The idea of having a beach house germinated in my fascination with the sea and in my faith in Nature's healing, refreshing and rejuvenating potential.
Along with physical stimulation that the sea offers in the form of swimming, jogging on the beach, playing in the sand, etc., the beach house offered a peaceful natural environment with the soothing sound and sight of the waves breaking on the shore. The view of the sea from most spaces was also an important consideration. Even the kitchen also has the view of the sea on the west and of the property gate on the North.
I felt the need to get away from the busy routine of our architectural office to a place like this for the concentrated, undisturbed creative design process to happen. Thus my own basic architectural work happens here.
The design of this beach house stems from a basic simplicity of life style and from its symbiotic relationship with Nature. It does not appear to be force dumped there, but appears to grow on the site - to belong to the site. The main entrance to the house meanders through the portal or gateway created by the two existing casuarinas trees. The Undal tree with a seating platform & Tulasi forms the vista through the car porch.
The house is basically one single unified space under one roof. Different functions are differentiated by low partition walls, curtains, different levels, etc., but the essential flow of space continues uninterrupted merging with the surrounding nature.
The living room space flows into a covered verandah sit out on the west, which further extends down into two levels of the lawns - then into the coconut grove. At the end of the property, right next to the beach is a built in shady sit out for eating, reading etc.
Taking advantage of the undulating site conditions, the following was achieved:
-a raised plinth for a better view for the main living and kitchen area. -a segregation at slightly lower level for service areas like porch, utility and servants room. -a mezzanine floor studio-bed at 1.1 M above the main level with better view as well as privacy. -a changing area with bathroom & W.C. below the mezzanine floor with a direct access from the beach after a swim (this prevents the wetness and sand from spreading all over the house.
The house is constructed from the local laterite stone with a hipped timber roof structure and Mangalore tiles. The flooring is cow dung and mud. The studio has a timber floor. The house is designed for the coastal climate allowing for maximum air circulation inside, but at the same time being able to contain the fierce wet stormy monsoon winds from the west and southwest.
Living in this house does rejuvenate one's tired nerves. The energy field created here acts as a much needed antidote to today's rushed, competitive & materialistic life style.
Mr. Shirish Beri was awarded J. K. “The Architect of the year “ Commendation award 1995 for the design of this house.