Inside Out: This 2,874 sq. ft. Kerala Home Plays an Intermediary to Hustle and Calm

This home boasting wooden accents and reclaimed elements dons a cap of sustainability, emerging into an ethereal world that whispers stories of the past alongside a blooming view.

architecture, interior, Kerala, home, Sloping roof, pond, weather condition, sustainable, sustainability hero, eco-friendly

‘Home’, the precise designation smears a rather warm feeling of yearning, likewise, ‘Chola’- loosely translating to shelter in Malayalam has an akin role to play in its residents' lives. This abode transpires as a mediator, negotiating between the paradoxes; of a busy highway and a paddy field in a quaint village of Kerala. Streamlined by reformists at ART on Architecture, it underscores the relationships of spaces with their surroundings, adapting nuances from traditional Kerala architecture, and tweaking it with contemporary flairs.

The home's lush green context supports the architect's excuse for moving away from the city. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.
“For me, my wife, and our life; Chola’s literally that, a shade, a shelter, and the stream of love. All these combined together is home for us,” explains Anoop Nair, principal architect of ART on Architecture.



Palakkad, Kerala

Plot Area

22,206 sq. ft.

Built-up Area

2,874 sq. ft.

Number of Rooms


Completion Year


Vaastu Compliance



With the dire need to find a haven, whose every syllable radiated its namesake’s warmth the couple looked for a “shaded, secluded, yet urban space that is away from the busy, bustling professional life,” iterates Sruthy K, cofounder of ART on Architecture. This relentless pursuit led to a road trip steering away from the city, onto a highway to a lush, picturesque hamlet. During this frenetic escapade, a mirage of; a land with vegetation transpired in a corner, only to be faded by a cool gust of wind whooshing from beyond. An ambivert home thus, materialized on this slice of haven, looking away at the sprawling paddy fields, while only stealing glimpses at the highway.

The architects decipher the eco-conscious concept of the home, lying between a highway and paddy fields. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

The vestiges of this highway are shrugged off by; a bumpy ride surrounded by slender planters that block the noise of the highway while guiding one, closer to the source of the winds. Further, a melange of warm auburn and pristine white hues, paint the built form in tinctures of minimalism, as it materializes around the unbuilt. This austere dwelling, combined with the susurrus from the surroundings, takes shade under the prevailing trees that are kept sacrosanct on site. A mere set of steps invites one to a verandah parlaying as a host to the residents' acquaintances for a brief chat’. “A built-in seat, in L-shape, where you have your shoe rack and all that below it,” narrates Anoop, about the verandah’s seating ensemble.

A pristine white and laterite assembly with subtle hints of wood invites the visitor in for a sneak peek. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.


In an ardent attempt to find a passage, to the much-heard-about views of paddy fields and to trace the origin of the cool breeze, one opens the door to the interiors. “When you open the main door, you get inside your house or your residence, here is directly opposite,” muses Anoop insinuating the exposed living area and verandah that greet the users. On entering, an open living area emerges, featuring laterite walls and exposed concrete ceilings; sunbathing in the honey-dew warmth and exploring the surroundings swinging on a jhoola. It sings a threnody of the past; with reclaimed furniture and a wall of snaps, sustaining the concept of contemporizing vintage aesthetics.

The transition from the built verandah to the almost unbuilt living area consolidates the concept of a relationship with the natural surroundings. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

A game of checkers between visitors’ onsets in the heart of the home enacted by a verandah, abruptly metamorphosing into a chess match; with a larger-than-life chessboard and pawns. This verandah frames the paddy fields beyond, becoming the protagonist of this chronicle revolving around the past and present, with every space gawking at it. “The paddy field is very much visible from here, you have an infinity pond here, also influenced by traditional ponds,” Anoop clues us. This verandah angles at 45o, with an infinity pond infiltrating the breeze, offering a delectable palette of greenery for city-tired eyes. “... (The verandah) is actually the central spine of the residence,” Anoop elucidates about the verandah that dictates the form of the home. Beyond this vantage point, is a dining area corralled in the mundane brick walls, only to gasp at the wilderness that lounges past the folding door. On the other side of this dining table, a built-in wooden seating offers an indolent choice, to recline while observing a cluster of unfolding tableaus.

A deep relationship transpires between the natural surroundings and the abode, with petite moments of friskiness. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.


The built-in seating’s wooden top covertly forms a dalliance with the stairs, revealing its steadfastness to the treads all the while sustaining the habitat’s warm character. Treading the trails of its leman, the wooden floor unrolls across the living room above. “From living space, if you see, dining and kitchen are visible and attic is also visible,” justifies Anoop about the space clinched between the wooden flooring and sloping roof. This faerie flatters the residents; with built-in seating and vintage-looking windows, absorbing their agonies from the strenuous day. A set of steps, serving tantalizing glimpses of the thriving greenery handholds the fatigued inhabitants into their sleeping chambers. Shining in the gilded speckles of the golden hour with balcony seats to the opera, performed by the paddy field, the master bedroom's cozy index turns up a few notches.

The inner sanctum of the home is drenched in accents of wood, with the upper floors embraced by the warmth of the sloping roof. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.

Careening away from the genial chamber, a verandah of green edges and distorted field views; courtesy of the bamboo fins transits one to a junction. This junction offers a choice; one to the hush-hush den and the other to the guest block. A humming tune of classical rhapsody lures the visitor to the guest block, where vestiges of vernacular architecture lurk from within a courtyard that cordially materializes around a fig tree. The guest block with; bedrooms and attached bathrooms consists of a ligature of accessways, simultaneously linking and detaching it to the main block.

The cozy and airy bedroom with an attached balcony establishes a deep-rooted connection with the paddy fields and the surrounding flora and fauna. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

“From… this verandah you go up towards the attic and the balcony on top of the kitchen and dining area,” Anoop narrates. Detaching from the apparition of the barbed cityscapes, a museum-esque attic balcony transpires with sinuous exhibits, freezing the visitor in a loop of leisurely luxury. On display: lounging verdant paddy fields, petite down-to-earth settlements evident from the clerestory window, and the warm, sheer interiors through the wooden staves, converting the space into an ethereal escape way.

This terrace balcony becomes the getaway to spend the Sunday afternoon basking away. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

Decamping from the flag bearers of hustle culture (bustling cities), Chola emerges corralled by the velvety verdant duvet of thriving vegetation, conscientiously curated to blur the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors. Behind the entrance door of Chola, a revelation eternally astounds the visitors, “they always used to tell that they never expect to have such an open area, just after entering this (abode)… like when they come, what they have in their minds is a completely different structure,” Surthy animatedly confides in us. Irrevocably, this abode with exposed laterite walls, ornately carved wooden accents, and a coy pond, is woozy under the influence of traditional Kerala architecture.

To watch the complete home tour, peruse the drawings in detail, and browse additional photographs, visit Buildofy. While there, don’t miss out on the other impressive contemporary homes in Chennai and across India.