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Kirti Bharambe, Chiara Karnik


NIRVANA offers an idyllic escape, away from chaotic urban life. Nestled amidst the lush green forests of Kerala, alongside the Devikulam Lake, it harmoniously engages with the surrounding natural elements and adjusts to the local climate conditions.
This design seamlessly fuses minimalism with the essence of traditional vernacular architecture of Kerala, India. Spanning 350 sq. m. floor area; the residence is tailored to meet the lifestyle needs of a family: Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, and their young daughter.
The architectural layout adopts a clean T-shaped configuration. The central block houses a communal zone, featuring a harmonious convergence of the living room and kitchen. On either side of this central hub, two discrete blocks encompass the bedrooms, creating a balanced sanctuary of personal space.
A distinct feature is the elevated mezzanine floor, which is a multi-functional area. From hosting cherished family gatherings to facilitating home-based education and nurturing artistic pursuits, this elevated area caters to a spectrum of activities.

● Minimizing the use of walls by incorporating the use of level differences that separate two zones.
● Provision of vertical louvers and pivoting walls which acts as a passive design strategy to let in maximum daylight and ventilation.
● Split roofs, inspired by the traditional architectural style of Kerala.

● A 300 mm level variation discreetly distinguishes the open kitchen from the living room, creating defined zones. Designed with Mr. Smith's culinary enthusiasm in mind, the open kitchen allows him to immerse himself in his passion while maintaining a watchful eye over the key areas, especially the children's bedroom, fulfilling supervision needs.
● The living room provides access to yards featuring organic kitchen gardens, lovingly tended by Mr. Smith, with the added benefit of rich alluvial soil.
● The kitchen offers a view of the lake through a central cut-out that seamlessly extends to the adjoining deck area.
● Both bedrooms are provisioned with essential user amenities. The master bedroom extends to a private porch zone, converging at a central deck, creating a captivating space for interaction with serene views.
● Both rooms also extend to the front yards, which serve as a play area for the young ones or family sit-outs.
● Mrs. Smith, a digital artist, has her personal workspace on the porch of her room, which overlooks the expansive lake, offering her an endless well of inspiration for her creative pursuits.

● The design incorporates natural materials like wood, for the split roofs and vertical louvers. These materials bring a sense of warmth and organic beauty to the space, while still adhering to the design's simplicity and functionality.
● Use of glass in openings and railings, to minimize the visual clutter.

As it is rightly said,
“Architectural nirvana is not a destination; it's a state of design where every element breathes in unison.”
Architectural excellence goes beyond a physical place; it represents a state of design in which all components work together harmoniously. This notion emphasizes the importance of achieving a unified and balanced aesthetic in architecture, prioritizing the coordination and synergy of various design elements. Thereby, all architects must take this into account and design a space that grows naturally, logically, and poetically out of all its conditions.

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