Memory Box
Better Interiors|September 2019
A timeless design that used the best of local and eco-conscious materials in their raw, natural state, interspaced with warm hues and an abundance of memories were instrumental in the restoration and refurbishment of a 100-year-old house in.
Deepa Nair

Every project has a story, so I believe. While some are cliched, some turn out interesting with layers of meaning hidden within them… and then there are some which leave a lasting impression. This one — designed by the gifted Mumbai-based Studio Tab — belongs to the last genre. It all began when a senior couple from Kochi reached out to the firm’s principal architects, Rahul Das Menon and Ojas Chaudhari to revive their 100-year-old house which had seen some severe damage in the traumatic flood last year which left the God’s Own Country, Kerala, in a state of turmoil and uncertainty. The deluge completely damaged the house with water engulfing the property till seven feet. This destroyed almost all of the furniture, walls and ruined most of the heirloom items which the family had preserved over the decades. “The client is a referral,” inform the architect duo. “We had designed their son’s home in Bengaluru in 2016. They are a highly respected couple in the region, and the house and their property of two acres is like a landmark in the area.”

Apparently, the original ground plus one structure of the house — which also had a large pond in the backyard — has been modified over the years with additions incorporated as per the family’s requirements. Which means, none of the extra modifications were thoroughly planned. The first floor was built in late 80s, and the house had six bedrooms when they commissioned the architects. “The irony was that today the couple is the only residents of the house. Their sons and respective families have settled abroad and visit them during holidays,” Rahul tells me. “The damage caused by the flood, and the fact that this being their last home realistically, the couple desired to live in a home with better planning and comfort,” he adds.

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