The project is in the South beach part of Calicut, Kerala, India within the major historical part of the city. The building stood at the entrance of Bavutti Haji Road which leads to Kuttichira- another important touristic site with a proud history flaunting a unique socio-cultural and architectural style. This place has a long story to tell- the story of an old town with prodigious commerce, cultural and religious events happening.
The place witnessed a lot of commercial buildings being erected here and there. The existing building was originally one among a cluster of warehouses which evolved organically over decades. Eventually, the warehouses did not follow any homogeneity in aesthetics disregarding the existing architectural character of the area. Being located along a significant heritage corridor, this questioned the morphology of the street.
During the design stage, we suggested to adaptively reuse the building without disturbing the existing structure and to create something that not only merges with the context but also revitalizes the street. Thereafter, the main challenge we faced was to deal with the 60-year-old existing structure. The underlying concept was to bring in a blend of traditional architecture and colonial architecture elements to showcase the importance of the architectural style with respect to the context.
The inclusion of gable roof with truss work and Mangalore pattern tiles, arched windows and the cantilevered balcony space created an exhilarated identity for the building aligning with that of the heritage corridor. The existing building had several rooms arranged in a rather unorganized manner. The core functional space was created retaining this existing wall layout rather than demolishing and creating new spaces.
The ground floor area will be a commercial space and the first floor is designed as the co-working space.
As we enter the building there is an interesting stair room laid with pattern tiles which retained the existing colonial style handrail. The stairs bring you to an elegant reception in the upper level. Here, we find the main conference room to the right and the working space to the left.
The major working space was arranged in an open layout providing a flexible space which can be put to multi-purpose functions. The double height roof structure brought in a greater volume to emphasize the openness and to bring a spacious working atmosphere. An informal working setting was created rather than a conventional composed office space.
Adding to this, the colours and tones used present a cheerful and warm environment for the users. To create an open relaxing area, an additional balcony design was cantilevered without disturbing the exterior old structure. This will be a place to sit back and unwind between the busy working hours.
The narrow corridor on the west is facing the beach and is used as a conference room with a greater view to the beautiful beach. Overall, this project brings to the forefront that adaptive reuse is an efficient method of recycling. Here the whole building has been recycled, reused and repurposed which adds to the cost efficiency along with sustainable values..