AI7_20_2017_4_55_22_AM_Seraulimmain.jpg
Before and After

Like any aged home needing a facelift, the Seraulim house was in need of a restoration too. While an earlier restoration didn’t help much and instead paved way for a leaky roof, seepage problems and disorganized services, the second restoration curated by Ruturaj and team, namely Hrushita Davey, Mansi Patel, Smrithi Madhu, helped heal these wounds.

Before and After

Given a tight budget, the brief was to restore and retrofit the house with modern services such that it would help retain the character of the old villa, all the while creating simple contemporary spaces within, as given by the client Leena Prakash.

Before and After

Initiating the documentation process in June 2016, Ruturaj analyzed the material composition of the roofing, walls and several other services in the house.

Before and After

There was an urgency seen in the strengthening of the walls that posed a threat in the restoration of roofs and walls, and the need to complement the house with a kitchen and an outhouse. The site was further re-organized and designed with a landscape intervention and a low compound wall.

Before and After

In the process of extracting out damaged portions of the floor, a yellow IPS layer was observed. A team of masons from Dustudio (Auroville), led by Kothandam D, realized that the whole floor might have been initially layered with the yellow IPS. The cement-mosaic tiles were therefore replaced with handmade yellow-oxide flooring; restoring the house to its original condition.

Before and After

The same yellow material was replicated on the walls and the kitchen platform generating an image of a monolithic layer that binds all protected surfaces.

Before and After

A mix of soil and white cement was prepared to re-layer the damaged eroded surfaces of the mud walls that were dissolved in parts of the house as a result to its exposure to rain, preventing a possible deterioration in the future. Additionally parts of old structures of the house that seemed beyond repair were replaced with steel frames and glass shutters with the intention of protecting the old walls.

Before and After

The house was complemented with an Outhouse.

Before and After

Old paint samples were re-matched with a new white at the Asian Paints colour lab. Having tested the new samples on site, the exterior emulsion was used all through the interior space. Also, layers of paint were stripped off to reveal the beautiful grains.

Final Look of the Seraulim House.

AI7_20_2017_4_55_22_AM_Seraulimmain.jpg
Workspace 20 Jul 2017

Repurposed: Seraulim House by Studio Matter; a six-decade-old Portuguese bungalow

Nestled in Seraulim village, lies the Indo-Portuguese Seraulim House that goes back six decades. Speaking to Ruturaj Parikh of Studio Matter, we explore the restoration process of a six decade old portuguese house and how much of the house was really restored.

When we think of Goa, we likely ponder on a hot Goan recheado fish meal or a walk down the lanes of the old Aldona village. But what really makes Goa unforgettable is its Portuguese influence, which we see through the beautiful cottages left behind even today.

Most old Goan cottages that are aged over 100 years still paint memories of the Portuguese era through its architecture. We look at one such home in the sleepy Goan village of Seraulim in Madgaon, a restoration project curated by Studio Matter. Interviewing the architect Ruturaj Parikh, CQ understands the process of remaking the Seraulim House.

The Seraulim House is a six-decade-old, Indo-Portuguese villa that stands around a heritage church and a railways line. Flanked by old houses on the west and the north, the south-facing house measures 270 sq.m. with a 50 sq.m. outhouse. The site for the house measures 1100 sq.m. altogether.

Like any aged home, the Seraulim house too was in need of a facelift. While an earlier restoration didn’t help much and instead paved way for a leaky roof, seepage problems and disorganized services, the second restoration curated by Ruturaj and team, namely Hrushita Davey, Mansi Patel, Smrithi Madhu, helped heal these wounds.

Before and After

Like any aged home needing a facelift, the Seraulim house was in need of a restoration too. While an earlier restoration didn’t help much and instead paved way for a leaky roof, seepage problems and disorganized services, the second restoration curated by Ruturaj and team, namely Hrushita Davey, Mansi Patel, Smrithi Madhu, helped heal these wounds.

The Brief:

Given a tight budget, by the client Leena Prakash, the brief was to restore and retrofit the old villa with modern services that would help retain its character, while creating simple contemporary spaces within. The house was to be used as a workspace and a small training centre for an NGO working with child-development. The house was restored with a kitchen, new services, modern electric and data connections, part of the house was also to be fit with bedrooms.

Before and After

Given a tight budget, the brief was to restore and retrofit the house with modern services such that it would help retain the character of the old villa, all the while creating simple contemporary spaces within, as given by the client Leena Prakash.

Restoration Process:

Initiating the documentation process in June 2016, Ruturaj analyzed the material composition of the roofing, walls and several other services in the house. While the footprints of old walls were thoroughly traced, the re-usability of the windows and roof was evaluated through an examination of the quality of wood.

Before and After

Initiating the documentation process in June 2016, Ruturaj analyzed the material composition of the roofing, walls and several other services in the house.

The project was wrapped up in a year but the most crucial point of the project was the documentation and evaluation bit, which lasted a month. Keeping the tight budget in mind, design decisions had to be prioritized.

