The outside temperature in coastal Kerala does not drop below 20° Celsius. It might come close to this on a particularily cold night in January. During this night you might feel like closing the glass window. In May it will be hot during the night and you might be tempted to use the AC, again you pull the window shut. At all other times of the year the glass window can be pushed to the side and the lattice shutter will be closed. The coolness of the night refreshes the house and will be stored in the heavy ceilings to keep it pleasantly cooler than the outside during the coming day.
View from above
Every wall needs a roof to protect it from the rain: the courtyard houses seen from the upper floor of the tower near the entrance.
The thulisatara next to the entrance
The entrance porch comes in pink and yellow, red and blue. Kerala is a land of colour in all its qualities. Try to come close. The wooden columns are a more difficult question. They are obviously not necessary under their concrete beam, they lost the work they used to do. So what are they now? A sculptural presence maybe, a piece of wall cladding without a wall? Whatever it is they are nice to touch and a friendly presence.
View out of the entrance door
Under the roof at the entrance
Cornices covered with local roofing tiles protect the walls from rain and dampness. The concrete ring wall is integrated in the pattern. The azure blue of the shaft doors is a common and convincing color for doors windows and shutters.
You may jump in the water or rest on the bench. The lattice of the shutters closes the room. The brass mesh stops the mosquitos from coming in and it blocks the views from outside. It leaves the view from the inside mostly unobstructed. The water will finally fill the pool right to the overflow in the granite step.
A brass hook
A rail can be fitted to protect the dweller from the pool. It is a nice piece, but it might be even nicer to remove it.
Fine panel doors built on a hexagonal grid with solid wood parqueting. Each door is constructed from more than a hundred pieces from local teak wood.
The doors II
A door in the workshop
Sliding doors connect the hall with the living room
The four most defining walls of the building structure are built in laterite. The other walls are built from local bricks, exposed on the outside, plastered on the inside. The cornices are built from cantilevering blocks covered with roofing tiles produced by a local factory on the other side of the river. Lintels and the cantilevering blocks at the end of a wall are built from granite blocks from Tamil Nadu. In the brick walls the granite is replaced by prefabricated concrete blocks produced at the site.
A few turns and the window at the top is open to ventilate the space