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VILLA CHORA, GOA

The century old building is currently home to an affable and genial couple. The work entailed restoring the villa to its present day splendour as opposed to its original ‘closed’ and ‘dark’ demeanor. The architects Benjamin Robb and Gurmeet Akali visualised the villa as an extension of their soft and earthy personality and interventions commenced from thereon.

NEW BEGINNINGS

The architects envisaged a light and airy structure for which they re-crafted the new slender laterite columns, re-constructed walls, created punctures in them to let in air and light.

THE RESTORED SPIRAL STAIRCASE (L), And the RE-CRAFTED LATERITE COLUMNS (R)

The plastered columns formerly had a hexagonal profile with rounded edges and a square capital. The architects deemed their aesthetic overly ‘masculine’ and ‘bulky’ and decided to replace them with evolved and shapely columns.

OLD SOULS AND NEW LIVES

While the structural elements in the villa were re-done; most of its furniture were sourced from vintage shops and junkyards from across the country.

RESTORED AND RECYCLED FURNITURE

Most furniture is either restored or built from recycled wood. Either ways,, each piece has been treated with a solution of hard-wax and clove oil to combat termites and the humid weather of Goa.

NEW FURNITURE FROM RECYCLED WOOD

The furniture is made from recycled wood. The ‘blue’ line is a handloom fabric dyed in Indigo and used.

A VERY METICULOUSLY RESTORED DOOR

Similarly, a door found in an old ‘haveli’ in Gujarat was disassembled on site and shortened to fit the door height as seen.

THE HANDS WITH BOUGAINVILLEA(R)

The ‘hand’ was found in a junkyard. The same was replicated by the studio in-house carpenters and used at the main entrance.

PARTITION WALL-JAALI BETWEEN MASTER-BEDROOM AND GUESTROOM

There exists no wall between the master-bedroom and guest-room. A cement ‘jaali’ made by local artisans and finished in blue paint separates the rooms. Indigo dye was mixed with lime and water and painted on the jaali.

The meticulously crafted vintage bathrooms
The view
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Workspace 08 Dec 2017

Studio MoMo infuses a new spirit within the antiquated walls of Villa Chorao in Goa

A conservation project throws across a series of alliteration: restored, re-purposed, recycled, up-cycled. The Villa Chorao revamped by Goa-based Studio MoMo falls under all these brackets of conservation and more. The villa takes conservation a notch higher with most of its furniture up-cycled, restored and sourced from across the country while the villa itself was stripped, opened and redone to its current order.

Subtractions

Villa Chorao is more than a century old Indo-Portuguese home. The architects at Studio MoMo, Benjamin Robb and Gurmeet Akali perceived that the structure needed light, openness and a sleeker demeanour to suit the client’s affable personality. They decided to add punctures and openings to let in natural light and cross ventilation. The villa constructed in laterite stone posed structural challenges. Every wall bore the loads transferred by the roof. Puncturing such walls could collapse the structure. Hence the architects propped up sections of the roof on steel jacks, chipped off the laterite and casted each RCC lintel in parts. The puncture was created in the wall under the lintel. At some places, entire walls were dismantled and reconstructed. 

VILLA CHORA, GOA

The century old building is currently home to an affable and genial couple. The work entailed restoring the villa to its present day splendour as opposed to its original ‘closed’ and ‘dark’ demeanor. The architects Benjamin Robb and Gurmeet Akali visualised the villa as an extension of their soft and earthy personality and interventions commenced from thereon.

 
NEW BEGINNINGS

The architects envisaged a light and airy structure for which they re-crafted the new slender laterite columns, re-constructed walls, created punctures in them to let in air and light.

Additions

The sleek and curvilinear laterite columns that flank the courtyard are a new addition to the ancient villa. The plastered columns formerly had a hexagonal profile with rounded edges and a square capital. The architects deemed their aesthetic overly ‘masculine’ and ‘bulky’ and decided to recreate shapely columns in their place. They devised soft and earthy columns to complement the owner’s personality.  

The roofs were propped-up on jacketed beams. Laterite blocks of 300 X 450 mm sourced from the Goa-Maharashtra border were transported to site. Each block was carved on site and numbered for assembly. For pieces that needed chamfering, a softer laterite was used. The mortar had to be indiscernible for the columns to appear seamless. 

