When LIJO.RENY.architectsÂ was tapped to design a modern house for the town of Tirur in the southern Indian state of KeralaÂ â€” the name of which literally translates to â€śland of coconut treesâ€ť â€” there was no doubt that the regionâ€™s lush greenery would play a large part in the design. To bring nature into the home as much as possible, the architects used a grid layout that accommodates an indoor courtyard and outdoor verandas. This layout gave rise to the buildingâ€™s name, the Regimented House. Numerous openings, long overhangs and perforated weathering steel screens provide shade and natural ventilation to keep the home cool in the regionâ€™s humid, tropical climate.
Located on a 2.45-acre lot flush with trees and palms, the Regimented House shares the large property with an existing house owned by the clientâ€™s brother. The residents wanted a home that would provide a degree of privacy and autonomy, but they did not want the architects to erect a wall that would separate the new house from the brotherâ€™s house. They also didnâ€™t want to be separated from the informal pedestrian path that divides the site and provides access to the main road. Thus, the architects crafted a decidedly contemporary home spanning 6,850 square feet that differs from the existing house with its long and linear form.
â€śThe simple yet formal nature of this built form, with the extended frontyard and backyard demarcated by hard landscape grids established a notion of a boundary, subtle nonetheless potent,â€ť the architects explained. â€śMoreover, the grid layout was designed to accommodate landscaped courts of various types to ensure the essential blending in with nature as well as soften the otherwise bold presence of the built mass.â€ť
Designed to embrace indoor-outdoor living, the Regimented House comprises two floors organized around a central indoor courtyard with plenty of landscaping, including a vertical green wall. A minimalist palette and mostly white surfaces, punctuated by full-height glazing or openings, help keep the focus on the outdoor environment. The rooms of the house were also laid out for optimal natural ventilation.
Images by Praveen Mohandas, Suneesh Suresh