Alankar Residence, Changanassery, Kerala
Architects: Roy Antony Architects
Planned for a corner site in tropical Kerala, this house sits elegantly amidst the lush-green context. A simple plan is inundated by double-heights and light-wells creating a sense of enclosure as well as openness thereby allowing for light of varying intensity to reach the sanctum of the house. Gracious formal gestures and a façade that creates alternate solids and voids enables the residents to control the permeability of light and air inside.
Within the structured logic of the house, the architects manipulate the section to create double-heights and light-wells. The rigidity of an orthogonal plan is broken by elements of landscape and water and a fine hand at detailing ensures that the materials are cleverly articulated. The fenestrations are designed in timber to contrast the concrete and the detail allows much interaction with the façade.
The house is enclosed within the site by a compound wall; however, the walling of the site does not cut the house off the street and the wall becomes an envelope with strategically placed openings to retain visual links to the outside. The unfolding character of the plan enables the users to engage with spaces to pause and rest – a set of intimate spatial experiences within the overall logic of the building.
On the windward side of the ghats, a certain predictable and prevalent language for architecture that responds to a harsh south-west monsoon defines much of the contemporary built fabric in this belt. In this project, not only do the architects attempt to experiment with the typology of the tropical residential architecture, they are also able to create an eloquent, finely articulated house that responds to the immediate physical and climatic context and therefore, the Alankar Residence by Roy Antony Architects is a Citation Project in The Merit List.
Images & Drawings: courtesy Roy Antony Architects