The Hidden House is a premier, high-end NRI residence characterized by fine vertical lines, rustic hues of Travertine stone and a hint of sheen.

The project, located in a pocket deep inside a 4 acre riverside plot, was tailor made to fit the client’s requirements for a serene retreat for his family, retaining all the natural endowments of the scenic site, landscaped to perfection.

The functional aspects of the residence were given priority over the decorative elements and maximum connectivity within the house was given high priority with respect to planning.

Project: Residence
Client: Mr.Rasheed V.K
Starting Date: April 2012
Completion Date: November 2017
Built-up Area: 12,000 sft
Location: Azhinjillam, Kozhikode
Project Team: DAC
Architect: Ar. BrijeshShailjal
Project Manager: Fasin . K
Ar. Coordinator: Ar. SarathSarasan
Int. Coordinator: Mr. Praveen
Site Engineers: Javid&Sareesh
Electrical Consultant: Edge Cochin
MEP Consultant: Edge Cochin
Structural Consultant: Streamline consortium, Calicut
Contractor – Civil: P.K. Constructions
Interior: Shyam Enterprises
Landscape Consultant: SAGC, New Delhi|Hyderabad
Photography: Running Studios

The Hidden House is characterized by slender vertical lines-seen in the L-shaped louvers screening the exterior walls and subtly emphasized in the selection of furniture and other interior elements-standing out in the midst of the organic outlines of the landscaping.

The residence was constructed with hollow blocks-walls that characteristically encompass a vacuum in between the interiors and the exteriors, thus regulating temperature levels within the living spaces.
The exterior facade was adorned with clay tiles facade with heat absorptive property and sponge like porosity that ultimately acts as a ‘breathing wall’.

Due regard was given to designing for a property where a likelihood of water seepage existed, by elevating the residence completely, but without the built mass imposing on the site. Stepped landscaping and the subtly increasing slope of the paths were made use of to achieve this balance.

Why ‘Hidden House’?
The built area of the residence is allocated in a pocket deep inside the expansive four acre plot, the rest of which is landscaped to perfection –  flaunting beautiful winding walkways and steps adorned with planters, leading to the al fresco deck.

The residence does not have visual access from the main gate. Instead, the driveway organically becomes a series of winding curves in  the site – that retains all its natural endowments, lending an ambience like nothing else can to the project  – and leads visitors to catch glimpses of the residence from shifting perspectives, some between the dense foliage on site, some undisturbed by these. From one point to another, the elements that are emphasized in the facade change, making the journey to the residence – for the visitors as well as the home-owners – a treat for the senses.

Client’s Brief
The client, settled abroad and a very frequent traveller required a comfortable and liveable space for himself and his family – where an optimal balance between luxury and simplicity was called for, and connectivity between family members within the living space was considered imperative.

Further, the natural endowments of the site – lush green verdant, and proximity to the Chaliyar River – were to be considered with highest priority.

The brief was followed to the last word. Spatial organisation was done in such a way that the public and private zones were cleanly separated by the light-filled foyer that leads to the outdoor courtyard. Further, in the family living area, the open kitchen, living room and the bedrooms are arranged around the enclosed patio, making sure that a degree of visual connectivity between the inhabitants always exists.

The residence is situated in a pocket deep inside the expansive 4 acre plot, thereby achieving both privacy as well as the retaining of existing vegetation possible.

The Layout
The stand-alone porch, clad in rustic Traventine stone is flanked by a sit-out which is surrounded by landscaped pockets and leads to the main entrance of the Hidden House – a light-filled foyer extending to an open-to-sky courtyard while acting as a transition space segregating the public and private spaces.

The formal living area connects to the outside with a river-facing deck overlooking the landscaped pockets.The dining area and open kitchen are connected to the family living area which looks into a verandah surrounding the large enclosed courtyard. The bedrooms are arranged around this patio, behind the wall of which is a staircase leading to the service and utility area.

The Elevation
The elevation of the residence was developed from its massing. Decorative efforts to ornament the facade were avoided. The L shaped louvers add character to the residence, while providing a degree of shade to the exterior walls and giving rise to interesting effects with the play of light and shade.

Architectural Features
The ‘Hidden House’ Riverfront Residence is characterized by slender vertical lines as seen in the L-shaped louvers screening the exterior walls and subtly emphasized in the selection of furniture and other interior elements – standing out in the midst of the organic outlines of the landscaping.

The lighting fixtures used are like jewelry for the interiors, illuminating spaces but also making a statement by itself. An intersection of cubes hangs suspended in the formal living space and a sculpture of circles woven through each other lights up the dining area. The flooring used varied from wood, tiles and marble depending on the space in question. The bedrooms are detailed with the warmth of wood, the kitchen in white vitrified full-body tiles and a sheen is added with the presence of a gold metal sections at joints.

The muted colour palette with dominating greys and browns is intermittently accentuated by rose gold trims, adding a hint of sheen to the flooring, furniture and lighting fixtures.

Clay tiles, stone facade and slender metal louvers adhered to tones of brown and grey giving the site and its natural landscape the utmost consideration.

This project was designed on a single level even though the site was a sprawling 4 acre one is primarily for the human comfort, i.e ergonomic design. Further, in the planning, the service areas and ancillary spaces are completely separate from the living areas for the comfort of the clients.

Provision for natural light to illuminate the interiors was done in an aesthetic manner – on the exterior with slender metal L shaped louvers and on the interiors with a hatched screen designed with respect to the incident light.

Architect BrijeshShaijal 

Architect BrijeshShaijal began his career at Sanjay Puri Architects, following which he set up his own practice at his hometown, Manjeri, in Malappuram district, Kerala. The firm came into being in 2005 and after a decade, scores of projects and numerous accolades – evolved into DAC, branching out into Calicut district as well. His partner, architect & urbanist NimishaHakkim, has led the firm to branch out into the field of Urban Design, with projects that involve the revitalisation and refurbishment of noted historical assets in Calicut City.

DAC emphasizes design practices that deviate from the norm and has carved a niche in the fields of architecture, interior design and urban design. The firm has done pioneering work recognized for retaining authentic heritage augmented with contemporary models in architecture. Their vision is to preserve traditional art forms and cultural ethos by blending them with modern principles through their architectural practice.


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