This 1700 sqft apartment, located in Trivandrum Kerala, is a second home of a doctor couple working in the UAE. Two separate apartments on the ground floor of a multi dwelling complex were combined into one, housing a family of four members. The central area, initially pocketed spaces, separated as rooms by four walls and a door, were combined to form a single free flowing space with the public and semipublic zones like foyer, drawing room , family living, study area, and dining spaces seamlessly flowing into each other. This not only opened up the spaces but also made them appear bigger than they actually were. It also helped to superimpose and combine various functional aspects of the family. By reworking the layout, we were able to achieve 3 attached bedrooms, a home theatre and a separate kitchen nook along with the formerly mentioned spaces.
Except for a few movable pieces like the sofas, dining table set and chairs, the entire furniture range used in the apartment are built in. This adds a key utilitarian factor to the design by effective use of available space and adds more storage and organization capacity to the apartment. Space saving furniture ideas helps to functionally reconfigure the spaces as the need arises. For example, the study area could be transformed to a sleeping nook by incorporating a foldable hidden bed that could be closed when not in use. The dining area has a ‘Pooja’ cabinet with a pull out tray for the lamp. Corner drawers and tall storage units were used in the kitchen for maximum utility of space.
The prominence of wood texture is an attempt to recreate the richness and timelessness of the traditional Kerala home were wood played a major role. The wood veneer cladded beams and columns mimic the ancient trabeated system of post and lintel. This is used as a major design element to frame various spaces as well as to create a sense of separation between various functional spaces. This treatment of the exposed beams also helped to maintain a higher ceiling height in the rooms which would otherwise have been brought down by the false ceiling in an attempt to hide the exposed beams.
We believe that every home needs their share of beauty and contemplation achievable through art. This becomes even more pertinent in the urban scenario were we are devoid of the much craved natural beauty. A traditional mural painting in the foyer area makes a statement welcome accent piece which adds focus and character to the space. Its vibrant colours bestow an instant energy and depth to the scheme. This also helps to recreate a sense of warmth, nostalgia and home-coming, reinterpreted in the contemporary urban context. More than an afterthought, this was one of the first major design elements to be incorporated in the scheme.