“Designs that radiate warmth and an aura of timelessness. Designs which are the realisation of a desire to integrate the natural elements make Babu Cherian an architect with a difference” – Babu Cherian. 

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Architecture in its surroundings_©BCA Aarchitecture

BCA Architecture was established in 1995 by Babu Cherian, who cherished the idea of looking into the past to create something for the future. He strongly believes in the concept of letting the design speak with its surroundings and amalgamating the environment with the structure wholly, which sets him apart from other architects. Most of his work is inspired by the Kerala-style traditional form of construction, with its roots deeply embedded in the idea of letting architecture speak with its environment. His most recent projects use the evergreen styles of the traditional Kerala style sloping roofs clad with Mangalore tiles and plastered walls.

Crystal Estate

Coorg

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Estate Facade inspired by traditional Kerala Style Architecture_©Runnng Studios

Client: Mr. Mohan Raj

This bungalow was designed for Mr Mohanraj in an estate in Coorg, incorporating all the scenic beauty of the area. The architect has tried to capture the beauty of the estate by providing verandahs and several open spaces in the structure. A merger between the outdoors and the indoors and the blend of traditional architecture with the environment brings the whole experience together for the user. The style of furniture used, the pillared porticos and verandas, and the Mangalore tiles, surrounded by lush greenery, bring it a picture-perfect view, especially during sunrise and sunsets.

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The use of scenic views to create an unique ambience_©Running Studios

Kunjaparambil

Calicut

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The residence_©Running Studios

Client: Dr. KT Mathew
Area: 5,706.00 sq.ft

This is a residential villa, constructed for Dr. KT Mathew. A long pillar corridor connecting the library to the main residence catches the attention of the user. The building has well-manicured lawns, with a slightly sloping orange tiled roof. The structure draws some of its inspiration from Alhambra in Spain. The architect has beautifully blended the Spanish style with the Kerala style- each feature in the house reminds the viewer of a different style of construction. The rough textured brownish wall with its intricate wooden carvings adds character to the building. 

The interior of the residence has a warm-toned palette, with yellow mood light and sturdy wooden details. The pillared verandahs leading to courtyards smoothly blend in the interiors to the exterior, bringing the greenery in.

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The residence detailing_©Running Studios
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The courtyard in the residence_©Running Studios
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The residence detailing_©Running Studios
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The residence detailing_©Running Studios

Kera View
Calicut

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The blend of nature and architecture_©BCA Architecture

Client: Dr. Murali and Mrs. Suja
Area: 6,013.14 sq.ft

The residential villa located on a gently sloping terrain in Calicut is one of the most beautifully designed residences by the firm. The sloping terrain is used splendidly to lift the posterior part of the house slightly above the rest, giving rise to the possibility of private courtyards and verandahs. The structure is built in the typical traditional Kerala style of architecture, with a sloping roof clad with Mangalore tiles and plastered walls. The architect has used simple design and has played with the materials to create a unique, calming atmosphere in the house. The main colours used by him are- grey, brown, red, and green. A connection has been achieved between the indoors and the outdoors, which truly fuses the structure with its surroundings. The residence has not been made blocking the environment out but in fact, has been perfectly blended into it.

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The blend of nature and architecture_©BCA Architecture
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Courtyard bring the nature indoors_©BCA Architecture

Baywatch
Calicut

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A conceptual sketch of the holiday home_©BCA Architecture

Client: Dr. Mehaboob

A perfect weekend getaway, located on the shoreline, this residence brings the owner a certain sense of calm. The blend of nature with the architecture, with a peaceful background sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, takes the user into a relaxed mood. This weekend home is a wonderful spot for the quick break needed from the city noises and traffic and the sense of speed and chaos. The earth tones used in the architecture soothe the mind of the user.

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Roof plan of the property_©BCA Architecture
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A Sketch of Baywatch_©BCA Architecture Image 15_Baywatch_©BCA Architecture

Crematorium at Calicut
Calicut

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A conceptual sketch of the Crematorium_©BCA Architecture
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The Crematorium with its iconic chimney_©BCA Architecture

Client: Calicut Corporation

This project is a proposal by the firm for the renovation of a crematorium. The structure features 12 crematorium chambers, all connected to one chimney for smoke disposal. This chimney is the main attraction of the structure. The architect has deliberately provided one huge brick chimney to commemorate the history and heritage of the city. the brick chimneys found at Feroke and Puthiyara belong to the tile and brick factories of the British and Germans during the 1900s, which still are an important geographical identity of Calicut. The landscape around the structure has been designed to create a serene atmosphere, trying to lift one’s spirit and bring calm to a person.
Image 18_The Crematorium with its iconic chimney_©BCA Architecture

GVHSS
Cherpulassery

Client: Govt. Of Kerala

The Government Vocational Higher Secondary School (GVHSS) at Cherpulassery, Palakkad, has its history going back to the time India was colonised. The school was established by the British in 1873 and is still functioning to this day. The master plan by the architect suggests the renovation of some of the heritage structures on site and the construction of some buildings using the same traditional vernacular architecture style. The architect has tried his best to incorporate greenery in the form of courtyards and open spaces in this complex, too, emphasising the importance that nature has on humans.

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A courtyard in the School_©BCA Architecture
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The incorporation of greenery _©BCA Architecture

Thamara
Wayanad

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Thamara residence_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mrs. Sheila Prasad
Area: 4661.91 sq.ft.

Located in Vythiri, Wayanad, Thamara is a serene holiday home designed for the client and her family as a vacation home. It is designed in perfect harmony with its surroundings, with the materials used complementing the surroundings The pathway leading up to the residence is a meandering stretch of the road curving around lush greenery and going up to the carport at the back. This residence is proof, that when a poetic and allegoric way of thinking is combined with architecture, it leads to the creation of beautiful spaces which seem to be growing organically with their surroundings.

