The Box House in Calicut
“A Clean, Well-lighted Place”, the title of a Hemingway story sits well with this Box House designed by Uru Consulting.
This unembellished house that is open to sunlight and the gentle breeze of Elanji tree is situated near the International Airport, Calicut.
The architect wants to classify his efforts in designing the Box House as a rare blend of aesthetics dipped in mundanity. He explains further, “This Scandinavian architectural design stands out for its harmoniously balanced geometric shapes, deep-rooted in function. Beyond its function, the backdrop of the enchanting green fields of Kerala is indeed a sight to behold.”
Team Uru has committed itself to the paradigm of sustainability as the chief driving force of its design purposes. And when clients with the same ideals come along, then it is a marriage made in heaven.
The team believes their effort is a mix of international and local ethics; international with the structure of the Box house, sitting amidst the lush green of a rice field with coconut trees along the borders that brings to life a picture-perfect village in Kerala while the locality of the project is in its choice of materials.
“Every material from clay tiles of Feroke used as the jally, Indian white marble for the floors, laterite stones on the front yard, buffalo grass landscaping, to the planting of the tropical plants like Elanji and Parijatham, and Mandaram were locally available that goes with the motto “going local is the new global” and contributes greatly to the vision of sustainability. Even the coconut trees in the plot were included in the plan so that they will go undisturbed despite the construction of the house. The plot contained an over 100-year-old pond, which, according to the suggestion of Team Uru was reconstructed and conserved, serving both as a function, a major water resource, maintaining the ecological balance and as a form of poetic beauty, a cool dash of blue in a green canvas of grass,” says Safder Machilakath, the lead architect.
With solar power providing the energy for, Team Uru and its client are a step towards preserving energy for the future.
“This solar powered house hardly needs electricity for light or fan during the daytime, as the plan has given room for natural light, cross ventilation and a gentle breeze. Their eco-consciousness is further revealed in the rainwater harvesting system, including the pond and the laterite tiles which do not hinder the rainwater from being absorbed into the soil. As a smart waste management tool, a bio-gas plant is also provided.”
The plan challenged Team Uru from the aspect of satisfying the client’s need for a better view of the rice field, facing South West, and preparing the house for being resistant to the South West wind and the heat. The overhangs were devised into broader sunshades to shield the house from the scorching sun, the South West wind and the monsoon. The usage of the cavity walls (double layered wall with a hollow in between) was another strategy. The magic of the house being cool while still being well-light is due to the trellis.
The Box House has another facet to it, its resilience; during the construction time of the Box House, Kerala had faced and survived two floods, consecutively in 2018 and 2019, first of which cautioned Team Uru to plan the landscaping in the plot keeping this challenge in mind.
They can now claim proudly that the intelligent landscaping protected the Box House from the second flood that ravaged the place.
The perception of privacy in the living rooms had to be balanced with the client’s idea of an open house with fewer walls, more light, and wind. The design makes sure that the view is never missed while inhabiting any part of the house; right from the sunken living room, through each step in the stairs, the mezzanine floor, to there creational space in the balcony, adjacent to the Home theater as MTS. Like the unhindered openness into the view, the plan also makes sure that the interaction of the members of the family remains seamless from the central point of the house, the connection point between the dining area, the courtyard, and the stairs. This particular space enables connectivity between all the other spaces like the kitchen, the two-bedroom on the ground floor, the upper floor as well as the exterias well. This brings strong ties of intimacy within the family while it seems to extend a welcoming hand to the guests.
s on the ground floor, the upper floor as well as outdoors outside as well. This brings strong ties of intimacy within the family while it seems to extend a welcoming hand to the guests.
Project Name: The Box House
Architecture Firm: Uru Consulting
Completion Year: 2019
Gross Built Area: 5400 sq ft
Lead Architect: Safder Machilakath
Lead Architects e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer’s website: http://runningstudios.in/
Clients: Mustafa Moidu Palayil
Collaborators: Jaseel Abdul Kareem (albatross)