Our experience of designing and our involvement with the building of the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Mashem- Canacona, Goa, having recently won the 4th All India Stone Architectural Award for excellence and creativity in the use of natural stone, was the most enriching and special one. This project came through just by chance. We, then in the year 2003, had just begun finding an interest in birdwatching and had joined our friends on a biking trip from Panaji to South Goa’s Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary to sight birds and experience a trek in the wild.
Before we could head back home we decided to swing by my ancestral village and childhood hideout at the nearby Galgibaga beach, which was then a nesting site for the Olive ridley turtles. On revealing our change of plan to our friend Harvey D’Souza, who was assisting the local priest there in turtle conservation, he requested us to deliver a message to Fr Marian Proenca, the local parish priest. When we met the priest and on learning that we were architects and had an ancestral connection to the village, he casually requested us to advise him on the budget of some plans that were underway to build a new Chapel at the nearby Mashem village, across the Galgibaga river.
He was curious to know if costs could be cut down and the use of cost effective technologies in building the proposed chapel. On our advice that the building could be built in a tight budget and also adopt simple technologies, he inquired if we could take on the task to prepare an alternative and present our concepts to the Chapel committee following a transparent process of presentation and selection.
Contributed by: Ar. Tallulah D'Silva
Complete Article and Images are available in Building Giants May-Jul 2013 Issue