The song of the river: A beautiful vacation home in Kerala

A vacation home by the Chaliyar in Kerala sits perfectly in sync with its surrounding water body and verdant greenery 

author_img Rashmi Gopal Rao Published :  16th October 2022 04:27 PM   |   Published :   |  16th October 2022 04:27 PM
Beautiful vacation home in Kerala by the banks of Chaliyar river

Beautiful vacation home in Kerala by the banks of Chaliyar river

It is not often that you come across a home whose entire design is centred around a free-flowing river. Which is why, it will not be an understatement to say that the water body is, indeed, the soul of Reflections, a beautiful home, about 12 km from Kozhikode, on the banks of Kerala’s fourth-largest river, the Chaliyar.

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Nestled on a six-acre plot replete with lush greenery that includes a fruit orchard and an organic farm complete with livestock and poultry, the house itself is surprisingly not very large at 2,220 sq ft. Home to 
a nature-loving NRI family, ‘Reflections’ is everything they dreamt of and more. Designed by Nikhil Mohan and Shabna Nikhil, principal architects of Kozhikode-based Thought Parallels, the house is all about bringing in the outdoors. 

“The plot faces the north, the direction of the river flow, which worked out well for the overall architecture. Because of this fact, we were able to have the living, dining, bedrooms and even a bathroom opening up to the river,” says Shabna.

The structure is built primarily with steel, glass, wood and concrete.  Interestingly, the colour of the steel was picked based on the colour of the Chaliyar on a particular day, which the architects say was never seen again. The sliding gate of the house bears a painting of the majestic river. 

“One of the distinguishing features of the design are the large projections, including the cantilevered roof that has been inspired by the traditional sloping roofs of Kerala houses. The roof here is inverted in such a way that the excess rainwater collected flows downwards into a drain, which finally gets discharged into the river,” adds Nikhil.

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The interior finishes are muted, letting the vivid greens of the outdoors do all the talking. Hence, earthy tones of grey, beige and black make up the walls and flooring that is finished in Indian Patent Stone. Salvaged wooden rafters have been used for some parts of the roof while many of the furniture pieces are old and repurposed.