A mix of traditional architecture and a Dutch-Portuguese elevation on 12 cents of rectangular land. Jibu John, architect, says the house of Anil Joseph at Pullepady in Kochi has been redesigned by removing the walls within to liberate space.

The shorter side of the rectangular land makes up the frontage. Hence it is a tight fit on the sides. Lowering the compound wall and bringing in a green patch into the available space have brought relief.

The outer walls of the old house, which had two bedrooms on top, have been retained.

The huge porch makes the most of the front elevation, with space for four cars. With Mr. Joseph’s need for more parking space because of the attached office, the space in front of the house has been given an elegant shelter.

The living areas are hugely spacious with the double-height roof. The courtyard with a skylight in the centre brings in light to all parts of the house — the front living room, the dining area and the living area on the floor above.

The dining area and beyond, remnants of the old house, accommodate a private living space. The dining area has entry to the kitchen, a bedroom and a study, while the centre courtyard provides an opening into a guest bedroom. The stairs in the courtyard take you up the floor that opens into a landing overlooking the courtyard and the front living area. A hall runs the length of the house below, giving space to a home theatre and an exercise area. Three bedrooms are on one side of the hall, with one bedroom leading to a clothes-drying and wash area and a stair up to the attic space.

The attic space provides air circulation to keep the house cool. This is part of a traditional concept being adopted these days, though the materials used are different, Mr. John says.

Ventilation was an important aspect kept in mind when redesigning the house. The old construction had small rooms and small windows. These were redesigned to keep in tune with the extended house.

Shyama Rajagopal