The tanzanite house is situated in the coastal area of Cherthala. Due to its proximity to the sea, the site has sandy soil with minimum vegetation, open to the harshness of the sun. The brief was to build a simple contemporary modern house with ample natural light and ventilation. The house was envisioned as a voluminous grid situated towards the south east end of the site leaving almost half of the site for landscaping. The design evolved as three distinct linear blocks. The two distinct parallel blocks with public and private spaces respectively connected by an intermediate large semi-public dining area and then carefully punctured in various places to create pockets of airflow and light.
The idea of linear blocks with openings on both sides is an ideal response to the tropical climate of the region. This helps in regulating the humidity and reducing heat gain, keeping the different spaces cool naturally.
The two blocks operate as distinct zones, one housing the public spaces like living room, powder room and the stairs and the other holding semi-public and the private spaces like the family living area and the bedrooms. The spatial strategy of 2 distinct blocks with a central connecting space, courtyard and double height dining space allows seamless communication between various programmatic spaces yet respecting the privacy and utility of different spaces.
Upon entering, a courtyard was placed behind the front entrance, as an extension of the landscape. This helped in integrating the outside and inside blurring its boundary between interior and exterior of the house. The main door opens to the formal living area with large openings on one side of the room to provide uninterrupted view towards the landscape.
The dining area is a large double height space with a bridge above. The cut-outs in this space allows effective visual and oral communication between ground floor and first floor which unites the house into a single unit. The large door-window in the dining area spills out to the deck and landscape beyond, which helps in expanding the spaces during special occasions & functions. The system of stack ventilation is used in the double height space is beneficial in hot air escape through the strategically placed vents and ensures thermal comfort by allowing cold air to enter through the large openings in either side of dining area.
A linear wood and steel stair that leads to the bridge in the first floor above dining area, is conceived as a lightweight structure that opens out the narrow foyer that connects living and dining spaces.