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1. History

2. Biography

3. Case Study 1: Houses of Goa Museum

4. Case Study 2: Nishas School of Goa

5. Case study 3: Nritya Gram, Bangalore

6. Other Famous Projects


7. Bibliography





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External Sign

GERARD DA CUNHA is a well-known name in modern Indian architecture.
He prefers working with natural stone and his unique projects are seen all
over the country.
He received the Commendation Award in Rural Architecture, Designer of the
Year Award and the Prime Ministers National Award for Excellence in Urban
Planning and Design. Da Cunhas Goa based architectural firm Architects
Autonomous specializes in eco-friendly, site specific architecture.
The quintessential architect was conducting exhibitions on the houses of Goa
as his contribution towards the renaissance.
In a short time span, it reached such a zenith that he took it even worldwide
At that level of saturation, he needed to put the entire work under
a single roof.
The architect conceives that the Goans were looking for a new identity and so
embarked on the experiment in architecture to produce something new and
unseen anywhere in the world. And this saw the birth of the Museum
Houses of Goa.

Gerard da Cunha is an Indian architect based in Goa. He is an alumnus of the
prestigious School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. He is known for
utilizing locally available materials and traditional construction techniques in
harmony with its ecosystem.
Gerard runs his architecture firm 'Architecture Autonomous' in Goa, India. His
projects are spread across the country that include resorts, townships,
institutions and even private residences.
Gerard da Cunha maintains his practice from the old Portuguese colony of
Goa, which he considers has a novel history in that it was the site of the first
sustained encounter between the East and the West.
Gerard da Cunha is identified more with preserving Goas heritage, hes been
renowned equally for being one of Indias first few green architects, one who
believes in utilising locally available material in harmony with its ecosystem.
His design for the Odissi gurukul Nrityagram in Bengaluru, the initiative of
dancer Protima Gauri Bedi, is iconic.

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Built in stark stone found in the area, it is very different from traditional Goan
architecture that is his mainstay.
This adaptability got da Cunha an award for rural architecture.
As did his design for a Jindal steel township in Karnataka called Vidyanagar
that won the Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Urban Planning and
Five years ago, da Cunha was hired to restore Goas oldest fort the Reis

Houses of Goa Museum

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"Houses of Goa", a unique museum by architect Gerard da Cunha,

encapsulates for posterity the phenomenal outcome of the combination of
eastern and western architectural styles.
The museum is designed to look like a ship, with traffic flowing on all sides of
the building.
Strangely enough it is in the shape of a triangle and resembles a ship. Viewed
from the outside it is a mystery, but as you begin your visit, it slowly unfolds its

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Plan& Section of Museum

Spiral Staircase
Spiral staircase done in laterite stone.

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Nishas School of Goa

Shiksha Niketan stands out with its ideal campus for a primary
school in Goa. Its like a whole new world meant only for kids.
Some classrooms have tiny entrance openings where adults would
have to stoop to enter.
Also, there are no closed areas in the school so as to enable easy
accessibility to each child.
The school is constructed in fine brick architecture.

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Nritya Gram, Bangalore

Nrityagram is India's first modern Gurukul (residential school) for Indian
classical dances and an intentional community in the form of a dance
village, set up by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri in 1990.
The residential school offers training in Indian classical dance forms,
Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and
Manipuri, eight hours a day, six days a week for seven years, following
the ancient Guru-shishya tradition.
Designed by famous Indian architect Gerard da Cunha, the community is
situated near Hesaraghatta Lake 30 km away from Bangalore. The use
of local techniques and construction materials is seen which reflects the
local traditions.

Temple at the entrance of Nritya gram.

Designed and built by Ray Meeker in 1998.
It is fashioned from the raw mud of the locality
and was fired after it was built.
It is decorated with panels depicting the
elements, dance motifs, mudras and designs
costumes and jewels.
Inside is a granite rock scooped out to hold
water and a flame that stays lit.
At present the area in front of the temple is used
as a yoga centre and also used for meditation.

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Guest Cottages
Constitutes of thatched roof and rammed earth constructon.

Cantilevered staircase done in stone and (right) semi-covered seating area .

Grounds and gardens of the Nrityagram Dance Community

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Other Famous Projects

Library of Hampis Kannada University

Kutiram Tourist Resort of Bangalore
JVSL Township in Torangallu
Day Care Center

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