Rs.3 crore is the average budget for a house these days designed by P.A. Nazeer Khan, who is a self-made architect from Kozhikode.
His name may not figure in the celebrity list of architects in the city. For, he has not secured a certificate of merit from any glamorous institute of design or architecture. But P.A. Nazeer Khan is a master craftsman on his own merit, with hundreds of well-designed and incredibly beautiful palatial houses to his credit in different parts of the country.
For many, says Mr. Khan, a house is a statement that they want to make about themselves. This is particularly so in Kerala where a large section of its middle class population, especially the petrodollar-rich non-residents, are obsessed with the idea of a posh-looking palace for a dwelling place.
A major share of his clients is NRIs from different parts the State. “They are the ones with money and flamboyant dreams of a home triggered by the exposure they have to the outer world,” Mr. Khan says.
Rs.3 crore may be the standard budget for a super-star commercial movie in Malayalam. But that also is the average budget for a house these days designed by Mr. Khan, who is a self-made architect from Kozhikode.
For the last 28 years, he has designed myriad houses, commercial complexes, and shopping malls in different parts of the country with nearly 100 ongoing projects under his supervision now.
One of his ongoing projects is a 50,000-sq ft house at Pulikkal in Malappuram district. “It could probably be the tallest house as well in the State with a height of 33 m,” says the architect, who is basically an artist with incredible imagination and enviable drawing skills.
That he is not a “qualified” architect with “sufficient” academic credentials often make him “unacceptable” to many established names in the field. “But I never go begging for anyone’s approval, I do my job” says the craftsman.
Once the design is done, he takes the advice and help of some structural engineers for each project. “But I myself supervise the construction from foundation to the finish,” he says.
Most of his clients are the nouveau riche. But that does not make Mr. Khan’s architectural challenges any lesser. “Among other things, I believe in the basic balance and symmetry for my structures,” he says. For him, a structure without balance or right proportion is a physically challenged constitution.
There are certain commonalities or a visible stamp of the artist on almost all of his projects. Besides being elegant with a royal touch, they are also designed to last.
Mr. Khan is known for the enormity and the complex visual dimensions of his designs. “Probably, more than half of the particularly noticeable and huge houses in the Malabar region could be my design,” says the architect, whose only academic credential is a diploma in civil draughtsmanship.
That his customers are often those who are ready to splurge on their dream house does not mean that Mr. Khan takes advantage of them. “My attachment with each project is often something beyond professional. I become emotionally attached to them even to the extent that it causes a sort of an acute pain by the time I have to hand over the project to my client,” says Mr. Khan.
With some of his project currently under way even outside the country, Mr. Khan, as some of his admirers say, is a born architect capable of creating wonders. So much so that a team of architecture scholars from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) is currently doing a research on the socio-cultural influences of new housing structures in Kerala with special reference to Mr. Khan’s structures.