Amina Almas
Student Architect

‘Tuin’ house – ‘Garden’ house in the rural landscapes of Tirur, Kerala is a renovation project of a 30-year-old residence. The whole project is puzzled/ provided with a series of landscaping elements which justifies it’s name in the experiential quality that the user is provided with.

A bold yet minimal sit out accessed from south is capped by a flat roof lined with wooden strap design supported by heavy columns. A sloping roof overlaid with clay tiles in the east breaks the contemporary monotony of Tuin house. it’s given with a series of raw texture of concrete, wooden rubble and green.

Tuin house is showcased with a series of raw textures and green lush bursting out in between.

The bold pivoted main door leads to a very minimal living area sequenced with fine textured customized furniture in an off-white and wooden color palette which are contrasted with the rough impression by the rubble wall. The space is enriched with the playfulness of light and views from N-S directions.

Double heighted dining space opens up to a northern patio which expands the spatial quality. Both the dining and living areas are raised off from the main floor level and are highlighted with wooden flooring, clearly defining the functional volumes. A golden finished floating wash basin is given on the fourth tread of the stair efficiently utilizing the space.

Bedrooms are aligned along the southern side. The doglegged staircase of wooden treads leads to a long passage  which is occupied with bedrooms on two sides. Study area is zoned at the southern end of the passage  because of the proper natural lighting, ventilation and the views that the space opens up to.

Bedrooms are provided with private balconies on upper floors and patio on ground floor. First floor occupies a common balcony on the eastern end which is like an experiential core of the house with its planning and elemental features.

L shaped kitchen blends well with rest of the spaces in the materials and color palette used.

Materials used : Rubble cladding, cement finished putty, teak wood for furnishing , Italian marble, cobble stone , roof tile ,etc

Color Palette: Raw /cement+Stone+green

Renovations: Tuin house succeeded in revamping the house / old structure by the  functional and experiential quality . 

Photography: Turtle Arts Photography


Amina Almas
Student Architect

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. His light is like a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp is in a crystal, the crystal is like a shining star, lit from ˹the oil of˺ a blessed olive tree, located neither to the east nor the west, whose oil would almost glow, even without being touched by fire. Light upon light! Allah guides whoever He wills to His light. And Allah sets forth parables for humanity. For Allah has perfect knowledge of all things[Quran 24:35]

A mosque is somewhere you find the innate peacefulness. A space that enlightens the light with in you just like a misbah (lantern) with its spirituality.

Misbah, the iconic mosque in a religious campus of Nilambur is a pure contemplation of Islamic architecture. Rethinking the conventional religious typologies, Misbah is paving a new path in Kerala Islamic architecture by featuring the key archetypal elements of a mosque in a minimalistic and contemporary manner.

Approaching from the compound wall we are welcomed with a slanting minaret inscribed with الله‎ , مُحَمَّد (Allah, Mohammed) and topped with a golden crescent. Breaking the conventional style, the minaret is detached from the mosque – this evokes a sense of floating minaret in the observer’s mind, when he/she approaches it from different points within and out of the site.

Mosque is accessed through a few flight of steps running along the green handrails which are a means of both aesthetics and a support to the elder ones. From the only northern entrance, we get in to a spiritual hall topped with a white dome. Misbah Stands as a cubic envelope symbolizing the holy Ka’bah. Introduction of completely ventilated northern and southern glass facades lighten up this holy cube and diminishes it’s solid impression with the lit transparency. Western facade is veiled by a series of varying heighted jali arches which beautifully manipulates the light entering the mosque. These geometric screens bring up an interesting play of light in the interior with the patterns formed. The mihrab is ornamented with the classic Kufic calligraphy. Misbah symbolizes fusion of spirituality and materiality. Critical inclusion of texture, patterns and elements evokes an eternal feel. The whole space is of raw cement finish where in the domes, calligraphy, inscriptions, and jalis are highlighted with white. The crescents in gold add on to the richness and symbolizes the greatness of the creator.

Misbah, a space of tranquility, spirituality, joy and togetherness ought to be a cultural identity amidst the serene lands of Nilambur.


Amina Almas
Student Architect

CAER – An abode of tranquility amidst the serene village green and the flowing blue of Chaliyar river. Revisualization of a modern day fortress; CAER with its exteriors and facade, creates a solid and bold identity.

