A Contemporary Residence Accentuate A Winding Laterite Stone Wall

The following is a residential project of Indian architectural firm, LIJO RENY Architects. This project was completed in 2012 and called the Running Wall Residence. This contemporary residence located in Thalassery, Idia and features a winding laterite stone wall which begins at the entrance of the property and continues into the house itself. Here is information from the team of architects : ” As the site sat right in the middle of one of the rougher districts of Kerala the client wanted a house that looked intimidating. In fact that is the very feel that one gets as one stands outside trying to get in. The shape is a combination of plastered walls and exposed laterite wall. Laterite stone, commonly used in the architecture of Kerala, has an immediate visual appeal and a relationship with the surrounding environment, because of the earthy color and texture. The use of this stone in a new language without eliminating the ridiculous nature, will immediately root the design, and at the same time acknowledging the change, bridging the huge gap that has occurred in contemporary architectural practice prevailing in the state at this time.

The exposed laterite stone wall starts from the combined of wall and winds through the backyard into the building. More than as a wall or as a cover, this is like a sculpture that flows through the landscape. The monotony of the large walls are marred by various vacancy given randomly on the laterite wall. The laterite stone is derived from two different mines for the two different colors of the pattern all over the walls. Vertical joints between the laterite stones is filled a white cement paste and powdered laterite stone, so it looks accentuate the horizontal lines. Horizontal stripes are constantly giving more fluidity and direction of the wall winding.

The drive way is long, usher one to the sit, out from where a sneak preview is given of hidden courts and landscaped spill out areas. From here one step into a glass bridge, on top of a body water that is spilled as a cascade at the bottom of the main door, into an internal pool. So, as the main door was opened one continues to walk on clear glass, with the visual of the underfoot cascade . From here, one can choose to go to the living room or dining room. Both these rooms open to a large landscape. Spill area covered by the meandering exposed laterite wall. Dining area has a lap pool with a corridor, drove into the bedroom. The kitchen comes with a breakfast bar, separate from the dining room. The kitchen area is also open to the other landscape yard at the back, with a badminton court.

This house also has an internal court, planted with ferns, banana trees and other tropical plants. The interior stair connect wit the home theater below and study room above. The corridor above has some circular skylights, compete with the circular ceiling lights to illuminate the area. Most rooms have a play of levels with the ceiling, in the form of a combination of barrel vault and flat slab at the higher level with vents to expel the hot air. This combination has brought a noticeable difference in room temperature, as compared to other regular shapes.

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