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Illustration of Casa Robello

Illustration of Fransisco Xavier Lourencok.

Illustration of Silva House.

Photograph of Casa Fernandes highlighting colour palette.

Illustration of Quadros E Costa.

Photograph of Quadros E Costa.

Photograph of Quadros E Costa.

Four swatches depicting the electric colour palette.

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Showcase 30 Jun 2015

Houses of Goa by Beard Design

Houses of Goa is an art project initiated by Beard Design that captures the beauty of surviving Indo-Portuguese houses of Goa.

Across Old Goa, Fontainhas (Panjim), Loutolim, Chandor, Margao and other areas, the team identified 17 exquisite examples of houses for the project. An initial period of documentation through sketching and photographing, was followed by the painstaking recreation of the facades through vector illustration. The choice of vector illustrations, allowed them to express the details and geometry, in their full glory.

Speaking about the architecture and aesthetics of the indo-Portuguese houses of Goa, Abhisek Sarda, Creative Head of the project, elaborates:

The overall aesthetic of the Indo-Portuguese houses of Goa is shaped by three things: cultural and political dynamics of the era, functionality, and the coming together of local and foreign aesthetic sensibilities. This is what makes the story of these houses interesting beyond the aesthetics.

The first thing that strikes you about the houses is the use of colour. In modern day Goa, the houses that have been faithfully maintained in their original form stand out because of their colour, even among copycat building complexes that try to mimic the style. As you get closer, you start noticing the symmetry. Most houses have perfectly symmetrical facades. And then there’s the lovely and whimsical detail, from the beautifully adorned pillars and unique windows to the gateposts, grills, and hand-painted tiles. 

The windows are unlike anything you’ve seen, amazingly detailed with geometric patterns. Central courtyards and balcaos are another distinctive feature. Houses are often built around a central courtyard. A balcao is a small porch-like seating area outside the main door, used as an outdoor living area for casual social interactions. Frescos with animals, birds, and patterns and patterned tiles are used to express the individuality of the owner. 

Illustration of Casa Robello

The Indo-Portugese houses in Goa have a fairly eclectic palette even by today’s standards. The origin of this practice of using vivid colours is believed to be the Portuguese diktat that only churches and government buildings could be painted white. This sparked off the trend of painting houses in bright, vivid colours and has almost become a personal brand statement. Brightly painted houses reflected the economic status of the owner. In fact, some accounts suggest that the owner of a house could be fined if his house was not painted well! 

Illustration of Fransisco Xavier Lourencok.

Illustration of Silva House.

Goa is amazingly fortunate (and sensible) to have preserved a large number of Indo- Portuguese houses. In most other parts of the country, the only examples of preserved architecture are palaces and forts. There are very few examples of everyday, domestic architecture that survive. So our interest in doing this project was two-fold: to create a visual archive of these houses, like a museum, and bring attention to this often overlooked aspect of Goa, through our art project.

The illustrations along with photographs and location of the houses are documented at the project website: www.housesofgoa.com. Some of the painstakingly created illustrations are also available as posters at Beard Design’s online store, Imposters (www.imposters.in).

Illustration of Quadros E Costa.

Photograph of Quadros E Costa.

Photograph of Quadros E Costa.

 
 
IMAGES

• All images courtesy Beard Design