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The Skyward Home

The Skyward Home

The “Skyward” home in Haripad, Kerala is located in a rural residential area on a 18 cents East facing narrow plot. The clients had approached S Squared Architects to design a comfortable dwelling that would be simple and convenient and yet dramatic. One of the main challenges faced by the team, was the nature of the site itself.

The site had a very narrow front yard aligned in the east west direction, measuring approximately 14 metres wide and 51 metres long. On the South East of the site there was a sacred groove which is called “Sarpa kave” in Kerala. In Kerala, sacred grooves have been regarded as holy places where snakes and flora and fauna may not be killed or destroyed. These grooves would grow to be ecological hotspots and play a key role in protecting biodiversity over time.

Ar. Shaji Vempanadan of S Squared Architects designed this residence as a response to this context where the sanctity of the nearby sacred grooves had to be preserved and cherished. The duality of the existence of man and nature can be deeply experienced in such grooves and the design had to be in appreciation of this duality.

A free hand curved wall was used to divide the site into two zones, one was the e public zone and the other, the private zone. The public zone contained the driveway and the hustle and bustle of vehicles coming in and out of the house was screened by the wall.  The other side of the wall had the silent zone with the sacred grooves on its fringe and also enclosing the private garden of the occupants.

The wall extended further from the un built space to the built space changing roles from a protector of nature to a separator, segregating various functional zones of the house. And the wall stands tall rising skywards in silent testimony to this duality, the duality of man and nature, of stillness and movement

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