Traditional minimalism for Kumarakaon luxury resort
Mumbai-based Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd. has designed the Niraamaya Retreat Backwaters and Beyond in Kumarakom, which was to create an opulent boutique experience that connects strongly with the surrounding landscape through balancing traditional and contemporary elements.
The 27-key luxury resort consists of independent cottages, a spa, and wellness center, yoga pavilions, treatment rooms, meeting rooms, an amphitheater, bar, pool and gym. The firm also needed to address an unusually high water table, heavy rainfall and water stagnation while designing the project. The 27 villas spread over seven acres of land, were neatly arranged in a spine along the lakeshore. A secluded landscaped foreground was created for each villa at ground level, which achieves privacy through a careful arrangement of fenestration and landscaped visual barriers.
Two-storied premium villas enjoy a landscaped foreground as well as a lake view, with privacy emphasized through the manicured greenery, of shrubs, grass, and trees. The upper-level villas follow a similar orientation to the lake, while the family suites have multiple terraces and covered verandahs that tie together a set of private rooms.
The degree of luxury manifests itself in the material palette, with large ensuite bathrooms with stunning views of Vembanad Lake. Akin to classical Kerala architecture, the design expresses traditional elements such as mogappus (highly-ornamented jewellery piece), charupadis (a wooden structure placed in the verandah to let in natural light and air) and sloping roofs through locally-sourced materials such as clay tiles for roofing, granite pavilions and dados, laterite and local timber. A natural palette of beige and green is reminiscent of the colors of Kerala, which brings in the spatial experience while meditative spaces were created with minimalistic furniture. With large covered verandahs and personal pools in the forecourt, a premium hospitality experience is achieved without disconnecting visitors from the verdant setting