Eucher Pereira House
Benaulim, Goa, India
The Eucher Pereira house is a refined example of a 19th century Brahmin house, with an architectural programme that attests to the slow progress of Indo- Portuguese civil architecture which, based on models the Portuguese imported from Europe, gradually adjusted to the climate and the traditional values of the Indian house. To that end, the building abandoned the twofloored mansion scheme, choosing rather to develop only a raised ground floor with the façade opening onto a broad full-length veranda with a large central balcony marking the entrance. In a more fitting concession to the climate, the roof extends directly over the veranda and entrance balcony, thus protecting against infiltrations from monsoon rains. The balcony with running benches on the upper landing acquires a clear living room function, where a succession of small stools for servants on the steps augments the sense of oriental ritual. Likewise with respect to programme, the house interiors are arranged around an internal patio in the Indian house tradition, divided into three areas: in the first one the rooms co-ordinate with the veranda; the second comprises the bedrooms and dining hall, occupying intermediate areas of the side elevations; the third, at the back, contains the kitchen and infrastructures that support daily life. The Eucher Pereira house is noteworthy in the context of 19th century Goan houses due to the delicacy of all the carpentry work, which extends from the elegant columns and veranda railings to the door and window frames, attesting to the high standards of Goan craftsmanship. Also interesting are the window screen lattices with small exotic glass oculi for looking outside. These frameworks are in turn divided into two sections, aiding the rooms’ sophisticated interior ventilation system. The lower section opens via a structure of latticed carving work that allows in fresh air, which due to the temperature difference promotes the circulation and exit of fresh air through openings by the ceiling.