This traditional house on the backwaters of Kumbalanghi had undergone an intense restoration process to get itself converted into a heritage hotel with 7 Keys and 20 Cover Poolside Restaurant. The traditional charm of the building was reinvented through a surgical effort for removing a later concrete addition to this structure. Located right at the entrance to the Kumbalanghi Island, this project marks the entrance to the Model Tourism Village. The premise is expressly landscaped with indigenous plants and local grass lawns.
The project won Indian Institute of Architects State Award 2008 for Excellence in Architecture.
Jury Report Excerpts:The Heritage Methanam, is a renovation and re-adaptation of a bungalow of colonial character into a small hotel. The intervention was very carefully handled removing certain unfitting elements like concrete porch and introducing tiled roofs and courts and new staircases substantially improving the quality of spaces and befitting detailing to existing elements. The introduction of traditional wooden partitions and rustic flooring were commendable. On the whole, the building renovation and adaptive reuse showed a maturity in intervention and conservation.
This Ayurvedic Treatment Center was blessed with beutiful traditional structures of the famous Poomully Mana, built in the Kerala Architecture Style. An adaptive resue of the old structures into rooms for accomodation and treatments followed by a simple landscape to highlight the Architectural Beauty of the entire complex, has given rise to the most sought after Ayurvedic Resort of the state. Later more rooms and amenities were added following the traditional architectural style of the locale.
Atisaya retreat is a project envisaged around a century old British Bungalow in Yercaud. Compact and modern lifestyle cottages are planned around green patches of gardens. Seamless connect between interior and exterior spaces through patios, verandas and gardens make it a haven for inmates.
The theme for the resort is based on wellness and healthy living. The layout has an Ayurvedic Spa and Kitchen which serves organic food. Jogging tracks, passive and active recreation facilities, spaces for yoga, meditation etc. aims at holistic wellness.
This is the oldest part of the Ernakulam Town. While the British took over Cochin from the Dutch, the market was the first facility to move out from Fort Cochin to Mainland Ernakulam. Later a similar trade-community establishment similar to that in Mattancherry came about around it. This area encomapasses heritage structures and planning features of very high value including the water based market square (seen in the traditional markets along the Vembanad Lake such as Changanacherry, Athirampuzha Etc.), Jewish synagogues, Konkani Temple, Bishop Houses, Old Churches etc.
Due to the increase in intensity of activity and lack of urban renewal efforts, this area is presently under tremendous stress. The plan envisages to reinvent the soul of this place through the renewal plan, and making it the pedestrian friendly core of the inner city. Idea Design Worked on this project with other associate consultants under CHED (Centre for Heritage, Environment & Development), Corporation of Cochin. The project is presently approved by JNNURM (Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission), Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India and will be taken into implementation soon.
Biley Menon & Chitra Biley worked together on conducting a research of the Vembanad Lake Region, in their early days of practice, inspired by the unique cultural and natural ecological values of the Ramsar Cite. The research culminated in defining an ecological life region, identifying the values of this cultural landscape which unify the region. A combined research on cultural and natural history produced brilliant discoveries, which were appreciated by many professors, ecologists and historians.
The study involved intense stages of data collection, which were available only in bits and pieces as the history of this part of the world were hardly written. Relatively unknown paths of combining the geological history and trade history almost created a new approach to studying the history of a region. Architectural uniqueness of this cultural landscape rippled in different parts of its traditional settlements in this region, where seven rivers flowing from the western ghats join this lake system before flushing out to the Arabian Sea.
An effort was done to depict the regional architecture image of the vembanad lake region. A detailed study of the regional traditional architecture was carried out in areas of Athirampuzha, Changanacherry, Pulinkunnu, Monkombu, and Chambakkualm. This database of Land planning to architectural details were translated into a cultural centre layout. This symbiotic expression of land and water evolved a vocabulary for design. The rich cultural landscape of the region became the overriding theme for the entire design for the resort. In spite of the project not becoming a reality, the study and documentation of this cultural landscape has inspired us throughout.
Architects, Landscape Architects, Urban Designers – Cochin, Kerala, India