posts...the real-ness and not pretty pictures:-))

Great posts...keep it coming:-))

:: niKk | നിക്ക് :: said...

Great Post Vineeta.

I am here, from your flickr

vineeta said...

Archana! Thanx :) You make my day :) I was very excited when I saw this place because this kind of fusion of styles is rare & the best bit is that its done with so much style & looks brilliant finally.

vineeta said...

Nikk hi, I hope you found the article useful :) If there's anything else you want to know about it, please feel free to write to me about it.

UL said...

Aha, we meet again. This is a beautiful post, Naalukettu, ettukettu etc are some of my fav. architectures...never imagined a fusion wood look so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing..

Came in from smalltalk's page this time...as soon as I caught your posts, I had an inkling that I have been here before...I was right ...one of your pieces with a picture of Kathakali drew me here before. Looks like you know smalltalk as well, small world!

Jay Cam said...

wow thats a beautiful house! i'm green with envy!

studio wellspring said...

i couldn't agree more on your thoughts about fusion design. a very lovely post!

Calie Anderson, C.I.D. said...

Vineeta, WOW! I love that you chatted him up and found this house and got the low down to share with us. The garden entrance and the staircase leading up to the library are my favorites. But mostly, I just love to see how other countries live and the way they treat architecture. In America, we have some great architecture and then we have some very bad, bad architecture. I've seen almost all of it and I love seeing other ideas, such like the ones you blog about.

Ananva said...

Amazing! I loved the place and am wondering what the rest of the house looked like. Must have been a pleasure to see it.

vineeta said...

toswfdoUl, It is indeed a small world :) did u leave a comment the last time you read the post with the kathakali pic? In anycase, do come back again as I daresay you might find stuff thats of interest to you here :)

vineeta said...

ul, my apologies, the word verification got typed before your name im afraid!

vineeta said...

Jay, Is this your 1st time on my blog? Im really intrigued when I see a new person read my blog- especially someone who is not a fellow design blogger :) I went across to yr blog & when I want a smile You'll find me there :)
Yes it is a rather beautiful house :)

vineeta said...

Angie, Thanx! I was super excited to see this place :)

vineeta said...

Calie thats the best thing about blogging. I get a real life peek into real time in some other country or continent & unlike television its REAL. And all the things I anyway liked, like photography, art, writing & architecture Im using. Its like finally there is some purpose to all of it- and on one platform. I lucked out :)

vineeta said...

ananva, yes it was. I didn't know those people at all and I was taken there by the person who designed it, so in all honesty I didn't really see the kitchen and the bedrooms. There were people 7 it didn't seem polite to intrude. But the pics I have illustrate well the fusion of the 2 architectural styles.

UL said...

yep I did, I think I came in from another blogger's site at the time...and yesterday I maanged to catch your response to my comment. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond...I will be back for sure.

Anil P said...

Sometime back I met Joginder Singh who implemented the Laurie Baker Architecture style. I wrote a post of his photography exhibition.

He's brought out a book on Kerala temple architecture.

Not sure if I like fusion much, was always the one for minimalist styles.

Vinita said...

Hi Vineeta,
I was down with flu, cold ,cough and couldn't visit your blog and already I am two posts behind :))
Beautiful house. As someone said earlier in US the homes are big but we really dont get to see much of architectural details which I really miss. I would love to have an open central courtyard in my weather permitting. The shingled roof, brick walls, the wooden columns, the front porch with chairs and brass lamps, the entrance with its unique gate. Just lovely. And it was very nice of those people to let everybody in. Looks like you got connection girl :))

Vinita

vineeta said...

Anil, I read your post on Joginder Singh's work & I even commented. And Im about to pick that book up because its one of the few books on Keralas Temple architecture. And I'd pick it up anyway because of the gorgeous photography :)
As for your not liking fusion- Its not without reason that there are different people in the world- so each to his own & that's what makes things interesting :)

vineeta said...

Vinita, I hope you are well now! take care, but the odd cold and flu are just part of our lives unfortunately.
Yes, the house was really beautiful & different & I got really fortunate to see it without ANY prior notice! And more than connections (which I don't presume to have)I trust on my intentions :) I was REALLY hoping to come back from Trivandrum with interesting stuff for this blog & you'll :)

Blue Floppy Hat said...

A lot of modern Kerala houses look like wedding cakes thanks to their paint...I really love the fact that the brick was left exposed here (though it must be uncomfortable on the interior of the house).

vineeta said...

Blue floppy hat, You've obviously been to kerala recently. (u are from afghanistan- so I'm presuming you were here travelling )
Yes there's a lot of strangely coloured homes there, which one can probably attribute to a lot of 'Dubai money'(half of kerala works there) and not a lot of taste. But like in most cases the good bad the ugly & the spectacular co-exist everywhere :)

Spandana said...

awsome home. i wish i lived in one like that. curious though -- only one of the pics show electrical wiring (neatly placed!). it would be interesting to some more mundane detail like that in the pics.

vineeta said...

