the mansions of chettinad
colour inspiration from sunlit saturation.
For over 6 centuries the mercantile traders of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, India built a trading and financial empire servicing markets across much of Southand South East Asia. Alongside the incredible wealth that this generated they also undertook the construction of a network of elaborate homes and temples across a territory of 600 square miles that became a celebration of exotic materials and colour.
Since the mid 20th century the majority of families have been steadily relocating to India’s principle cities leaving a vast assortment of over 11,000 mansions standing in tribute to their past endeavours and causing the, now degrading, structures to find themselves on UNESCO’s latest list for the protection of historic and cultural value.
Wandering freely amongst this vast assortment of structures it quickly becomes apparent that you can chart the development of the region through the mix of architectural styles – from Gothic to American Deco and Bauhaus – it is clear that these owners had their eye on the leading trends of the world and yet were also interested to put their own spin on things.
vivid use of colour
Nowhere is this more apparent than in their incredible use of colour. Vivid combinations stand in the juxtaposition to each other, creating an overall effect greater than the sum of its parts. From green and pink ceilings punctuated by blue sconces to ornate white plasterwork gleaming against red and gold infills. Everywhere you look is a source of inspiration and brings with it a reflection on the personal nature of colour, both to individuals but also to regions. Whilst we in Northern Europe seek the nourishing effect of muted tones, those lucky enough to live in sunnier climates express their relationship to colour in more vivid and bold ways.
Whether you like your blues muted, bold or even electric we at Varied Forms are committed to helping you achieve your own personal take – reach out and ask us about our custom colour program.