The bare luxuries

Cardamom Club is an award winning resort designed by Kumar La Noce tucked away in the hilly, tropical Thekkady in Kerala. It is distinguished for its earthy yet luxurious design.

The resort gets its name from the surrounding cardamom plantations. The client had envisioned a boutique resort inspired from the beautiful terrain and approached the architect to breathe life to his dream.

The contemporary resorts strive to provide their customers an experience focusing on connectivity with nature, doing away with superficial luxury. This can only be achieved with sustainable design that takes inspiration from the vernacular.

ALSO READ: Studio Osmosis: Workspace with a twist!

The architects were sensitive to the surroundings during the conceptual development. Amidst their many explorations, the quaint shops and other small structures dotting the plantation caught their imagination.

These structures were made of minimal materials, featuring framed glass enclosures and simple wooden finishing. This concept became the starting point of their design.

They proposed a complex that accommodated five independent cabins, an outdoor pool with adjacent stepped decks and a spa block. These spaces are distributed into three interconnected volumes on raised stilts in order to maintain minimal incursions into the natural terrain.

This solution was also to facilitate by providing optimal views of the untouched verdure outside.

The structures on stilts have a floating and light quality about them, partially removed from sight by the thick foliage. The cabins, each a 40 sq. m secluded space are designed to maximise privacy to the client.

ALSO READ: Shimmers of Spaces

The construction is made of rich reddish hardwood sourced from sustainably managed plantations that are not far from the site. The cabins are equipped with floor to ceiling glass openings that open to the green hills. Each cabin has an extending deck to capture the best views.

The interiors are minimal in order to give centre stage to the surroundings without undermining user comfort. The interiors are enriched with ethnic hand crafted teak wood and rattan furniture.

The shades of the light fixtures are made of rice paper to be in sync with the wood panelled splendour of the interiors.

ALSO READ: Where is North?

The ensuite bathroom is compact and raw with locally sourced black granite counters and a shower area featuring a porthole window framing the views beyond. The roofing of the cabins has been done using aluminium corrugated sheets, propped on wooden rafters. Other structures in the complex have straw roofing as well.

ALSO READ: Reimagining the workspace

The architects have successfully produced a design that underlines the need for luxury while facilitating connectivity with nature. Resorts are a respite for people who want to get away from the noisy, polluted city.

In order to give them this experience, it is essential to declutter and simplify. The architects have maintained their restraint on the elements to create a balanced design that elegantly celebrates nature.

Fact File

  • Project Title : Cardamom Club
  • Location: Thekkady, Kerala
  • Practice : Kumar La Noce
  • Design Team: Bhavan Kumar, Nicola la Noce
  • Consultants: Manjunath & Co. (Structural), Earthline (Landscape)
  • Area: 500 sq. m

Design Detail, a nationally circulated B2B architectural magazine, is now available on Magzter. Click here to read on Magzter now. Book your print copy here.