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Marrying the nature with traditional materials
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Thamara residence_©BCA Architecture

Ezhilakam
Tamil Nadu

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Elevation of residence_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mr. Rajesh S P

Erode, a city in Tamil Nadu, has a sense of calmness and warmth attached to it. It is a land between the Krishna and Bhavani rivers, with scenic views, lush greenery, and colourful markets filling the air with strong scents of spices and the lively chaos of Indian bazaars. The views to the site and from the site all became important considerations while designing this structure. However, the use of earthy tones, sloping Mangalore tiled roofs, and vernacular columns add the signature touch of the architect to the building, making it unique in its way.

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The wooden columns in the courtyard adding a traditional touch_©BCA Architecture
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A sketch of Ezhilakam_©BCA Architecture

Hotel Central Avenue
Kannur

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Hotel facade_©Central Avenue

Client: Central Avenue
Area: 34,389.61 sq.ft

Kannur is one of those cities with a rich history, forts and museums, and various heritage structure that draws a large number of tourists from different countries. The hotel is conveniently placed near the subway and is easily associable with various tourist attractions like Payyambalam Beach, Dharmadam Island, Muzhupilangad Beach, The Residence of the Gundert, Pazhassi Dam, Parassinikadavu Temple, Thalassery Fort, Paithalmala, St. Angleo’s Fort, etc. The structure in itself is a typical hotel building.

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Hotel facade_©Central Avenue

Platinum Crescent
Calicut

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Platinum Crescent_©Running Studios

Client: Crescent Builders
Area: 1,57,751.61 sq.ft

This 23-floor high residential tower is unique in its way. The architect has veered off from his traditional vernacular Kerala style of construction and has designed this contemporary residential tower in an iconic and climate-responsive way. With all the parking tucked away inside the tower, the complex is primarily vehicle free. The first floor of the structure is divided into zones for recreation purposes, which makes this floor both public and private. The architect has however not diverted from his idea of blending in nature with his structures. the building has plenty of open spaces and courtyards for this very purpose. 

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Platinum Crescent recreational area_©Running Studios
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Platinum Crescent recreational area_©Running Studios

Sree Dakshayanee Narayana
Kannur

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Sree Dakshayanee Narayana_©Mrigank Sharma

Client: Mr. Sai Kumar
Area: 6800 sq.ft

A building evolves with time and is continuously transforming, just like how this residence has its roots deeply embedded in old traditions and vernacular architecture, with a modernist sensibility to accommodate the audience today. Materials used like plastered walls and Mangalore tiles on the sloping roofs radiate richness and portray a feeling of timelessness, making the structure ever-green. 

The residence is more like a work of art by a traditional craftsman of a time gone by.

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Sree Dakshayanee Narayana_©Mrigank Sharma
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Sree Dakshayanee Narayana_©Mrigank Sharma
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Sree Dakshayanee Narayana_©Mrigank Sharma
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Sree Dakshayanee Narayana_©Mrigank Sharma

Sastha
Bangalore

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Sastha_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mr. Sanjay Thambi
Area: 6003.22 sq.ft.

Traditional architecture is often best complemented when it reflects its surroundings and tries to holistically incorporate them with the structure. This becomes quite a challenge when space is limited, like in this design. The wooden columns placed in the building are not just for aesthetics but are a part of the main structural component of the building. The landscape is given major importance by the architect in the design.

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Sastha_©BCA Architecture
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A Coutyard inside Sastha_©BCA Architecture

Sree Ganesh
Calicut

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Amalgamation of nature withthe residence_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mr. Suresh Babu

This residence was constructed in the 1950s and underwent two renovations (one in 1971 and then in 1984) before its final renovation in 2010. The structure was given a contemporary facelift in 1984 before the traditional style of construction was restored to it in 2010. The major emphasis was laid on the landscape around the structure, to make sure there was a harmonious flow between the structure and its environment.

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Wooden detailing at windows adding richness_©BCA Architecture
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Greenery and courtyards_©BCA Architecture
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Transition between outdoors and indoors_©BCA Architecture

Bangalore House
Bangalore

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Bangalore House birds eye view_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mr. Raja Dutta

The residence was designed by BCA architecture for a family of four, with a strict brief to preserve the 100+ years of trees present on site. The design is contemporary in nature and the architect has not used his signature Mangalore tiled sloping roof in this design, but he has also not veered off from his idea of incorporating the interiors with nature. The design has several passageways, courtyards, decks, and glass facades, that bring nature into the structure. The architect has tried to keep the traditional sensibilities alive with the use of materials like wood.

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Bangalore House Courtyard_©BCA Architecture
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Blending the indoors with the outdoor_©BCA Architecture

Devayanam
Calicut

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Devayanam_©BCA Architecture

Client: Mrs. Bindu Rajendran

This house is located in Jawahar Nagar Colony in Calicut. The use of the material is done most harmoniously in this residence, making the residence welcoming and warm. The use of laterite stone, plastered walls in an off-white shade, and the brown of the terra cotta tiles make the house a home, cozy and timeless. Wooden detailing on the windows, doors, and eaves of the roofs adds a traditional touch to the house.

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Courtyards and entry ways_©BCA Architecture
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Sloping tiled roof adding a vernacular touch_©BCA Architecture
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A splash of colour and greenery_©BCA Architecture
A splash of colour and greenery_©BCA Architecture
Author

Renuka is an Architect and an Urban Designer, based in Bangalore. Her interests lie in understanding public places' role in an Indian context. She has taken an active part in interactive workshops, where the emphasis was placed on the conservation of history in an ever-changing city. Urban design and architecture always tend to pique her interests.

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