Borim, Goa, India
Borim is located near the Zuari River in Ponda, between flood plains, rice paddies and palm groves in an area whose low relief is mainly noted in the leafy valleys where cashew trees also flourish. The colour of the lateritic soil is strongly contrasted against the dark green tones of the landscape, making the rammedearth houses especially intense. The old and dominant typology develops from a central compartment, as in the turret houses, even though in this case the house has gables, with a hip roof on the raised body (for ventilation) and gable roof on the front and back façades. Only a small open shed protects the entrance by prolonging the roof, supported on two expressive laterite columns. This Hindu house is also characterised by its large size and by the restrained number and size of the openings. They are thus small and protected by rounded wood grilles, enabling ventilation but making inside/outside viewing difficult. Only the main façade is plastered and whitewashed; in the sun it stands out due to the strong colour of the lateritic ground, the rammed-earth formwork lines and the construction system pinholes. Since it is a compact house, a system of ventilation was developed between the walls and the beam holding up the roof framework. Adjacent to this house is a Hindu patio-house pertaining to the Boyrads family, which stands out for both its size and architectural expression. The façades assume an almost canonical regularity and composition by means of the pilasters and bay moulding. A set of abutments on the west side accentuates its nature as a transition house between the vernacular and erudite, with influences from Hindu temple architecture but also from Portuguese architecture, such as the paradigmatic palace of the kings of Sundem not far from this house, and also some houses in Utardo, Majorda, Betanbatim or even Loutolim. The careful site-placement enables a layout comprising two floors in the southwest quadrant, while the northeast one develops a single floor with the patio. The set of round patio columns accentuates the careful construction. In the centre of the patio the podium and sacred tulsi plant lend a serene air to the architectural whole. Various restricted accesses stairways also mark the typology’s hierarchies. This house is doubtless an exceptional example; its presence, even though on the outskirts, nevertheless enhances the value of the group of houses in Borim village. See the explanation provided on page 82.