A man who loves to travel, wanted a space - idam (ഇടം, Malayalam Transl.- space) to come back to; a space that reflected his journeys, both inwards and outside. This basic brief was manifested into a rugged, truthful and minimalistic home on a small plot of 2.5 cents in the urban outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
The presence of roads on two adjacent boundaries reduced the buildable area and restricted the house footprint to a mere 4.7m X 12m. The site sloping down alongside the road gave access to the plot at two levels; with a porch for two cars at level one and a pedestrian entry to the building at the second level. These levels were used as a tool to create and connect spaces within this 2-bedroom house.
The pedestrian entry opens into the core of the house with a courtyard, a seating space, a dinette and a kitchenette. Through this living room is a balcony that overlooks the valley. This level also houses a guest bedroom with a toilet attached.
A steel and wood staircase gives way to the third level of the house. This floor is entirely private with a bedroom, toilet, balcony and an open terrace. The attic, provided for heat insulation of the bedroom, became a library cum home theatre.
The elongated shape of the site called foe a linear design with major weight of the form towards the rear. The long facade along the road was designed with less openings to ensure privacy and to keep away pollution. The protruding bricks on the south elevation creates a play of shadows throughout the day, marking the passage of time.
The south elevation is divided in the centre by a vertical concrete board, which becomes a backdrop to the double-height courtyard inside. This board, along with the hand-made bricks left exposed and other imperfections, remain a testament to unskilled labor and bare necessities. A mural on inner side of the board further attempts to celebrate the man's travels afar with roots in a place that mirors his philosophies, an idam to come back to.