Being a site with innate natural beauty, we tried to bring up quality spaces bursting out of the lush to retrieve the mind of the user from all the chaos around by merging the boundaries of interior and exterior. The green spaces introduced in between smoothens the rough impression created by the exposed textures.

Ascending gradually from the pavement to wide steps and then throughout the whole building we can experience a gradation of textures from the rough rubble walls to finely done concrete finishes.The introduction of both concrete and wooden flooring intermediately in the floorings, break the monotony.

A single storied house incorporating maximum human interactive spaces was the brief put forward by the client.

Intimate spaces within the house is buffered by a bold concrete wall veiled by the green lush.Inner courtyards are provided within the toilets with indirect roof top ventilation which helped to maintain the aesthetics.

The bold yet simple pivoted main door and the sliding door of bed rooms
stand out in the whole design.

Wind and light pattern is manipulated by a stretch of trellis running along the north side (living, dining and kitchen spaces) which brings in the cool breeze and cuts down the harsh sunlight. series of both sloping and flat roofs at varied heights and the roof line vents add on to this.

Reused roofing clay tiles, inverted ceiling tiles, customized lighting and furniture add on to the raw character of the house. Usage of automotive paints in the kitchen walls instead of tiling helped to maintain the unique texture palette of CAER. The electrical conduits are hidden in between the roofing and ceiling tile where this act as the false ceiling.


CAER is oriented along the north – south direction. The zoning of kitchen,
sit out and living offer the spaces with early sun rays. The interiors are
flooded with natural lighting. This minimized the use of artificial lighting.

CAER altogether blends with the context with its earthly color palette brought to life with exposed concrete, wood, rubble wall and the green lush in between.

CAER showcases its unique statement of tropical architecture style in the
rural context of Nilambur evoking the feel of newness and rawness.

Photography: Turtle Arts Photography


Nimish Unnikrishnan
Content Writer

RABINDRANATH TAGORE once quoted, “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky”. This ideology remained improbable until our hive minds took over, birthing the scintillating concept of ASTHAYEE. Asthayee started as a name, now the Shangri-la of Wayanad.

Hiding from the outskirts of city sounds, Asthayee stands high in the hills of Dhottappankulam basking in the cosy flares of the sun god. The concept of Coalescing Cement, Water & Greenery and morphing into a unique structure within Bathery made this even more challenging according to Kerala Tropical Architecture. The updated styles of modern contemporary architecture such as Exposed concrete surfaces, Elevated box design, Inverse contour, Zero foot print break are some of the many key aspects of this Svargaloga. Engineering an Elysium under the span of 30 cents within the bewitching Sultan bathery required a vivid think tank. Utilizing the subtle coldness, the unlimited access of fresh air and the overpowering greenness was our prime motive. A structure of varying levels that welcomes pure air with open arms, eliminating hot and humid zones making the stay a truly remarkable experience. In order to actualize this possibility we put forward the concept of “Zero Foot Print Break” which basically allows air and mist to flow freely from one end to the other without any barriers providing true bliss. Your grant entree to the property is the infinity pool which is enclosed by a sectional vertical garden that allows the occupants to enjoy maximum privacy. We used a specific yellow creeper as the part of privacy barrier as they grow thicker and at the same time complement the overall greenery of the bathery. The infinity pool is further accompanied by Fish massage pool of 10 meters in span and an island sitting space that creates a sense of Awe within the guests. 


Interwoven with a warm ambiance and settling down within the island space in a late afternoon evokes immeasurable wellness as the illusion of within the water conquers your imaginative minds. A layer by layer plan, this project is an Inverse contour of 350. Wayanad which is infamous for its monstrous rain and wind, a single wooden side roof is provided which is projected 2.5 meters to shield from the pouring rain. The complete structure stands on 4 steel I sections with an elevated box design at the same time kid friendly with vertical grills. We were a bit curious about the toilet being placed in the basement and the zero tile concepts. So to avoid heat, there is an OTS (open to sky) which is first of its kind. Our virtuoso was authenticated when we opted for a 3.5 meters cantilever that challenged our fierce think tank. It was pretty evident for selecting a steel structure which was less expensive than a concrete structure due to the lack of sand and aggregate from nearby sources.Asthayee stands timeless with its roots penetrating into the Wayanad, hallmarking innovation.

