Villa Vernacular - Kerala Leisure is better when contextual


Our perception of leisure travel is changing in many ways due to many reasons lately. A trend shift where people now avoid crowded destinations against more peaceful solitude like places is not a surprise. Call it a pandemic risk or general change in mindset natural getaways and mostly countryside are gaining popularity world over. But the real game-changer in this shift is almost negligible commute for most office going population and this will continue with coming generations.

While usual hustle was to squeeze in a holiday at a weekend now working from anywhere has opened a possibility to live within a vacation Instead of short What does this mean for the leisure industry? What possibilities does this liberated work-home relationship hold for dense cities that require no commute?


The internet solves a lot of problems for the world, especially the one that pertains with distance. This unlocks the idea that we can live in less crowded places with rural & scenic qualities. We can choose where our window faces, how big the house can be, what all it needs, more like a farmhouse.

Although farmhouses are short term leisure properties, this new typology can be of having long term stays for almost 50% of the year. But with new possibilities, it brings new challenges to the rural. The idea of the city like a budget in rural areas brings a lot of decision-making powers, to architects and the clients they build for.

The development control rules are lenient and possibilities are endless. This is liberating and alarming in all senses if we come to analyze it. The factor of rural fabric that can be hampered by such city as construction styles is the biggest identity threat to the rapid rural expansion of the city. How can we find a balance?


Villa Vernacular is a design challenge focused on building a motion towards responsible leisure properties across the world. It is an idea that looks towards equalizing the balance between rural identities and urban demands. The ability to pay does give access to every construction technology at hand, but the challenge wants to normalize the fact that living in rural should be a healthy exchange instead of closed compound construction and living like the city.

The design brief is to develop a villa for a family of 4, who have switched to work from home completely and looks to live in the countryside for half the year. The client profile can be defined by the participants followed by which design process can begin considering a vernacular approach for the entire building scheme.


The Client: Build a detailed client profile that covers description, choices, hobbies and backgrounds.
Place: Understand the context, the place, cultures, values, community from in relevant dimensions you wish to weave the design in.
Spaces: Identity and craft spaces for the client and your understanding of the place.
Knit: Develop the spaces and construction in relevance to context the building belongs in.


The site for this edition of Villa Vernacular is chosen in Kerala. Kerala, a state on India's tropical Malabar Coast, has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. It's known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals. Inland are the Western Ghats, mountains whose slopes support tea, coffee and spice plantations as well as wildlife. National parks like Eravikulam and Periyar, plus Wayanad and other sanctuaries, are home to elephants, monkeys and tigers.

Kerala's history is ancient, has centuries-old foreign trade links and a long tradition in art and literature. With a very high literacy rate, Kerala is at the forefront in setting high standards in social justice, gender equality, health and education in the country. An epitome of religious harmony, it was through Kerala that Christianity and Islam made its entry to India. And not just that! The country's first church and mosque are located in Kodungallur in central Kerala.

Kerala is the spice garden of the world. Earlier, traders from far-flung lands reached Kerala in search of the spices. Later, European powers followed this spice route to reach Kerala. Enriched by Nature and abundance of water, Kerala can be reckoned as the land of rains.


Alappuzha also was known by its former name Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District in the Indian State of Kerala. Alappuzha is a city and a municipality in Kerala with an urban population of 174,164 and ranks third among the districts in literacy rate in the State of Kerala. Alappuzha is considered to be the oldest planned city in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the city is the first of its kind along the Laccadive Sea coast.

The site is within the region known as the backwaters of Kerala. The site is surrounded by farms and a network of rivers with scenic views.

  • Title

    Villa Vernacular - Kerala Leisure is better when contextual
  • Type

    Competition Announcement (Student Competitions)
  • Website

  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    April 05, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Submission Deadline

    April 06, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Price


This competition was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit a competition, call for submissions or other architectural 'opportunity' please use our "Submit a Competition" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "Villa Vernacular - Kerala Leisure is better when contextual" 08 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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