MEASURING GOA

Being on the coastal region Goa has a climate of a tropical region. Thus it is hot and humid and rains a lot in the monsoons. Responding to the climate Goa has a very wide range of buildings and also materials. The old houses of Goa were built in mud and wood. Later on laterite was used as it is available locally. The houses with laterite were built using mud mortar. Maximum of the houses in Goa have sloping roofs with Mangalore tiles to let the water flow in rains. The old residential houses where families stayed have one or more than one courtyards. The houses of Goa had wooden furniture and they were decorated and carved. Goa has many old buildings and many of them were built by the Portuguese and they remain as is with some extension in modern style and some in the same style.

The fourth semester started with the trip to Goa and the exercise id measure drawing was given. Measure drawing is an exercise in which one has to draw accurate set of drawings of a given structure by measuring each and every part accurately. Before the exercise started we moved around some important squares and buildings of Goa. The places that we visited were fountainhas, kala academy, Bom Jesus basilica. The buildings that were assigned for the measure drawing exercise were houses of Goa museum and Nisha play school by Gerard Da Cunha, D’mello Vaddo, Bhobe house, Ini Chatterjee house, office and studio of and by Dean D’cruz, Dempo house and Reis Margos fort.

Fontainhas is a very old Latin Quarter in the heart of Panaji which is also the capital of Goa.  The streets have Portuguese influenced houses on both sides with intricate artwork and beautiful shades. The main feature of Portuguese houses is their projecting balconies. The streets have are a mix of buildings painted in various shades of yellow, red, green and blue. Kala academy by Charles correa is the place where you get to revisit the cultural of Goa in various forms like music, dance, drama, films, folk art, literature, etc.

The main purpose of this trip was to learn how to measure draw buildings and understand scale using simple techniques. We were divided into groups of 10 and were given sites accordingly. The next two days we were expected to understand the fabric of the given site as well as measure draw our respective buildings and understand the proportion and scale. We later on converted our hand drawn sketches to scale using digital media.

 

The houses of Goa by Gerard Da Cunha is a tiny museum that exhibits the history and the evolution of housing typologies in various parts of Goa. This structure is surrounded by his house, the playschool and his office on three sides. This structures follows basic geometry and is based on triangles. It has three floors which are all connected by a spiral staircase. The structure also has a small amphitheater at the top.  The structure is made up of a local material laterite whereas the roof is made up of concrete with Mangalore tiles. D’mello vaddo was a spectacular Portuguese house with large windows and long rooms. This house had walls which were as high as 7 meters. It had furniture with intricate artwork which symbolises the influence of the Portuguese. The house had a small courtyard and various rooms dedicated to various activities like dressing room, reading room, etc. Bhobe house was a beautiful site which had an old unplanned house with a huge garden at the entrance with a variety of medicinal trees and bushes which lead to the main house which had a courtyard surrounded by rooms.    As compared to the exterior environment the interior of the house is very cold. It’s very peaceful and silent. The most interesting part was that the house was made with not much evolved machinery. Ini Chatterjee made a house by wood completely and this is where we saw some complicated joinery work. Made up of coconut tree wood it had a concrete plinth with terracotta flooring, no tiles. It is more like a pavilion with overhangs. This house itself spoke about its incompleteness. Ini has a practical approach towards design. Usually the process taught in schools is to design and then to figure out the technical details but Ini does it the other way round and that is what makes the structure what it is. Office and studio by Deab D’cruz was a bit modern structure of steel and concrete and glass with sloping roof on one side and it fitted in the slope on the site. The back side of the building stepped down along with the slope. The Dempo house was and Old Portuguese style house with a Hindu style extension and with two courtyards. The site was the biggest compared to other given sites. The house was built with load bearing stone and mud walls with wooden flooring for the first floor and a complex roof structure with many rooms of different heights. Reis Margos fort was built near the Mandovi river and it was built by the Portuguese and used as an outpost. The fort is now a museum. It was built with stone available locally.

 

In the process we learnt how to draw a proportionate plan of the house on site and then take measurements according to the drawing. The process of measurement was an exercise in itself as the measurements had to be accurate and as it was built. The hand drawn sketches of the plans and the elevations were then taken to digital drawing. The drawings were later generated on AutoCAD with precision. Later on we were instructed to make a drawing which was different than the generic plan and elevation. That drawing could be an axonometric of the house, an exploded drawing etc. we tried to explore different mediums and made different drawings. Some made 3d of the house on Sketch Up showing the evolution of the house, some made a sectional perspective of the building showing the interiors. In this way we all processed the hand drawings and made them digital. The next challenge was to compose sheets and make a book which was done by a few students from each group. The final product of the trip was a set of measure drawings and a small compilation of interviews and a information of the houses in form of a book.

 

 

By Sitanshu Rawal and Divya Bhat.