The Paliam family patriarchs were hereditary prime ministers to the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin, Kerala. Today the ancestral home and palace of this family is a heritage complex about an hour’s drive from the city of Cochin. The client who got a small parcel of 160 sqm in the family partition decided to build a vacation home on it.
The brief was to design a home that could host their frequent visits and double up as accommodation for the multitude of classical artists and performers who grace the annual family festival. The layout is largely informed by this, keeping bedroom areas to a minimum and giving over the living areas to an open plan layout. The circulation passage doubles up as access to the heritage complex behind which otherwise would get blocked with this new construction.
The design takes a cue from the traditional Kerala architecture around but introduces a gable to contain the building edges. A rainwater channel in polished cement replaces the eaves and helps direct water in a more controlled way for storage. This structural channel is repeated in each bay giving long lintel-less windows in all the rooms. Jackfruit wood salvaged from traditional houses is used as a grill for shading and security. Glass roof tiles delineate the passage through the house and animate the interiors with ever changing light patterns on the floor.