There was an urgency in the strengthening of the walls that posed a threat to the restoration, and a need to complement the house with a kitchen and an outhouse. The site was further reorganized and designed with a landscape intervention and a low compound wall. The design included a plinth protection that extended through the landscape in the form of a laterite platform with a ‘kund’ (a stepped sunken area) for seating purposes.

Before and After

There was an urgency seen in the strengthening of the walls that posed a threat in the restoration of roofs and walls, and the need to complement the house with a kitchen and an outhouse. The site was further re-organized and designed with a landscape intervention and a low compound wall.

"Given a tight budget, the brief was to restore and retrofit the house with modern services such that it would help retain the character of the old villa, all the while creating simple contemporary spaces within."

Materials used in the making of the Seraulim House:

Laterite Plinth

Ruturaj explains, “We designed the landscape to complement the new organisation of the house. A laterite plinth was added to protect the existing plinth and to diminish the level difference between the house and the landscape. The laterite is a breathing stone and it will merge with the landscape over time. A designed irrigation system ensures that the plantation is always well-watered. We chose native plants that need little maintenance and wild grass that will cover the site very fast. Additionally, the old cabin at the back of the house was also restored with a washroom.”

Flooring

In the process of extracting out damaged portions of the floor, a yellow IPS layer was observed. A team of masons from Dustudio (Auroville), led by Kothandam D, realised that the whole floor might have been initially layered with the yellow IPS. The cement-mosaic tiles were therefore replaced with handmade yellow-oxide flooring; restoring the house to its original condition. The same yellow material was replicated on the walls and the kitchen platform generating an image of a monolithic layer that binds all protected surfaces.

Before and After

In the process of extracting out damaged portions of the floor, a yellow IPS layer was observed. A team of masons from Dustudio (Auroville), led by Kothandam D, realized that the whole floor might have been initially layered with the yellow IPS. The cement-mosaic tiles were therefore replaced with handmade yellow-oxide flooring; restoring the house to its original condition.

Before and After

The same yellow material was replicated on the walls and the kitchen platform generating an image of a monolithic layer that binds all protected surfaces.

Painting and Steel Insert

In order to prevent possible deterioration in the future, a mix of soil and white cement was prepared to re-layer the damaged surfaces of mud walls that had eroded in parts of the house as a result of its exposure to rain. Additionally, parts of old structures of the house that seemed beyond repair were replaced with steel frames and glass shutters with the intention of protecting the old walls.

Before and After

A mix of soil and white cement was prepared to re-layer the damaged eroded surfaces of the mud walls that were dissolved in parts of the house as a result to its exposure to rain, preventing a possible deterioration in the future. Additionally parts of old structures of the house that seemed beyond repair were replaced with steel frames and glass shutters with the intention of protecting the old walls.

Paint

Old paint samples were re-matched with a new white at the Asian Paints colour lab. Having tested the new samples on site, the exterior emulsion was used all through the interior space. Also, layers of paint were stripped off the wood to reveal the beautiful grains and patterns of the old timber.

Before and After

Old paint samples were re-matched with a new white at the Asian Paints colour lab. Having tested the new samples on site, the exterior emulsion was used all through the interior space. Also, layers of paint were stripped off to reveal the beautiful grains.

Carpentry

Working with local carpenters for the project, Ruturaj banked on their knowledge of wood to determine the quality and state of the window shutters, roof and wood in frames. While parts of the roof were dismantled and Matti wood members (Matti is a local wood used for shuttering and roofing) were replaced with seasoned members, the window frames and old wood shutters were dismantled, treated for termites and re-aligned.  All possible old wood, including the door shutters were reused and refurbished.

Before and After

The house was complemented with an Outhouse.

Electric Conducting and Lighting

Without breaching the existing walls for new conducts, white cables in exposed lines were laid so as to install new electrical and lighting appliances. For a neater look, the cables were painted in accordance with the colour of the surface.

Goa is vast and has a heritage and landscape that is more intriguing than the popular holiday “touristy beach” image it generates in our minds. What’s beautiful about Goa is that every time you walk around a quiet lane, you are bound to look at a beautiful heritage cottage or two, true to its history, whether inhabited or uninhabited. ?There’s so much more to a cottage than its roof or verandah. For one, there’s a story to be re-told through each restoration and with projects such as the Seraulim House, we’re reliving a tale that was first told six-decades ago.

Final Look of the Seraulim House.

Ruturaj Parikh, the principal designer at Studio Matter (Goa), curated the Seraulim House renovation/restoration project along with a team that involved architects, masons, carpenters and fabricators supervised by the contractor Amey Vaidya and the Master Mason Kothandam D. To browse through Matter’s work, click here.

FACT FILE
Design: Studio Matter
Team: Ruturaj Parikh, Hrushita Davey, Mansi Patel, Smrithi Madhu
Client: Leena Prakash
Contractor: Amey Vaidya
Master Mason: Kothandam D

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