Afonso de Albuquerque Lyceum

Afonso de Albuquerque Lyceum

Panaji [Panagi/Pangim/Panjim/Nova Goa], Goa, India

Equipment and Infrastructures

The Nova Goa National Lyceum was founded in 1854 and functioned until 1927 in the Artillery Barracks building, within which it occupied various spaces. It was only in 1923 that the State bought the Santa Casa da Misericórdia charity building then under construction to there install the Lyceum. This was the first of a group of five pavilions whose building process begun in 1908 and only finished in the mid-1940s. The property, situated in Altinho at the end of the hill near the Corte do Outeiro thoroughfare, was offered by the state to the Misericórdia charity to build the new Shelter of the Hill [Serra]. The location was privileged and offered views over various parts of the city. The construction process was beset by difficulties. The first stone was laid in 1908 and it is probable that the first plan was drawn up at that time, only to be abandoned when the charity’s then trustee, Norton de Matos, returned to Lisbon. The process only resumed in 1916. A new plan was then drawn up by the supervisor of Public Works, Francisco de Sousa Brito, and the work began, overseen by the Panaji building contractor Agostinho Velho. But that same year, after the change of trustee at the Misericórdia, a new plan was begun, designed by the then interim director of Public Works, Luís Maravilhas, using existing foundations. The work was interrupted again due to internal problems in the institution, to resume again in 1921 with some changes by an unknown hand that affected the style of the main elevation, which became neo-Gothic. The work was again interrupted in 1923 when the building was bought for the lyceum, which only moved into the new facility in 1927. The first pavilion is the biggest in the complex that would later become the Afonso de Albuquerque Lyceum. After the building was acquired two more buildings began to be built, though at a very slow pace. Work on the second pavilion, on the west side, began in financial year 1923-24. The third pavilion was built on the opposite side in 1930. Construction of the fourth pavilion, farther away on the west side, only began in 1941, while the fifth pavilion, closing the patio, opened in early 1946. The façade designs of pavilions two, four and five are quite similar to the first one: neo-Gothic arches, bay frames with the same design, full-length windows on both floors. The third pavilion is different, with round arches along the entire main façade; its interior arrangement is also the only one with a central corridor. This option may be because this building contained supplementary programmes such as the administrative services, gymnasium and medical office. In the other pavilions the central access are directly into the rooms, while pavilions two and four have galleries on one of the façades. The Hill Shelter edifice built by the Misericórdia was the first structure in Goa which adopted a plan with running galleries and rooms in the middle, to ensure cross-ventilation and shelter from rain and sun. This solution is perfectly suited to the climate, with influences from the neighbouring territory, and was later used in the Pavilion of the Teaching Hospital in Panaji and at the Hospital of Our Lady of Miracles in Mapusa. Besides its privileged site, its scale and its history (which reflects the charity institution’s problems, internally and with the rest of Goan society), this building maintained aspects set out in the plan by Luís Maravilhas: it continued to stand out as a modern construction, due to both its language and typology, and as one of Goa’s exceptional buildings. All the pavilions were recently renovated; the High Court of Mumbai in Goa now functions here.

Alice Santiago Faria

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