Hospital of the Holy Heart of Mary
Madgaon [Margão], Goa, India
Equipment and Infrastructures
The Hospital of the Sacred Heart of Mary was created in 1867 by means of public subscription, on the initiative of Father António João de Miranda. It underwent a major transformation in the early 20th century; most the existing buildings date from that time. The first stone of the original construction was laid in December 1867 on a site donated by the Margao community and it was blessed on 23 August of the following year. The shelter was founded ten years later, in 1867, but has also disappeared. The hospital extends over a vast area and comprises three construction cores. Two of them are situated at the base of the hill called Monte da Conceição, divided by a road that became one of the city’s main thoroughfares, while the third is located on the plateau. The first group of buildings is located west of the cemetery, in an area which at the time was peripheral to the urban core, and where the hospital’s secretariat was later built. The first enlargement opened in February 1905. It was a private house adapted to suit hospital requirements. This was the first construction of the second core, located in front of the original building. The house which is still today the hospital’s main image is rectangular and has only one floor elevated from street level and symmetric regarding the entrance, which is via a porch. The running veranda on the west side and the entrance porch recalls residential architecture. Nevertheless, they were put in place during the conversion to a hospital and did not exist previously. A chapel was built next to the house, inaugurated on the same date. In 1909 new improvements and enlargements were discussed; in 1910 the new hospice was opened, very close to the old building, and the inaugural plaque was transferred. A few years later new enlargements were planned. The engineer Bernardino Camilo da Costa, a Margao native employed by the Goa Public Works Department, who had already been president of the hospital’s assembly, was responsible for the new expansion plan. It is not known if the sanatorium was also designed at that time, though it presumably was, given that its construction had been discussed since 1904. In 1908 the site where it would later be built was already chosen. The construction began in late 1915, though most of the work was done from 1922 on, when the administration building and many of the other buildings were erected. They were still under construction in 1925, as Sales Coutinho’s book indicates. The 1905 main building was enlarged to the north. Also on the north side, but next to the road, a women’s ward was built, with an adjacent operating hall. Both opened in May 1923, planned by Bernardino Camilo da Costa and built by Madevá Sina Bobó e Caculó. The ward has two floors, arcades on the ground floor and veranda on the upper floor. In 1925 the bacteriological office, a residence for nurses and a second women’s ward were still under construction. All the buildings were small, with just one floor and simple architecture. Likewise under construction in 1925 was the hospital’s secretariat building. It comprised two distinct volumes: one with two floors and another with one, which articulated via an entrance to the back of the property. The two-floor volume is L-shaped and has a veranda with iron columns on the main façade. The window frames are rusticated, as are the finishing elements of the building volumes. On the main volume the naturalist design of its pediment recalls an art deco language. The one-floor volume is rectangular and develops lengthwise toward the back. The two constructions are nowadays joined in that area by a patio, which we presume was added after 1961, when a primary school functioned here. No changes have been made to the main façade. The hospice was situated on the north side. The one for the clergy was on the south side; its construction date is unknown. The plateau of the hill of Our Lady of Pity was the site chosen for Saint Joseph’s Sanatorium, which was also under construction in 1925. The main building, which houses the hospital part, was joined by two personnel residence buildings and a third one for the kitchen; they were located on the east side of the main construction. The latter comprises a group of singlefloor volumes slightly raised off ground level, which are joined along the ridge line by verandas that also link the various spaces. Graphic records show that the verandas on the valley side are later than the construction and were open when built; only later were they closed with frames. They also show that the hill had no vegetation; nowadays it is quite thickly covered. All these pavilions were joined to others built after 1961. The sanatorium is the most interesting building of the group and is in the process of being deactivated, probably to give way to a museum.