A man bought a 300-year-old bungalow and took parts of it from south to north India, passing 1,500 miles to preserve a trace.
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The owner of the house was an Indian man named George Oommen. When Oommen was 16 years old, he inherited a two-story bungalow on Mepral, a green village in the southern Indian state of Kerala where his father grew up. Traditionally, the house will be handed to his youngest son. However, Oommen was still a teenager and did not intend to own the house. After graduating from college, he moved to the United States to study at Harvard, where he became an architect for three decades.
The house is meaningful to his family. More than four generations have taken refuge in a 300-year-old structure planted above the rice paddies in the river delta. When the members of the foreigners die or die, the old wooden house becomes empty and weary.
The foundation of the house and the lower floor are lined with beveled blocks that have subsided slightly on soft ground after flash floods. Upstairs, ancient wooden structures are connected without a nail similar to the Japanese temple. The roof is made of clay tiles imported from the port city of Mangalore, which effectively avoids storms. Over the years, the house with three rooms and two large corridors north and south has sheltered family members.
At the age of 75, Oommen travels to India – where his inspirational work continues, but he continues with his work and does not visit the house. “At the time I was still attached to the house and thinking about renovating it,” Oommen said. “But even if I reform it, its ground is still very unstable and none of my relatives want to go back to that remote place.”
Seven years ago, he decided to sell his house because even his children refused to inherit. The sad thing is that potential home buyers are only interested in the land where the house is located and plans to dismantle it and sell it as a kind of dry wood or souvenir for tourists. Of course, Oommen does not want that to happen.
In this remote area, where much of it is below sea level, people have come to the house to take refuge in the flood season. For a long time, this beautiful bungalow has become an icon, part of not only the Oommen family but also the entire village.
Fortunately, a friend of his knew his dilemma and agreed to buy a 2,000-square-foot, antique bungalow, moving it piece by piece to a village north of Delhi where he lives.
In 2010, they embarked on a massive transfer of beautiful homes, beginning with the hire of a team of skilled carpenters to dismantle, mark and record every piece of the house.
In the spring of 2011, within six weeks, the house was brought back to life on a new ground with plastered brick walls.
The house is reused as a functional modern home. A modern bathroom and kitchen are enclosed by walls separating the ground floor from the outside.
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Architects try to preserve the classic architecture of bungalows and interiors, adding only minimal amenities such as electricity and plumbing.
Together they revamped an iron spiral staircase and exquisite bronze handrail on the top floor. It replaces the rusted wooden stairs, while the underlayers are used as dining tables and racks. The tile of the old wooden house was also replaced.
In a bathroom added upstairs, the architects designed a leaf-shaped bronze bathtub and a bronze shower, reflecting the handcrafted beauty of the cabin and the natural environment of the fins. round it.
The old wooden house, now a living-dining inn, is located neatly in a garden. It seems to blend in with the surroundings, even in a completely different climate.
Now, Oommen was able to sleep peacefully because the 300-year-old soul of this beautiful and iconic home was preserved despite a journey, marking its first home of 1,500 miles of Indian sand.
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