linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology

Karai Weekend Home reinterprets vernacular architecture

 

RAIN – Studio of Design constructs Karai weekend home near the city of Chennai, reinterpreting vernacular ‘nalukettu’ architecture. The residence, nestled in the serene coastal area of Kuvathur, embraces the essence of living in harmony with nature. The project marries regional techniques with contemporary aesthetics, offering a unique blend of tradition and innovation.

 

Drawing from the calming sounds of waves and the tranquil environment, the design intentionally exposes the structure to the elements, allowing residents to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Positioned near the sea, the living unit seamlessly integrates with lush greenery and reflection pools. A contemporary take on the traditional ‘nalukettu’ house form, the central courtyard breathes life into the dwelling while also passively influencing the microclimate. The open court acts as a unifying element, shaping the spatial arrangement and fostering interaction.

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
all images by Yash R Jain

 

 

central courtyard connects all living zones

 

The layout arranges four rooms with attached baths and unobstructed sea views. The linear brick-laid court serves as the organizing element, linking various living spaces and enhancing connectivity. The interplay of sunlight is captured through four-directional sloping roofs composed of the standard interlocking Mangalore tiles that cover the rooms extending onto corridors. Glass strips embedded in inverted U-shaped flat roof junctions create intricate patterns, decorating the interiors. The project by RAIN – Studio of Design applies various eco-friendly innovations, such as passive cooling techniques, exemplified by the use of earthen pots as infill in the filler slab roof. Pre-used Mangalore tiles are repurposed to form rugged walls, reflecting a commitment to sustainability. Painted Mild Steel columns support the roof connecting to beams that double up as gutters collecting rainwater.

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
the dining and ante space leading to the staircase allow the breeze to flow through to the upper level

 

 

Karai Reimagines traditional Symbols while embracing modernity

 

The collaborative effort between the studio and design and construction teams shapes the Karai project, employing regional techniques and reclaimed materials in innovative ways, such as repurposing old window shutters and discarded stone pieces. The utilization of these elements enhances the tactile experience, as evidenced by sixty-two window shutters from demolished houses transformed into doors and windows, complemented by smaller wooden shutters contributing to the entrance’s unique character. Natural sunlight illuminates the bath areas, intensifying the pigmented oxide surfaces, while the absence of castored coating on pre-chromed brass faucets results in an organic patina that adds a distinctive touch. Traditional South-Indian symbols are playfully reimagined, with the ‘kuthhu vilakku’ (oil lamp) and ‘kudam’ (water pot) finding new and purposeful roles within the space. Ultimately, Karai embodies a sustainable retreat that celebrates tradition while embracing modernity.

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
Ikat handloom-inspired rectangular stones of varying sizes blanket the corridor

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
interlocking Mangalore tiles cover the rooms extending onto corridors

linear-brick-laid-court-karai-weekend-home-india-rain-designboom-1800-3

the linear brick-laid court links various living spaces enhancing connectivity

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
a contemporary take on the traditional ‘nalukettu’ house form, the open court arranges the living space

 

linear brick-laid court organizes weekend home in india reinterpreting 'nalukettu' typology
the living unit seamlessly integrates with lush greenery and reflection pools

linear-brick-laid-court-karai-weekend-home-india-rain-designboom-1800-2

the central courtyard acts as a unifying element, shaping the spatial arrangement and fostering interaction

 

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the house features South-Indian symbols like the brass 'kuthu vilakku' traditional oil lamp and the 'kudam' water pots
the house features South-Indian symbols like the brass 'kuthu vilakku' traditional oil lamp and the 'kudam' water pots
the bath areas are illuminated by natural light that highlights the hues of the pigmented oxide surfaces
the bath areas are illuminated by natural light that highlights the hues of the pigmented oxide surfaces
the residence embraces the essence of living in harmony with nature
the residence embraces the essence of living in harmony with nature
an antique fishing boat procured from a fisherman in Kerala doubles as an art sculpture in the pool
an antique fishing boat procured from a fisherman in Kerala doubles as an art sculpture in the pool
lush greenery surrounds the structure
lush greenery surrounds the structure
four-directional sloping roofs composed of Mangalore tiles cover the rooms extending to the corridors
four-directional sloping roofs composed of Mangalore tiles cover the rooms extending to the corridors

project info:

 

name: Karai
designer: RAIN – Studio of design | @rainstudioofdesign

design team: Sriram Adhitya, Vamsi Krishna, Gokulraj Vijayakumar, Ankita Bob

location: Koovathur, Chennai, India

photography: Yash R Jain | @_yashrjain

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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