The town of Kozhikode / Calicut in northern Kerala has an old world charm about it that is really evident when one steps out of the central city spine. The sloping tile roofed buildings have a vocabulary of their own, creating juxtapositions of varying volumes & perspectives along the innumerable by-lanes that dot the place. Magnificent old houses stare out from the greenery, the beautiful double storeyed & triple storeyed houses of old with their unique language evolved over generations still stand proudly, almost unaware of the fate of their contemporaries in the rest of the country. Here, the vernacular is still revered, still in use, still functional. The modern winds of change have caught up with the people here as elsewhere, but yet, the majority of building stock remains the ancestral houses & such. The cold brazen concrete slab structures have still not wiped out the beautiful old structures in the Malabar region. A distinctive architectural vocabulary has evolved in the Malabar region, refining the basic tile roofed typology over time to derive a uniquely Malabari language, one closely entwined with the ethos of the place & the people. My next series of posts will be dedicated to the beautiful architecture of the Malabar region
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