CW Interiors |
Luxe Life | April 2015

Down to earth

A stay at the Marari Pearl Beach Resort in Kerala reinforces the idea of a design that respects nature and embellishes the green gift of the state.
How would you like to be in a place that allows you to be alone without being lonely; that offers a secluded nook without being isolated; that respects your love for solitude and offers you nature for company? You would like it exceedingly well, indeed!

Such a place exists in the beach village of Mararikulam in the district of Alapuzha, Kerala... and it´s called Marari Pearl Beach Resort. The Resort´s interiors by Vistaar Associates, Hyderabad, make for an interesting design story.

The design scope
Speaking about the brief for interior design, Shweta said, ´The idea for the Marari Pearl was to design a space to relax and connect with a loved one amidst nature´ and to enjoy the sound of the waves from the beach, sit by yourself, and yet feel like you belong to the whole space.´

The Pearl Beach resort stands on an organic vegetable garden and commands 18 acres of coastal estate. The resort comprises 20 villas with 5 plunge pools. The stress on privacy is highlighted by large private yards that hold each villa. The villas also include outdoor showers, hammocks, a chaise lounge and private dining. There is a large curved restaurant that lies nestled between coconut trees and a large pool that symbolises the spirit of a Shaolin monastery, offering a picturesque and peaceful ambience for your meals.

Approach and attitude
While designing the interiors of a space that is so close to nature, it is important to follow a design philosophy that is sensitive and holistic. As the resort is created to have minimum carbon print and is self-sufficient in water, the interiors have been designed as an extension of this way of life. Spaces are carved out from amidst the 200-odd existing coconut trees in buildings that blend with the exteriors, and importantly arrive at a very cost effective model. The ocean and its colours as well as forms of shells and sea life comprise the inspiring forces.

Elaborating on the idea of amalgamating exteriors and interiors, Shweta said,´The concept was to design a space, which is one with nature and to make spaces that allow the user to enjoy the tranquility of the wilderness. The use of natural materials such as thatch and exposed brick give a natural feel. The colours, too, are inspired from nature - pearls, ocean and greenery and are incorporated into the villas using oxide finished flooring. This makes the space blend with the exterior and ensures that the presence of nature is felt everywhere.´

Elements maketh style
When one is working closely with nature and draws inspiration from the ocean and sea life to design the interiors of a resort, it is important to choose the right materials to create the desired effect. Thatch for the roofs, bamboo for supports and brick and rough plastered external wall finishes were the key materials used for the exteriors that enhance the native appeal of this resort. For the interiors, oxide flooring in colours of the ocean and of pearls is used to establish a connection with the exteriors. Accessories are made of coconut wood and mother of pearl.

´Traditional lanterns have replaced ceiling lights at the entrance of all the cottages. Hanging lights in mother of pearl and metallic lamps provide focus lighting. The idea was to have subtle lighting that doesn´t strain the eye,´ added Shweta.

What catches your attention in the interiors of the resort is the use of elements that have been locally sourced. Not only does this add an authentic indigenous flavour to the milieu but also helps in keeping the resort eco-friendly and low maintenance. The designer expounded, ´Local elements such as thatch were used over the larger roof in the restaurant and sit-out space in the rooms. Coconut wood has been used for paneling in the bar. Water hyacinth becomes décor in the rooms and has replaced flowers. We tried to strike a balance between finished dolled up interiors and simple elegant spaces that are classy, yet reminiscent of the old world charm.´

From roughly plastered walls and rustic flooring to thatched roofs and home-grown dTcor elements, the Marari Pearl Beach Resort is a private hideaway that flaunts a sensuous organic form. A trip to´God´s own country´ definitely warrants a stay at this beautiful resort.

Architects: Team Inspiration headed by
G Jaigopal, Latha Raman Jaigopal.
Interior design: B.Shweta, Vistaar Associates, Hyderabad
Total Area: 25000 sq ft built up area within the 18 acres of land.
Total Cost: Rs.16 crores
Text: Kanishka Ramchandani
photos: Deepshika Jain
Vistaar Associates
308 Maruti Sadan Somajiguda,
Hyderabad, Telangana 500 016.
Tel: 040-4020 4151.
Bhavans Road Eroor (West)
Tripunithura, Kochi 682 306.
Tel: 048-4277 9470.

Material chart
Colored cement oxide finishes have been extensively used in the shades of the ocean: blue, grey, and green.
Attached bathrooms have leather finish granite on the floor and a combination of stone mosaic and oxide flooring
Cuddapah stone used in restaurant.
Cottages, reception flooring, built in bed counters were crafted by the skilled workmanship by Inspiration´s in- house team.
Curtains, cushions and bed runners accessories such as lamps have been customized using multiple materials were sourced and commissioned by Satori design solutions, Hyderabad

Meet the architects
G Jaigopal, Latha Raman Jaigopal & B Shweta
Firm: Architects: Inspiration founded in 1995.
Interior designers: Vistaar Associates Founded in 2007
Firm specialization: Inspiration: To design and build ecologically sensitive buildings. Vistaar: To find a contemporary language and balance rustic with new age materials. Design philosophy: Sensibility in nature that must not be ignored and must be incorporated into design.
Favourite architect/Designer: Laurie Baker, Frank Lloyd Wright.

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