Living in a palace may remain a dream for many. But not for the owners of Souparnika, an upcoming house at Pettah in the city. A project that B. Arjunan, architect, of Arjun Associates says will be the flagship of his career, the house may not be a palace in the real sense of the word, but brings together the exquisite architectural styles seen in royal structures such as the Padmanabhapuram and the Kuthiramalika palaces.

The convergence of such architecture has been a long process, Mr. Arjunan says. Several craftsmen spent nearly two years, chipping away at teak pieces to recreate pillars, doors, intricately carved gables and staircases with lifelike figures of lions and elephants snarling at you.

Mr. Arjunan has gone around the two Travancore palaces and others and the Varikkassery Mana in Ottappalam, storing in his camera the exquisite woodwork that he saw there, before getting his craftsmen to bring those centuries-old styles back to life in the 21{+s}{+t}century, right in the middle of the capital city.

“I believe we should try to go back as far as possible into the architectural marvels of our heritage and bring them back to life, so that our future generations get to see them,” he says adding that Vaastu Shastra or any of the scientific aspects of the architectural specimens that he is recreating have not been compromised.

The house, spread over 5,000 square feet on a 20-cent plot, has much of it based on the Travancore genre of architecture, while the bedrooms, bathrooms and the kitchen incorporate post-modern trends. The flooring is mostly wooden and stone with the pillars being single pieces of rock, carved into the shapes seen mostly in the Kuthiramalika Palace and the Varikkassery Mana. The main door, Mr. Arjunan says, is a “rebirth” of the main entrance of the Kuthiramalika Palace, while the locks of all the doors are modelled on those seen in the Padmanabhapuram Palace.

In many ways, Souparnika, its architect asserts, is a home with a message.

DENNIS MARCUS MATHEW