Photgraphy: Ar.Prasand Mohan


Editorial Team

Each Prayer or Namaz is a voyage towards Allah, the almighty. Everytime one enters a mosque, they take a step closer to Allah.
In essence, Namaz is a means to converse with Allah. This is called Munajath and it translates to “Dialogue”. Hence, Namaz can be described as a transparent dialogue in the presence of Allah with sublime spiritual beauty.As the Prophet (S.A.W) once elaborated, The key to success and prosperity is ultimately through Namaz.In every moment of Namaz, one becomes closer and closer to Allah and it is in Sujood or prostration, that one finds solace in being an obedient believer of Allah.Prostration or Sujood is not a mere bowing of the head to the earth but rather, it signifies the depth of our belief through submission.In every act of Munajath, there are heart touching moments. In the case of Namaz, it is Sajda.It can be said that if one bows his head in tears, through heartbreak, that Allah listens to their prayers and gives them the strength to resolve their problems and eases their difficulties, because that is when one is closest to Allah.

Allah is most delighted when he sees a man bowing his head in prayer. Sujood, or Sajda, makes the Munajath a more beautiful, spiritual experience.The different acts of “Munajath” were the sources of inspiration for this project. We have drawn inspiration from the acts of Qiyaam, Rokou and Sujud respectively.The entire structure follows an elegant yet minimal design scheme, with the conceptual acts of Munajath, blending in plain sight.The external facade boasts a unique aesthetic that is bold in its approach as very few mosques in South India follow a similar design strategy.As one enters through the gates, they observe bold arches that are pointed at the top increasing in size. We observe a hierarchy in these arches as they guide the viewers eyes to the Arabic calligraphy on a cement textured wall. The Arabic phrase reads “Qul” which is of significant importance in Islam. Qul translates to “Say”.Adjacent to the main prayer hall is a Minaret, that is elegant in its design and different in its approach. The minaret sports a Jaali that covers almost the entire length of the minaret on all four sides, making it appear almost like a picture frame from all four sides, and the jaali is designed in a geometric pattern that is organized and symmetric in its aesthetic. On a single side of the minaret, we have provided a colour fountain. Through this, we achieve the entry of different colours into the mosque through sunlight entering from the Minaret.The color fountain adjoins the prayer hall at the Mimbar, where the Imam leads the prayer, and surrounding it is a wall adorned with Islamic calligraphy and this makes for a very tasteful appearance.At every floor of the Mosque, we’ve provided spaces for ablution.
Once one enters the prayer hall, they observe the hierarchy of the arches on either side, the Mimbar where the Imam leads every prayer and speaks the Khutbah. Every floor above ground level is strategically planned and designed so as to never lose sight of the Imam and always be in congregation, not just mentally but visually as well.The entire cellar floor is a dedicated Ablution area with other smaller ablution areas on each consecutive floor. The prayer halls on each floor are carpetted appropriately to blend with the surrounding aesthetic.The Masjid is complete with dome, owing to tradition and heritage.Through this project, we attempted successfully the merge of age old Islamic traditions, with the modern influence of today. Simple, yet elegant. Grand, yet humble.The Masjid spans 15000 square feet, and provide 1300 people with adequate space to pray.

May this humble endeavour bring about peace, harmony and unity among the Ummah, and lay foundation for brighter generations to come.


Editorial Team

Dora Beauty World, Angamaly, owned by South India’s top beautician Renju Renjimar, is one of many best-in-line salons in their up and coming network of beauty spaces that combine several different functions.

Taking inspiration from Lithops, a name derived from the ancient Greek words lithos, meaning “stone,” and ops, meaning “face,” referring to the stone-like appearance of the plants ; we recreated this concept with a spin that make it unique to other beauty studios across the country. This marriage of stone and shrub is a signature that allows clients and customers alike, to tell Dora beauty-studio apart from others by providing an elevated rustic and luxurious aesthetic.

The main concept of the venue is co-working for stylists of different types: hairdressers, cosmetologists, and manicure technicians. The space also provides for such functions as conducting photo-shoots, bridal grooming, issuing their own brand of products, and more.

