Location: Kumarakom, Kerala
Client: Shanti Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
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A boutique project, the luxury eco-resort being built by Morphogenesis in Kumarakom, Kerala offers a wholesome retreat experience for its users, thanks to its close proximity with the Arabian Sea. The aim of the design was to be able to provide those visiting with a visual and natural setting amidst the backwaters. The natural environment of site is retained to be build the structure on and is exploited for views. Since the site is flooded for most part of the year, it is also used as the primary mode for movement. According to the designers, ‘the condition of no vehicle movement inside the site and a clear distinction within the location of facilities and villas helped to construct the master plan. A script was developed with the given conditions and to maintain a sense of peace and individual habitation, rules were set out to determine the location of the villas.’ Since the villas are placed as such that the water channel runs through, the plan accommodates interlocked movements of systems of roads and pathways that are periodically hyphenated with nodes connecting to a tertiary movement system linking villas. Traditional design practices have been included in the design such as the Nalukettu, where four blocks are built around a courtyard inside which the roof slopes on four sides which helps protect an internal verandah from rain and sun. This also allows the user to experience the rain without getting drenched. The roof’s form has been derived from the shape of a tree wherein the spread of foliage protects, providing shade and simultaneously also creating a funnel for wind movement. This keeps the temperature in check without a need for mechanised ventilation. On the facade, the roof appears as an ‘aerodynamic, retractable’ form with large perforated cantilevers, trapping the wind and filtering the sun.