faceboo Nature-Infused Design: How Glass Transforms the Skew House | Saint Gobain

Nature-Infused Design: How Glass Transforms the Skew House

December 13, 2023
Last updated on April 25, 2024

Narrow winding roads in the Malappuram district of Kerala guide one to lush rubber plantations that conceal a beautiful abode, the Skew House.

the skew house

The Skew House (Credits: Prashant Bhat)

Designed by the duo Shabna and Nikhil Mohan of "Thought Parallels", the Skew House is an iconic example of the firm's ethos and design ideology. A boutique practice, Thought Parallels specialises in building unique and individual structures. They are known for their refined and gentle design, the Skew House being one such archive.

This home is an amalgamation of traditional and modern architecture spread over an acre of land. The footprint of the house utilizes the plot offered to it, by spreading out into nature. The design caters to the site as well as the client's brief of creating a cohesive space for guests and family.

The house is primarily arranged in two blocks; a private block for the family and a formal block for the guests. Through a wide foyer, which becomes a semi-private space, the two blocks are connected. The material palette used, acts as an important tool to stitch the blocks together.

Glass, intertwined with concrete, captures the greenery in between that becomes the subtle yet effective buffer. The concept of the design evolves through the client's requirement as well as through the sense of being rooted in nature. This house opens itself to nature in every aspect.

Glass Skin and Interior spaces

Glass Skin and Interior Spaces (Credits: Prashant Bhat)

The planning calls for the sunlight to seep into the interiors with glass that acts as a medium that bridges interior spaces to the outdoors. Taking one back to the ideas of vernacular, the guest block is created along a linear axis and houses a living room, prayer room, and a bedroom.

To create the Skew House, the architects aligned the block along the traditional direction of prayer, breaking the parallel axis between the two blocks.

A carefully curated material palette that pairs glass and wood, enhances the residence's spatial quality. The combination of hard and soft pavement adds another dimension. The abundance of sunlight falls on the interiors, composing views out of the sturdy textures of wood and concrete with the transparency of glass.

At times, glass narrates the story by being one of the calm elements, and at other times by aligning itself with the louvres to break the monotony.

Read more How To Create Unique Designs With Glass And Diverse Materials?

the staircase

The Staircase (Credits: Prashant Bhat)

There are louvred openable shutters on the south facades of the house to keep out the harsh glare and heat but also to create a dramatic play of light along the corridors and bedrooms. There are large open spaces surrounding the rooms that are well-lit and aerated.

In addition, by breaking the vertical volume, the Mangalore tile roof adds an element of surprise. Glass is used not only in its transparent form, but the translucency of frosted glass is capitalised to ensure privacy for the interior spaces while allowing diffused light to pass through.

Read more - Is Glass the New Wall?

With a large open living and dining area enveloped in glass, the family block welcomes one into the house. The linearity of this block allows natural light to enter seamlessly, eliminating the need for artificial lighting for most of the day. Having a sculptural value in itself, an open riser staircase leads one upwards.

exterior view

Exterior View (Credits: Prashant Bhat)

A subtle blend of art and artifacts is evident in the space without screaming their presence. Instead, they provide a gentle sense of functionality and beauty. The house adapts to modern times with extensive glass usage while taking cues from traditional architectural planning.

Taking its name from its form, The Skew house hides in the canopy of Kerala greens, living the serene escape from reality.

Authored by

Radhika is a storyteller first and an architect second. She believes that architecture is a powerful tool to address society. It is one of the easiest forms of art which is directly used and understood by every person, since ages. She is a writing enthusiast, who loves to capture the world and her ideas with pen, paper and lens.




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