Pakhaniyil Residence by Nufail Shabana Architects: Skylights in concrete make room for trees

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Pakhaniyil Residence by Nufail Shabana Architects is a paragon of ethnicity in a modern structure. Located in Chembad, Kerala, 4kms from the main town, this residence possesses the luxury of lush greenery and tropical plants in and around its surroundings. The house reveals an exposed concrete form illustrating its design intent emphasizing crisp and clear lines, both in the elevations and interior spaces. The solidly built concrete structure is punctuated with skylights and bamboo screens softening the space through which natural light filters through in abundance. 

The residence located on a 5300 sq. ft. irregular plot adjoining the client’s parents’ home involved mapping a seamless connection with the neighbouring property with fluid spaces for the family.

The residence located on a 5300 sq. ft. irregular plot adjoining the client’s parents’ home involved mapping a seamless connection with the neighbouring property with fluid spaces for the family. The house accommodates five bedrooms, an airy living area, a high-ceilinged dining court and a family room with an expansive deck area. The 22-metre-long sit-out increases the horizontality of the elevation highlighting its linearity. The kitchen block is planned on the north-east side, behind the dining room where a rear deck connects the space to the adjacent parental home.

Landscape merging into the built-form.

The circular cut-outs in the roof allow the landscape to grow freely and similar profile cut-outs are seen in the openings. The prudent choice of a tactile and natural material palette peppers the spaces with nuances of ethnicity. Rustic materials like bamboo and rattan catch sight along with wooden handrails that punctuate the space. Kota flooring, mud texture and coloured-glass transform the dynamics of the house. Such intricately crafted approaches towards materials take a way forward to create a warm and cosy evening retreat.

The alchemy of spaces is interspersed by buffer zones at different levels. To improve the thermal performance and to reduce the heat build-up in the interiors, passive cooling techniques are adopted by the creation of ‘six buffer zones.’ The three-metre canopy over the sit-out on the west side is the first buffer zone that provides shade to the west-facing walls of the living and the dining room. Plantations further aid in enhancing the micro-climate. The second buffer zone is the deck on the south side which cuts direct sunlight from entering the family room.

The third buffer is formed by the bamboo screening on the west façade which acts as a shield against the harsh western sun rays. The dining court is accentuated with a small linear landscaped courtyard, forming the fourth buffer. The design makes the most from the dense vegetation in the neighbouring plot which protects the east façade. This is the fifth buffer, where the context is best exploited to achieve passive cooling.

Prudent choice of a tactile and natural material palette peppers the spaces with nuances of ethnicity with bamboo, rattan, Kota stone, mud and coloured-glass.

For the sixth buffer, an industrial roof has been placed over the concrete slab that tops the home, creating a cavity. Through this cavity, hot air is expelled using a wind-powered fan. This largely reduces the heat build-up keeping the interiors cool. Louvers on the north and south sides of the parapet furthered the passive cooling in the built form. The architects have derived this approach from the pitched roofs of Kerala houses. Nufail explains how important it was to maintain the positives that a pitched roof brings along in the context of a tropical region. The industrial roof concept here was a contemporary approach based on the traditional sloped roof structures in Kerala.  This buffer drains out the heat collected during the daytime. Nufail Shabana Architects has maintained a fluidity and seamlessly merge the interiors and the exteriors in Pakhaniyil Residence. “The client was very satisfied with the ambience created and the flow of spaces within the home,” points Shabana. 

Nufail Shabana Architects

Website: nufailshabana.com

Email: mail@nufailshabana.com

Contact: 9048241331, 8086188885

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