The project, located in Goa, constituted 20 apartments that were housing for the staff of a multinational company.
The site was highly contoured and linear on the periphery of Margao, looking down into a verdant landscape. The site and the climate were the evident challenges.
Gogol apartments took shape as a response to the question, “How did one bring in the sense of the large verandas and porticos that one associated with Goa?” We were not searching for any local identity in any direct manner, but still wanted to resonate the way of life.
It was here that the striking geometry of the project came into play.
It had emerged from the need for sloping roofs as a climatic feature. The design strategy was to integrate the sloping roofs with the geometry of the apartments.
This gave a large semi open space between the apartments providing for the common social space. Long horizontal louvers on the external face of the building will take the brunt of the rain protecting the windows and balconies.
For us, the value of the public social space has always been of high significance, often articulated as a semi-open space that accepts with ease and comfort the varied and diverse needs of the inhabitants. This concern emerges out of a critical discourse on quality, dignity and inclusiveness of the spaces grounded in the belief that the value that any society places on making of its public spaces is an important measure of the development of that society, a point evidenced through history.
The level difference in the site of about 3.5 meters was used to tuck in the parking without making a basement.
This level difference also generated different perceptions of the building from the two sides. On one end, it hugged the ground, living spaces directly flowing onto the ground and on the other side, it floated above the ground, holding up the living spaces. The building integrates itself with the ground, and emerges from within carrying with it the metaphors of a Goan tradition of building.