View of the Entrance
You enter the house under the low eaves protected from the rain. A bridge made from heavy granite slabs leads over the sunken garden that takes the water. The tulsi grows next to the entrance. The wooden columns under the concrete beam have a nice sculptural presence but they do not bear the load. They hardly pretend to do so. Enjoy the curtain of rain while you rest under the roof.
The floor plan rotates around the court yard, a small rectangle, defined by four planes of roof that opens up to the sky. Four rooms constitute the small house, a hall, a living room. a bedroom and a bathroom. Each room is well protected under overhanging eaves and each room opens in three directions, to the outside world, to the court yard and to the sky. The tropical world can be incredibly lush and incredibly wild and it might change from one state to the other very fast. As a result the connection between inside and outside can be mediated in many ways. It can be very open, just the space under a roof next to the outside world where the wind goes free. But louvers and lattice might block the entrance and the sunlight and brass mesh the mosquitoes at sunset. Sliding windows of glass will even stop the air and the noise and the curtains will make it all private. But the courtyard stays a part of nature at all times. You may sit next to the water in this private core watch the reflexions of the sky, the raindrops in the pool or the curtains of rain falling from the eaves.
View of the Gable Wall
It might be a false gable wall. A side wall and a gable wall. We needed the wall here to give us a defined space, but we do not want to enter the house in this foreign way. Dutch colonial houses brought the gable walls to Kerala, but this is not really a reference. The wall hides the roofs and exposes them through the abstract pattern of the lintel beams. The cornices add scale and keep the wall dry during the monsoon.
The roofs span between the mighty side walls. They protect the space and open it to the sky. A traditional house in Kerala is primarily defined by its roof and therefore its section, a traditional western house will be defined by the walls, i.e. the floor plan. In this case it depends. You can look at it both ways.
View from the Garden
The bedroom opens onto the garden. It is a quiet and introvert world shaped by brick walls and roofing tiles, leaves and flowers, the earth and the sky.