Athachi Farm / Alchemy Architects
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Manufacturers: D’Decor, Kohler, Aludecor, Asian Paintings, Creanza, Fenesta, Kanchi designs, Lioness tile, Mitsubishi, Simple
Text description provided by the architects. An NRI nature lover chose to have a vacation home close to the heart. Nestled in the famous farmlands of Kerala, on the plains of Palakkad Pass flanked by the Western Ghats on either side, leads to the conceptualization of a vacation home that can hold one’s family together while vacationing in one’s homeland. The limited time frame gave rise to the idea of using steel structures for 80% of the built area.
With the client’s love for nature and greenery in the tropical zone, his contributions to organic medicinal plant farming practices and his business of wellness products, the house has become a vision of his farming principles, giving the house a minimalist approach with raw, earthy and muted tones to convey context.
Design background – The design approach began with the idea of utilizing the expansive views created by the 3-acre natural water feature on site overlooking the Ghats. Functional requirements created two main areas, a residential area and a party gathering area. The main idea is to place the rooms where the host and guests are staying to overlook the body of water and the Ghats, providing larger longer windows without blocking the views, keeping the longest span in the orientations North South.
The gathering area with the party hall is placed at the end of the sequence, giving an interconnected dining room, for it to use the bridges formed in the center and the amphitheater at the rear with the greatest volume of openings that suggests endless visual connection for their congregations. . The party room can hold 100 people inside with a 24-seat dining room that has a cast-in-place dining table spanning 24 feet “The Cantilevered Monolith” centrally placed connecting the sprawling decks inside and out giving endless party areas on the foredeck and aft amphitheater.
The residential unit has 6 suites placed linearly with wide verandas protected by the pinhole brick protecting it from the heat and the glare of the south. A 3 bed studio is on the second floor for the host with wide overhanging decks overlooking the Ghats on either side. All exercised by the casting of made-to-measure furniture and some handpicked to be in harmony.
Hardware Specification – The material used in the project can be defined as raw and basic, a minimalism that displays bare materials and structural elements with minimal or no decorative elements with modern materials and old elements that are revamped. The facade’s pinhole brick, ashlar walls, unpainted polished cement walls and polished concrete floors with handmade cement tiles are supported by muted, earthy tones to go with the context. The walls are all alternated by the largest volume of openings to provide more ventilation and light.