Architects: S Squared Architects
- Area : 2700 ft²
- Year : 2019
Photographs :Khan and Baker
Lead Architects : Shaji V Vempanadan, Sumi Shaji
- City : Haripad
- Country : India
Text description provided by the architects. The “Skyward” home is located on an 18 cents East facing narrow plot, located in a rural residential area in Haripad, Kerala. The clients approached S Squared Architects to build a home for them that would be simple, devoid of any pretensions from the outside but comfortable and convenient on the inside.
One of the challenges that caught the attention of the S Squared team was the nature of the site itself. Aligned in the East-West direction with approximately 14m width and 51 m length, the site had a very narrow frontage. Abutting the South East of the site was a “Sarpa kave” which is a sacred groove, specially meant for snakes. Sacred grooves in Kerala are considered to be divine and it was forbidden to kill snakes or destroy the flora and fauna of the groove. And over time these would develop to be ecological hotspots and play a key role in preserving biodiversity.
The design developed by Ar. Shaji Vempanadan of S Squared Architects was a response to this context where the sanctity of the nearby sacred grooves had not only been maintained but also cherished. The duality of the existence of man and nature can be deeply experienced in such grooves and the design had to be in appreciation of this duality. A free-hand curved wall divided the site into two zones, the public and private zone.
The driveway was located in the public zone and the wall helped to screen the movement of vehicles coming in and going out of the house. On the other side of the wall was the silent zone bordering the sacred grooves and also housing the private garden of the inhabitants. The wall extended further from the unbuilt space to the built space changing roles from a protector of nature to a separator, segregating various functional zones of the house. And the wall stands tall rising skywards in silent testimony to this duality, the duality of man and nature, of stillness and movement