THE RESTORED SPIRAL STAIRCASE (L), And the RE-CRAFTED LATERITE COLUMNS (R)

The plastered columns formerly had a hexagonal profile with rounded edges and a square capital. The architects deemed their aesthetic overly ‘masculine’ and ‘bulky’ and decided to replace them with evolved and shapely columns.

A mixture of crushed laterite, cement and water was devised after trial-and-error and used for the grouts. The laterite columns were left un-plastered to offer a subtle character of the material used to construct the villa. The roof is primarily subject to maximum weathering. Each roofing member was checked and replace with Burma teak members. The roof slope angle was increased to 23 degrees from 21 degrees to facilitate rain water drainage.

A VERY METICULOUSLY RESTORED DOOR

Similarly, a door found in an old ‘haveli’ in Gujarat was disassembled on site and shortened to fit the door height as seen.

 
The view

Replacements and restorations

The interior of the villa is an eclectic mix of Colonial furniture, vintage pieces, junkyard discoveries and products manufactured in the architect’s studio. But every piece is up-cycled, restored or carpentered from recycled wood. 

OLD SOULS AND NEW LIVES

While the structural elements in the villa were re-done; most of its furniture were sourced from vintage shops and junkyards from across the country.

 
RESTORED AND RECYCLED FURNITURE

Most furniture is either restored or built from recycled wood. Either ways,, each piece has been treated with a solution of hard-wax and clove oil to combat termites and the humid weather of Goa.

For example, the spiral staircase in the courtyard was found dismantled in a junkyard in Gujarat. The pieces were brought to site and assembled meticulously. The handrail had rusted entirely. Straight wooden strips were connected piece-by-piece to create the curved handrail. The staircase has a central metal cylinder as its structural member. An extension was created from this member and the staircase was fixed onto the ground. 

“The architects deemed their aesthetic overly ‘masculine’ and ‘bulky’ and decided to recreate shapely columns in their place. They devised soft and earthy columns to complement the owner’s personality.”

Since the staircase was one riser smaller than the required height, an additional step in laterite was constructed and finished in red oxide. The staircase was installed using nuts and bolts to fix it in place. The piece was originally built sans welding and the architects wished to stay true to its original form.

Much of the furniture was sourced and restored in a similar fashion. The library door was found in an old Gujarat haveli (a traditional mansion). The door was 6 inches higher than the villa’s door opening. To adjust its height, 6 inches were cut off from the frame. The door was disassembled in 3 parts and each part was strategically chipped off by 2 inches. This ensured that the proportions were not drastically hampered.

Similarly, the crockery unit in the living room was a cupboard found in an old wares store in Goa. The wood had disintegrated owing to termites. They were replaced with Burma teak. Hard-wax oil with clove oil was applied on the newly assembled furniture and left to dry. All restored furniture; the library door, bar, chest of drawers, wardrobes, etc. followed the same course using Burma teak or local ‘kinnad’ wood. 

NEW FURNITURE FROM RECYCLED WOOD

The furniture is made from recycled wood. The ‘blue’ line is a handloom fabric dyed in Indigo and used.

 
The meticulously crafted vintage bathrooms

“The blue adds a vibrant pop of ‘youth and freshness’ amidst the classic woods, the whites and the laterites. The home showcases a young spirit in an old body or perhaps an old world charm in parts of its new avatar!”

Recent add-ons

The beds were constructed from recycled wood and finished in natural pigments with a coat of hard-wax oil and clove oil which would help combat humidity and termites. There exists no wall between the master-bedroom and guest-room. A cement ‘jaali’ made by local artisans and finished in blue paint separates the rooms. ‘Mul’ curtains behind the jaali ensure privacy. 

PARTITION WALL-JAALI BETWEEN MASTER-BEDROOM AND GUESTROOM

There exists no wall between the master-bedroom and guest-room. A cement ‘jaali’ made by local artisans and finished in blue paint separates the rooms. Indigo dye was mixed with lime and water and painted on the jaali.

The blue paint was used given the villa’s part Portuguese antiquity. To create this blue, Indigo dye was mixed with lime and water and painted on the jaali. The blue adds a vibrant pop of ‘youth and freshness’ amidst the classic woods, the whites and the laterites. The home showcases a young spirit in an old body or perhaps an old world charm in parts of its new avatar! 

THE HANDS WITH BOUGAINVILLEA(R)

The ‘hand’ was found in a junkyard. The same was replicated by the studio in-house carpenters and used at the main entrance.

Studio MoMo is not just a design firm, but have inculcated the spirit of travel, explorations and experimentations into their work! Do have a look at more of their work here!