Gerard Da Cunha’s Architectural gems..

24th December 2018 : Photo story by Ar. Yash Shah

Hi guys. I recently visited architect Gerrad da Cunha's office and few works by him on the weekend. Thought of sharing some insights. For those who don't know him, he is an architect based in Goa, known for his use of local site materials and unique traditional construction techniques.

01. So this is the famous house of goa museum, a triangular shaped structure 4 storey built to enhance and illuminate the beauty of Goan houses through pictures,drawings , videos etc .. a spiral staircase in the middle and around it is the exhibits... viewed from the outside it is a mystery, but as you begin, it slowly unfolds its charms!!!

02. Made up with the locally available brick and completed on 1997, it’s a delight to be here. Shaped like a boat, nothing can’t be as significant as this to exhibit the Goan architecture. Most of the elements are made out of waste and executed with local labour !!!

03. The overhangs supported by the MSmembers, the openings in brick, the roof overhang , the lush green on the wall and all this built on an extremely steep site.!!

04. Next is the playschool he designed... a greatly contoured site yet seems to be extremely easy in the inside, the school for the kids is a life changing one for them ..

05. The steps to enter the playschool... every little thing designed is been studied thoroughly keeping the proportions of the kids in mind...

06. So, the contoured site is spatially monitored by the spiral staircase and a slide of the small kids.. the kids are taught how to use this slide and as it is continuous from the top level to the playground at the lower area, they are well trained and aware about when to stop in the slide at a level where their classroom is.

07. A court in the center. All trees conserved is the most casual thing in the design. But look at the railings, copings, nothing exuberant but just simply kept in the most natural form.

08. Elements in the brick. Star gazing?

09. Yes, they are conserved and architecture complements and respects the growth.

10. Functionality at its best, and materials at its peak, the inside of the school makes you feel earthy, positive, natural enough for a healthy learning !!

11. What's so spiral about it? the staircase or the slide?

12. Just the perfect amount of natural light needed, playing with bricks and spaces juxtaposed and then allowing the naturally to come in!!!

13. Besides the playschool is the building called Shiksha Niketan, a school for a bigger age group.

14. So this is the lower level the ground is and the road side first picture was the highest level. This building has huge amphitheater too with a great space frame canopy and lots of classrooms and a library etc.

15. Bright circular openings with the yellow colored coverings is actually a circumference of a huge pipe... Nice ?!! Merry Christmas!!