Spandana, Each comment shows me a different way in which people look at things, and its amazing how you have looked for the practical aspects like wiring & I have to make a confession- I had another picture of a portion of the central courtyard which I didn't use purely because the wires were visible in that one- and to think you actually asked for a pic which showed more such practical aspects. But you do have a point- wiring and how it is integrated neatly is a very important aspect of interior design. will keep that in mind the next time I shoot :)

Blue Floppy Hat said...

OK, I'm a bit late in the day to be answering this, but I'm not from Afghanistan- I once ended up listing my country by accident, and Blogger doesn't give you an option not to show a country after you've done that, so I ended up picking the first country on the list and prefacing it with the words 'not really'. Long story, this..

Saji said...

Great, the kind of house I would like to live in !!
(Though, I would rathr wait for a couple of years to see how the monsoon affects the walls and the efforts to keep them clean)

Bino said...

Hi,

The Posts are wonderful and Pics you have posted is so nice, as all said, you an eye for detail, keep the good work and expecting more wonderful posts..

Bino
http://bino.wordpress.com

Rafeek Manchayil said...

its really nice one........... great ideas without damaging tradition

simmi said...

This house is amazing...its so warm..you feel between nature... friendly...quite different from brick structures were we live in todays fast lifes....Its my dream to have a nallukettu veedu sometime in life....and this one is sooooo good....

Simmi

Siva said...

Nice.. No more words to leave a comment.. It is strongly proving that Keralites are too sensitive in architechture, especially in building with classical art.. I like the wood works with ancient style looking like a palace... Great..

Naradev said...

awesome..i think there is a junior for this house..it is also in tvm...have u seen the serial "ente goplakrishna" ..that house seems to be the junior...do you have pictures of that house

SREE said...

I'm so happy to read this blog. anyway, I m also in search for such kind of designs, can u do me a favour ? plz get me the contact details of the designer or owner.

SREE said...

hi vineeta, As I wrote before, I am in search for such designs like nalukettu, ettukettu etc. also interested in Temple architecture. I love such architecture, designs, palace....have u visited VAYANADU THIRUNELLI TEMPLE...if not...dont wait. I can say its amazing thats all. keep blogging on such subjects....thax a lot.

knowledgeispower.com said...

Hi Vineeta,

Would you please tell me whose hands behind this construction.Amazing !!! and I love to see this house and do one for me in Kerala.I always like to go with green homes and next generation must be able to reconstruct the same with minimal waste.
Thanks
Suresh

anand said...

I stumbled onto your blog in the morning and since have been going through the posts. dig your taste :).

i am a big fan of laurie baker's architecture as well. it is incredible how this man has picked things from laurie's method and combined it with a traditional kerala aesthetic. very nice

സമദ് പൊന്നാട് SAMAD PONNAD said...

good,
congrats

സമദ് പൊന്നാട് SAMAD PONNAD said...

good,
congrats..

Daksha said...

Hi, Vineeta,

Great to wade thru' your blog. It is very impressive.
I was surfing for fusion in interior home designs in India where I read about the Fusion home in Kerala.

The house is beautiful and feel the peace as I read through the designs. Thanks for sharing.


Keep it up!

Daksha

Dee said...

Hi Vineetha,

Would you happen to have the contact details of Balagopal S?? My parents are building a house in Kerala and I wanted to get in touch with someone who has constructed a house in the Laurie Baker style to know of the cost, durability etc. This is my e-mail address,deepthi.unnikrishnan@gmail.com

I'd really appreciate it if you could get back to me about this. Thanks!



Deepthi

vini said...

beautiful

vini said...

beautiful

shweta gupta said...

Fusion Homeshas been intended to furnish you with eminent living. Rooms that give your gift to simple stream of breeze, vigorous front room and liberal space are brand of every condo in Fusion Homes.

Rahul John said...

Fusion Homes is the latest providing of Fusion Buildtech appealing to be a residence of good living at an affordable cost at the most selected household location Better Noida (West).

Swapna Dinesh said...

Hi Vineetha... I love architecture too.. !! I grew up in Thripunithura, surrounded by lovely old temples and palaces... I have no idea how I did not find your blog till now.. My love for architecture gets translated into handmade jewelry ..

Rahul John said...

Looking for to bring about balance in way of life, Fusion Homes has been designed to provide you with cheerful residing. Rooms that permit easy circulation of wind, lively residing room area and adequate area are characteristic of each residence in Fusion Homes Noida.

Anil Singh said...

Fusion Homes we have ensured that the high standards that we have set so far are not just met but are also exceeded and it shows in the design specifications that are characteristic to every suite of Fusion Homes