This beauty studio occupies a commercial space on the first floor of the KSRTC bus terminal, Angamaly.

The external brick façade and contrastingly vivid wood paneled door create a two-toned appearance that guide viewing eyes toward the entrance.

The inspired brick wall is completely custom made, and has single hollow bricks protruding out in a scattered manner. These hollows contain small plants and shrubs that highlight their conceptuality.

The entrance leads to the reception followed by large swinging doors made of glass. The mechanisms of these doors allow them to be opened and slid to either side to create additional space. Vintage handmade tiles run along the floor of the lounge that opens into an outdoor patio.

Beyond the glass doors, is the actual studio, where the ceilings are adorned with custom lighting. The floors are aesthetically designed and have wooden flooring running in all four directions in zig-zags. The floors have copper strips running along the intersecting areas and continue onto the walls separating large floor-length mirrors. This is done for a certain play on how light falls on the copper strips so as to emit a glow and again adds to the rusticity of the venue.

A “mirror-wall” has been provided that makes for an amplified sense of size in addition to its uses for vanity.

Throughout the studio, you find shelves, pockets for storage and containers creatively composed inside slim, stylish, minimal frames complete with brass handles and finished with wooden veneer, all that have been custom made and/to blend in perfectly with the studios interior aesthetic.

Custom made hexagonal lights provide a visual play of light and shadows and add more depth in terms of an elevated rustic ambience. These lights create a similar effect as they fall on the storage framework.

DORA, is renowned for their iconic lavender logo and so we decided to build them an entire wall in their exact same signature lavender color, that also doubles as a backdrop during photo-shoots, pageants, and even when it’s not in use, is still stunning to look at.

We’ve also custom-built the studio a fully-functional, portable synthetic-granite catwalk that can easily be rolled into place that also doubles as a podium for official events such as product launches.

Along with the studio, we’ve provided dedicated spaces for facials (2), haircuts (4), hair-cleansing (2), manicures and pedicures (2), an official office and a conference room. We’ve also provided a private space for the employees that could be used as a break-room, a space to attend private phone-calls or even just hang-out.

These dedicated spaces are floored in cement; thereby in addition to a visual simplicity it also brings a variation in textural appearance.

We designed the restrooms to be pre-dominantly dark in theme, so much so they seem to draw you in. We equipped these restrooms with wash basins and a WC made from ceramic. We went for elegant, handmade tiles in 12 different patterns to ensure a visual aesthetic that is clear in the hierarchy of their arrangement.

We’ve also incorporated a dedicated space for bridal-grooming. We’ve provided this luxurious greenroom its own mirror wall, a similar framework of containers and storage pockets as well as included an adjustable vanity lamp to ensure the employees have everything they need to groom a potential bride-to-be to perfection.

In conclusion, Dora’s Beauty World provides top-of-the-line services to their clients and our vision and goal was to create them a space that set them apart and help them establish themselves even more so in the years to come.


Photography- Ar.Shahul shibili& Ar.Asadullah


Editorial Team

The 2019 Indian elections have created a new, historical moment for the Congress party as Rahul Gandhi, president of the Congress party, looks to open a constituency in Kerala to gain favour in the Southern states. The idea for a temporary office building needed to reflect this, as well as create an indelible venue to create a grand welcome for the Congress President.

The committee office which now stands in Mukkam, Kozhikode was an abandoned old building right at the heart of the town. Encasa worked on modifying this archetypal commercial structure into a sublime form of purity. The entire facade of the form has been wrapped in white fabric, culminating in a monument reminis- cent of marble structures such as the Taj Mahal.

The tri-colour of the Congress party, also the colour of India’s national flag, is woven into 42 poles around the facade. For Gandhi Weaving was a symbolism for resistance against exploitation from within and without – which resonates with the current government and its policies.

The result: an oft-neglected, typical landmark acquired a new meaning. The sculptural form breaks up the mo- notony of the regular typologies, providing a novel experience for the users and onlookers.

before / after

The design was executed within 24 hours, resulting in a simple, easily applicable and moreover, easily dismem-bered design solution, without disturbing the surrounding nature or the existing facades. The time constraints posed on such a project created a unique and dynamic proposal to commemorate the opening of the new office, as well as challenge existing local perceptions on space.

encasa archstudio

Calicut, India

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