Alankar Residence by Roy Antony Architects Is A Contemporary Reinterpretation of Traditional Kerala House

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Nestled in a residential zone,4km from the Changanassery town-center, in Kerala. Alankar Residence is a 2-story residential house designed by Ar. Roy Antony Illampallil, founder and principal architect of his eponymous firm- Roy Antony Architects. The dwelling sits on the plot area of 4107 Sq.m with the total building area surmounts to 456.12 Sq.m. (4900 Sq.Ft.). The flat site has an average elevation from the road of 1.2ms. The house features a grey cement-rendered concrete beam-column frame facade along with exposed brick-clad walls, accentuating its solid-void composition. The firm has shared detailed info about the project with SURFACES REPORTER (SR). Take a look:

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The client had come to the firm after having visited another completed residence. They did not have any other specific demand than that the house should have five bedrooms. In this sense, it was a simple and straightforward project brief.

Key Challenges

Mandated thus with a carte blanche, the firm's key challenge was to rise to the expectations of the client, as well as maintain the high standard of design and construction that they set for themselves in all their projects. 

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Consequently, the practice faced with the task of identifying an architectural vocabulary that would be most appropriate to the context of the project, comprised of the topographic features of the site, its location in a semi-urban setting, and the tropical-monsoon climactic conditions. 

Contemporary Reinterpretation of Traditional Kerala House

The design team was conscious also of the traditional (pre-modern) architecture of Kerala with its sober aesthetics, exquisite craftsmanship, solid construction techniques and harmonious proportions. It was by careful deliberation of the above-mentioned factors that we arrived at the present architectural form and vocabulary for the project, which is a contemporary re-interpretation of their traditional precedents. 

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To summarize, the firm's main concern in the project was not to merely resolve the diverse functions taking place in the house but to render its architecture with a dimension of appropriateness rather than arbitrariness by grounding it in the reality of its context.

Also Read: Greenery, Sunlight and Space Play a Starring Role in This Kerala Home | Arshak Architects

Sober Material Palette

The firm used sober and simple materials and finishes for walls and floors such as unplastering brick cladding, cement plastering, wood, glazed cement tiles with geometric pattern,s and brushed granite material and finish on the floor.

Alankar-Residence- Roy-Antony-Architects- surfaces-reporter (1)The use of these materials extends the visual effect of light- darkness interplay to the tactile realm as well, thus offering the inhabitants a rich sensorial experience of the building.

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The sober architectural vocabulary of the building offers a counter-point to the lush green tropical landscape in which it is set. The front facade has a contrast of grey cement-rendered concrete beam-column frame and exposed brick-clad walls, accentuating its solid-void composition. 

Rich Sensorial Atmosphere

The treatment of the interior spaces was done with a view of offering a richer sensorial ambiance for its inhabitants.

Alankar-Residence- Roy-Antony-Architects- surfaces-reporter (1)The fenestration is treated in wood shutters and louvers (especially the extensive double-height window facing the interior pool) and glass in order to effect a chiaroscuro, light-shadow interplay. 

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The floor is of brushed granite material and finish, and in the more public areas of the house (living and dining rooms and passages), of blue-coloured glazed tiles with a geometric pattern, alluding to Persian and Saracenic decorative treatments.

Alankar-Residence- Roy-Antony-Architects- surfaces-reporter (1) The internal, open-to-sky pool, the light that reflects on the water and the rain that falls into it add to the sensorial quality of the interior of the house.

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Take a Virtual Tour to Alankar Residence Designed by Roy Antony Architects

Project Details

Project Name: Alankar Residence
Company name: Roy Antony Architects/ Platform Poiesis
Location: Changanassery, Kottayam, Kerala.
Completion Year: 2019
Other participants: (collaborators, consultants, etc): Core Construction, Leo Associates (Structural)
Project Team: Sainath Kadavil, Shyam Prasad, VaishnaviAneesh, AswathiShajan, Casia Maria John, Dhiya Anna Charley, Jinju Ann Johnson, Karoline Morera, Mohammed Shibin K., NehaMiriaNinan, Vinu Elias Jacob (architects), AnjuRajan, Isam Khan, Jose J Kottoor, MohzinMujeeb.
Photo credits: Shyam Sreeshylam


Facade cladding: Brick
Flooring: Bharath flooring
Doors: Custom made teak wood doors
Windows: Custom made teak wood windows
Roofing: Mangalore tiles and Concrete
Interior lighting: Custom made Light’s
Interior furniture: Custom made wooden furniture’s

About the Firm

Roy Antony Architects is a mid-sized firm of committed architects, architectural assistants and architectural interns working as a team in close collaboration and synergy with each other. The firm is well supported in their projects by a network of associates and consultants. Their lead architect Ar. Roy Antony Illampallil is a well-respected figure within the architecture community in Kerala, and had his professional experience both internationally and locally before starting his practice in Cochin. Their main concern in the project is not to merely resolve the diverse functions taking place, but to render its architecture with a dimension of appropriateness rather than arbitrariness by grounding it in the reality of its context.

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