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The Nira

LocationKerala, India
DescriptionThe design brief called for a luxury eco-resort in Kumarakom, Kerala. As a boutique project, in close proximity to the Arabian Sea, the objective was to offer an indulgent retreat experience of life amidst the backwaters. Physical and visual engagement with the natural setting laid the foundation for the development of the globally unique design set amidst a serene landscape.

The 40-acre site on the man-made Puthenkayalisland lies facing the Vembanad lake backwaters. 4.2m wide water channels run through the site with alternate strips of land and water. High flood levels within the site and the intent to retain the unique character of the striated water and land channels helped to determine the stilted nature of the built up structures and connecting pathways.

This natural landscape is retained and exploited for primary movement, as the site is predominantly flooded for most part of the year. Along with this, the condition of no vehicular 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. The location of the villas is over-layered with the water channel running through. The result was a master plan with interlocking movement systemsof road and pathways periodically hyphenated with nodes connecting to a tertiary movement system linking villas.

Traditional references have informed the design of the villas; such as the basic module Nalukettu, where four blocks built around a courtyard into which the roof slopes on four sides, protecting an internal verandah from rain and sun. The covered pathways and villas allow one to experience the rain without getting wet.

Environmental concerns dictated the form development and help to regulate the microclimate within the resort. Location and orientation of the villas is optimized to achieve maximum porosity to westerly winds, leading to wind movement acceleration throughout the site. The roof form has been derived from a tree, where the foliage spread is used to provide shade, whilst simultaneously creating a wind tunnel effect to regulate the temperature. This aerodynamic, retractable roof form with large perforated cantilevers traps the wind and filters the sun, thus increasing the thermal circulation of the space, yet maintaining light quality in the internal spaces, and further emphasizing on the views. Rain Protection is provided with the help of covered walkways throughout the site.

The project was in co-ordination with the client`s design advisor – Mr, PeetiSastrawaha.

ClientShanti Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
Start date01-10-2010
Area Units.q.m.
Developed by

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