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Transformation of traditional to contemporary

Group X
1. Introduction
2. Scenario in Kerala
3. Architectural style
4. Scenario of housing in Kerala
CONTENTS 5. The Kerala traditional dwelling culture
6. Vaastu shastra as a principle in design
7. Construction materials
8. Traditional vernacular houses of Kerala and elements
9. Case studies
Introduction Climatic conditions
• Kerala enjoys a pleasant climate
Kerala occupies 1.8% of the throughout the year with mild
total land area of India
however has a high density summers and winters.
population of 3% • The state enjoys one of the highest
rainfalls of the country with
It is a scenic state, also called numerous places having >3000cm
as ‘God’s own country’ for its • Proximity to the sea results in cool
lush landscape and beauty winds throughout the year
• Good sunshine
Kerala is rich in it’s culture and
tradition Environment
• Kerala has a good network of rivers
that run throughout the state
• The state also prides in its lush open
forests that cover most of its area,
providing the locals with food, shelter
and timber for construction.
• The state has the Arabian sea on its
Western shore which has made given
the state prominence in sea trade.
Scenario of Kerala
The 2011 Census had noted that
the continuing pace of
urbanization of the country in
which a few states including Kerala
has registered a much higher rate
than the rest of the country

As such the share of census houses

in urban areas in Kerala has gone
up to 48 per cent compared from 1620-1640 1777
just 26 per cent in 2001 while the all
India increase is quite modest.

1980 2018
Architectural Style
• Kerala’s style of Architecture is in it’s
striking contrast to Dravidian
The architecture ,environment Architecture which is normally
and culture of Kerala stand in practiced in other parts of South
marked in contrast India
Keralites have been
understanding and appreciation • The architecture of Kerala has been
of their environment and climate influenced by Dravidian and Indian
that is reflected in their Vedic architectural science (Vastu
architecture, characterised by
simplicity and boldness of form shastra) over two millennia
and dominated by red tiled roofs
• The Manushyalaya-Chandrika is an
Architectural science devoted to
domestic architecture is one such
science which has its strong roots in

• A distinctive feature of Kerala

housing is it’s egalitarian style,where
craftmanship is similar type of all
Design principles
 Thatchu Shasthra, or the
Science of Carpentry and
Vaastu shastra traditional Vasthu, was the
governing science in this
architectural form.
 This branch of knowledge
was well developed in the
traditional architecture of
Kerala and has created its
own branch of literature
known under the names of
Vastuvidya, Manushyalaya
- Chandrika, and
• Stones Timber
Construction materials • Timber
• Clay
• Mud
• Terracotta
A mixed mode of • Tiles
construction was evolved in • Tiles
Kerala architecture. The stone Palm leaves
work was restricted to the
plinth even in importatnt
buildings such as temples.
Laterite was used for walls.
The roof structure in timber Abundance of timber from bamboo to teak
was covered with palm leaf for joinery, columns, roofs etc
thatching for most buildings
and rarely with tiles for
palaces or temples. The Laterite stone
exterior of the laterite walls stronger and durable with exposure
were either left as such or
at atmospheric air. May be bonded
plastered with lime mortar to
serve as the base for mural in mortars of shell lime, classic
painting. binding material. Lime mortar can be
improved in strength and
performance by admixtures of
vegetable juices. Stone Tiles
There are five types of traditional
domestic architecture or Veedu in
Kerala, namely:

