Located in Thevakkal village in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India, The ‘House That Rains Light’ is a beautiful biophilic home designed by LIJO.RENY.architects. The 274 square metre (2950 square foot) property features sky-lit vertical volumes, landscape voids and strategic fenestration to promote cross ventilation in the hot climate. The open concept construction also creates a unique shared living experience, where family members can remain connected even when in different rooms and on different floors. Huge green walls dramatically wrap around the modern façade to form shaded pergolas over a roof terrace. Multiple courtyards bring nature inside of the home, effectively erasing the exterior boundary.
Created for a young couple with two children, the project called for a family oriented home that is fun and free from conventions.
The 209.87 square metre build transcends its footprint with a shaded front yard that serves as not only a parking area, but a sociable sitting area and a play area for the kids. The typical compound wall and gate are dissolved so that play can overflow onto the quiet road when more space is in order for friends and sports. With outside space limited, the garden is pushed to the vertical plane with climbing vegetation over towering frames, which also construct shade and privacy.
Inside the home, bright colours create a buzz against the neutral structure in the form of modern furniture and coordinated decor elements.
Courtyards spring up from beds situated all around the living space to create a multi spatial and sensory experience for the homeowners’ children to thrive in.
Striped floor tiles create an ongoing motif throughout the home. The tiles set an unusual and permanent colour zoning technique, as the rest of the furniture in the vicinity follows suit with colour coordinated finishes, trims and fabrics.
The family wanted their home to show individuality and character, without overcomplicating or encroaching upon their simple living ideals.
Even though the entire main floor is open plan, the skylit courtyards break apart the visual to create interesting nooks and pathways.
The yellow accent colour is left behind at the lounge area, whilst a bright red colourway takes over the dining area.
The striped floor tiles switch hue to match the modern dining set.
A green table centerpiece harmonises with the surrounding plant beds.
The one wall kitchen stretches out behind the dining area, leading toward a shaded utility. An elongated window stripes along the backsplash, bringing in the flip side of the façade’s vertical garden.
A home workspace tucks into one end of the kitchen run, where it benefits from dual aspect windows.
Glossy white wall cabinets melt away into the white walls of the space, whilst industrial grey units weight the base.
Sunlight and moonlight rain down from the three perforated skylights.
The interior atmosphere changes with the time of day, the weather and the season as the streaks of light vary in length and intensity.
Upstairs, the towering fronds that shoot up from the landscape pockets tickle two facing bedroom balconies.
There is also another open family space on the first floor, which leads to a bathroom on one side and a balcony on the other.
Just like in the main living space, striped floor tiles set the colour theme of each bedroom too.
A yellow bed set and yellow accent chair expand the cheerful room palette.
The exterior green walls grow right over the openings of the kids’ bedroom balconies, bringing the wonder of butterflies and birds with the seasonal flowers.
Tactile leaves, the flash of colorful wings and the sound of bird song make magical childhood memories.
On a practical level, the climbing plants provide effective screening from the road, and filter the air and searing sunlight.
To complete the primary colour wheel, we leave the red and yellow bedrooms upstairs to explore the blue bedroom back down on the main floor.
The ground floor blue bedroom connects to the main lounge area, but can be closed off when required.
Another skylit courtyard grows a pretty bedroom view.
Because the bedroom is attached to the main living space, it becomes an extension for play.
Windows were positioned to ensure cross ventilation throughout the year, with the seasonal shift of wind.
In each colour coded space, a series of circular photographic prints feature one colour matched disc.
Ceilings are left raw in reflection of the cool grey floors.
Mirrored wardrobes bounce natural light deep into the bedrooms.
A red accent chair adds a bright visual stop at the end of a tiled runner.
The same colourful modern chair design is used throughout with sculptural effect.
The vertical & landscape voids and the stairwell helps control the temperature of the house during the tropical summers of the south.
An industrial bathroom illustrates the family’s love of simplicity.
A shower door opens to the fresh air.
Up on top, the roof is utilised as added outdoor area. The huge green walls wrap around and cover one third the roof to form shaded pockets of terrace–perfect for a quiet siesta or a friendly barbecue.
Wisps of greenery peek through the skylights.
Ground floor plan with open concept lounge, kitchen diner area, bedroom, bathrooms and courtyards, plus exterior shaded porch.
First floor plan with two bedrooms, spacious family room and bathrooms.
Loved the style of this home? Check out another great project by the same architect: A Gorgeous Home Split By A Covered Garden Atrium