This Modern Family Home Offers a Serene Escape From the Urban Commotion in Kerala | Zero Studio

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Situated in a crowded residential area in Aluva, a town in Kerala, this house, dubbed HALAMAN-The Courtyard House- feels like an escapade to serenity from all the hustle and bustle of streets. Zero Studio designs the house for an NRI couple who wanted a home for their family of six, with their two kids and the husband's parents. They desired a contemporary, minimalist house that has plenty of indoor greenery. They wished for a cosy, bright, and airy space with ample ventilation. However, the challenge was to fit in the requirements that were at par with a spacious home, to a relatively small site of 10 cents located in a packed setting wherein you didn't have the luxury of planting a lot of vegetation at the cost of your space to build. The design team has shared with SURFACES REPORTER (SR) how they designed this home in a compact site without compromising the clients' needs. And how they incorporated distinct features in each room.

Also Read: This Abode by Sheily Haroon Architects Is A Confluence of Modern Tropical Design and Traditional Architecture of Kerala

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The client had a complete understanding of what the site offered: a corner plot surrounded by trees and roads on either side, sharing borders with two other houses. They dreamed of having spaces curated entirely for them, and their briefing about their to-be-home, rooted out of an extensive research, made it easier as well as challenging at the same time.

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Thus, with the given requirements, the house almost takes over the site. In extracting the maximum from a fairly complex context, open planning of the interior played a key role. All the major spaces such as family living, dining, and kitchen merge into one; opening out to a large internal courtyard, which is the major source of natural light and ventilation for the house.

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An Inward-Looking House

This resulted in an inward-looking house that essentially opens out as the user enters from the chaos outside; to a large volume accentuated with elements such as greenery, natural light, and water. A huge rectangular hanging -concrete planter box marks the main entry to the interior.

halaman-the-courtyard-house- kerala-zero-studio-surfaces-reporterThe user enters viewing the large courtyard, which is open to the sky and in the ground, almost half of it is covered by a water body with a floating deck to sit on. 

Soft Neutral Colour Palette 

The palettes of colors are chosen from neutral to original shades without compromising the uncluttered appeal of the interiors.

halaman-the-courtyard-house- kerala-zero-studio-surfaces-reporterLarge door and window openings complement the openness and frame the view towards the exterior landscape, mostly retained. Along with the main courtyard and the water body; skylights, floating roofs with ventilator slits help keep the interior temperature and humidity level at check.

Also Read: Encasa Archstudio Creates A Tropical Architecture Style Abode in Kerala | CAER

halaman-the-courtyard-house- kerala-zero-studio-surfaces-reporter

Distinct Features

The process behind delivering personalized and intimate spaces for each of the users from a common volume was very much intense and the design ultimately went about having some delights like the extended bridge in stair landing, private balcony overlooking the mango trees, the terrace planters, the bay windows and the fore room wherein the semi-open roof brings in the monsoon rains and otherwise glimpses of the starry night sky.

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These are spaces that emote varying moods where the user can spend time working out, reading and meditating, or also self-musing, dreaming and doing nothing!

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Simply put, this house is a modern, minimalistic one with original rustic finishes with a lot of greenery inside and spaces that are personal and intimate, well-lit and ventilated naturally. 

Project Details           

Project Name: HALAMAN-The Courtyard House
Architecture Firm: Zero studio
Firm Location: Manjeri, Kerala, India
Completion Year:2019
Gross Built Area:3200 SQFT
Project location: Aluva, Kerala, India
Lead Architects: Hamid MM, Hafeef PK
Photo credits:  Prashanth Mohan                  

Additional Credits

Design Team: Hamid MM, Hafeef PK, Shabna K, Kadeeja Rashaa, Nidhin Raj KJ,Aashish J, Aneesh, Ahammed Shafeeque, Issudheen, Nidheesh, Vyshakh, Shahabas, Jasira
Text: Shabna K
Structural Engineering Consultants: Diseno Structurals
MEP: Elmek Solutions
PMC: Sachin Dev CT
Civil Contractor: Siju Muttathadam
MEP contractor: Nasser
Painter: Majeed
Carpenter: Sujith
Interior Carpenter: Rajesh
Landscape: Sahyadri Gardens
Industrial & Glass: Glass Fab
Furniture & Furnishings: Sarfaras Niyas

*Text and images are shared by the architects

About the Firm

ZERO STUDIO is a creative design studio based at Malappuram, Kerala driving itself forward with a perception to experiment with architecture under the varying contexts of need and most importantly, the user.  The people behind is a relatively young team of architects, led by principal architects, Ar.Hamid MM & Ar.Hafeef PK, think that for now, through their projects, they would love to experiment in the maximum possible way they can, trying to converse with nature, to know it and to hurt it less and while doing so always attempting to add something on their own that makes the end product unique.

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