Veedu (1) The wretched humble house,

unknown by any building treatise of
A house in Kerala is generally Kerala, belongs to ordinary folks
called veeduThe Veedu gives and tribal people/ adivasis (cheri,
shelter to joint-family kinfolk or chala, kudi, variyam or pisharam or
tharavad pumatham);
(2) The Ekasala, an I-shaped single
rectangular hall house, belongs to
farmers or middle-class
(3) The Nalukettu, a courtyard house,
belongs to landlords;
(4) The great mansion Ettuketu and
The term is Dravidian and is Patinjarukettu (double ettukettu)
used in some parts of Tamil or much bigger structures, belong
Nadu and North Srilanka for all to very rich landlords;
types of residential (5) Commoner houses are simple
architecture, but generally the ordinary houses scattered
people of Kerala will refer to abundantly in the cities and
their veedu as tharavad villages. They still show applications
of traditional construction and
vocabulary in an eclectic, popular
and free manner.
Padippura Poomukham Chuttu verandah
• structure containing a door • Entrance of the house -climbing up • Connecting passage on the
forming part of Compound wall steps in the front exterior boundary wall
• tiled roof on top • slope tiled roof with pillars • From the Poomukham you can
• formal entry to the compound with supporting roof. walk through Chuttu verandah to
the house • Sides are open either side in front of the house
• traditional type lamp below the • In the earlier days, the Head of the through open passage called
roof family called Karanavar used to sit Chuttu Verandah.
here in a reclining chair, will have • will have hanging lights in equal
long rails on either side where the distance hanging from its slope
Karanavar will keep his legs raised roof
for comfortable rest
Charupady Ambal kulam ( pond ) Nadumuttom
• By the side of Chuttu verandah and • At the end of Chuttu verandah -a • Nadumuttom or central open court
Poomukham, wooden benches small pond built with rubble on yard
with carved decorative resting sides • The enclosed courtyard or 'ankanam'
wooden pieces for resting the back • water living tree called Thamara is usually sunk and therefore called
are provided. or Ambal used to be planted 'Kuzhi (pit) Ankanam’.
• the family members or visitors which will have beautiful flowers • The protruding roofs of the 'salas'
used to sit on these Charupady to formed shady verandas and
talk protected the rooms from direct
sunlight, keeping them cool even on
the hottest of days.
• The inner verandah around the
'ankanam' is open
Chitra thoonukal Aatu katil Wood work
• Pillars in wood or rubble with • A swinging piece of wood, wide and • interior wood work done with wood
carvings or decorative works used long enough for two or three carvings by skilled artisans.
to add elegance to the Hall portion persons to sit. • In the earlier days house was built
• Pictures are carved into such pillars • Four corners of this wooden piece with wood, brick and clay tiles.
of Rubble will be firmly fixed with thick coir to • Content of wood was very high as
• In the case of wood pillars the roof. -in large living rooms the cost was not high.
generally it is plain round pillars • Arappura, Pathayam, Machu
with polished surface (sealing between tiled roof and
Room space) were all done by wood
and mostly teak wood. Verandahs
and living halls were having round
pillars in wood of rosewood or teak
with decorative carvings on top and
Schematic section through Naluketta ( courtyard ) house
Traditional architecture of Kerala – CASE STUDY
Nalukettu housing typology

Typology : residence
Age of building : 140 years Materials used
Location : Kochi, Kerala The house is divided
House construction in 2 sections – the
Locally available trees were used – bedrooms and store
cut, shaped and finished on site. made of wood and
Good quality timer was available in the living room with
plentiful and came extremely cheap. the kitchen made of
Most often, the trees came from the laterite bricks
very same plot. bonded in lime.
Ground floor plan

• The plan, like all traditional

Kerala structures, is based on
the principles of vastu sashtra

• The house is based on the

‘Nallu Kettu’ (four ties) system, entry
which involves a rectangular
system of construction.

• The artisans stuck to vasthu

and its principles, evident in the
nature of the ratios of
dimensions of each
rectangular block.
220*290 / 8015*10700 – both
of which are in a 1: 1.3 ratio
Chuttu verandah Nadumuttom Poomukham Aatu katil
Roofing pattern

Floor plan Roofing pattern

The roof slopes up…

Section AA’ Then slopes down…

 file:///C:/Users/Sneha%20Nallagonda/Downloads/The_Living_Cult
Bibliography  http://dakshinachitra.net/hindu_house_trivandrum
 https://www.heritageartscochin.com/Kerala-Traditional-House