Loutulim is located in the northeast part of Salcette, relatively close to the Zuari River in an area of large Christian Brahmin landholders. Fertile properties with tilled floodplains, productive rice fields and palm groves abound. This led to a major concentration of aristocratic mansions, still used as residences by the dominant families. Their typological influence and architectural expression will have inspired models for the small and medium sized houses found in large numbers throughout the region, divided into types and sub-types dispersed in small urban clusters or amid palm plantations.
But some typologies are unaffected by that influence and retain all the features of traditional typologies. One example is the plastered and whitewashed rammedearth house of Tomaz Francisco, with a gable roof and overhangs that form continuous porches even on the sides. As a result, the gables remain free for ventilation in the space under the roof. This linear typology presents an arrangement with central entrance to a small space with a room on either side; the narrow kitchen under the side porch is accessed through one of them. On the same porch and as a continuation of the kitchen is the area of the floor hearth or oven, which is followed by the bath, laundry and latrine areas, all behind the back face. The main porch runs along the façade, supported by elegant whitewashed laterite ashlar pillars. On the upper east side it is open, while on the opposite side it is part of the ‘outside bedroom’ with side door for the porch. The floor in the whole house, including the porch, is beaten earth, sometimes with cement mortar.
In the kitchen, the sinks and oven are also of whitewashed laterite and rammed-earth. The roof framework comprises trunks and boards supporting Mangalore (Marseille) tiles. Though simple, the kitchen maintains a very orderly arrangement of utensils, such as the bendul for water, a ceramic container called a kundem and various metal recipients used to cook rice, called mokkdi. The room next to the kitchen is used to store koddo for the bat, i.e. a large basket in which rice is kept throughout the year.
The Tomaz Francisco house is representative of traditional architecture in the Loutulim area. It is still very well preserved due to the dedication of its owner, who also cares for the adjacent plot of land next door to the Mário Miranda House. Like this notable house, the Mother of God Chapel also registers the influence of traditional architecture, by incorporating an extensive louvered wooden grille-work over its entire south façade, resembling the windows of Goan houses and thus demonstrating multiple crossover influences from the erudite and traditional canons. See context indicated on page 200.