A public retrospective of Nagari films, showing the 10 short films that were made for the 2020 competition. The programme will consist of a screening, followed by discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by the Charles Correa Foundation team as a launch of Nagari 2021 — ‘People and Livelihoods’ in Indian cities.
We hope that watching and discussing ‘ReRuns’ brings continuity between the previous and the current focus, seeing the connection from Housing Adequacy to People and Livelihoods. It will attempt not only to see film as a medium to narrate the issues, but really to initiate discussion on inadequacies in the urban realm and extend its representation and relevance in India.
A further insight into the discourse on the situation and vision for Nossa Senhora Do Carmo, Chimbel.
Based on a talk at CCF by; Fernando Velho, Architect along with Erica De Mello, Student at Goa College of Architecture
This blog is the last in a series around the chapel of Mount Carmel, in Chimbel, a village in Goa. The context of Chimbel village can be understood from the blog ‘A Search for Commons in the Pressure of Growing Cities’ part 2 of the blog titled ‘Nossa Senhora Do Carmo’explains the role of this Chapel in the settlement and the steps a local architect, Fernando Velho has taken, in tandem with the villagers of Chimbel to breathe new life into the space.
Model of a design intervention overlayed with the ruins of Nossa Senhora Do Carmo Source: Erica De Mello / Goa College of Architecture
To stir up some imagination in the public consciousness, Fernando Velho invited Erica De Mello to present at the Charles Correa Foundation, Erica is a student of the Goa College of Architecture (GCA) who had recently proposed a design intervention in this very site. Erica’s design approach was guided by Mr. Sameep Padora who was a visiting professor at GCA, under the Charles Correa Chair. Erica’s proposal for the site was to turn it into an artists residency.
Artistic representation of how the proposed structure would look.
Source: Erica De Mello / Goa College of Architecture
Ruins with an Alternate Future
Erica spoke about approaching the existing structure through layers, in contrast to “follies” in English landscape, for example, the Capel Manor in England, where the designer constructed an artificial ruin, in contrast, here in Chimbel one can find an existing ruin. Erica tried to approach the structure and “to create within ruin”. Her proposal entailed:
Structural stabilization of the existing ruins.
Reconstruction, through a lightweight frame that gave the essence of the original space.
A public space which would have exhibition zones and facilities for the community.
Living and working spaces for the artists in residence.
Animation of the various design approaches, overlayed. Source: Erica De Mello / Goa College of Architecture
The proposed design would have various features which express reverence to the ruin while still creating conducive space for artists.
Representations of the spaces within the proposed design Source: Erica De Mello/ Goa College of Architecture
Discussions and Deliberations
The discussion after the talk was lively and interesting. Former Chief town planner of India Prof. Edgar Ribeiro commended the Chimbel Villagers for approaching the issue in a bottom-up approach and getting the support of the ward councillor (Pancha).
Edgar also clarified the terminology of an ‘archaeological park’. The Town and Country Planning Office, New Delhi envisioned this zone for places where there were a large number of important national monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in a fixed radius. Mehrauli was the first such archaeological park where Prof. Nalini Thakur from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi oversaw the entire process. In the Regional Plan 2021, Old Goa is denoted as an Archaeological park because there are 14 ASI monuments in a close radius.
Prof. Edgar Ribeiro explaining the vision for an archaeological park. Source: Lester Silveira / The Balcaö
Arminio Ribeiro asked the Chimbel residents about their vision for the space. The residents discussed the possibility of preservation of the structure, and the amount of development they envisioned for this space.
The villagers recalled memories of feasts and christenings which used to happen at the site long after it was abandoned. A question arose as to why the church was eventually abandoned by the villagers.
Following the talk, a leader of the delegation of Chimbel residents, Mrs. Ana Gracias, asked Prof. Edgar Ribeiro and the CCF team if we could sit and discuss the issue in a private meeting. This meeting happened on the 29th of May. The meeting was attended by the leaders of the Mount Carmel Restoration Forum – a group formed from Chimbel residents, a priest from the Archdiocese of Goa, Edgar Ribeiro, Fernando Velho, and a few other architects.
In the meeting, The following steps were explored in regards to the way forward for the preservation of the structure. The ground reality is that the government does not see any site as heritage unless it finds mention in one of the State drawn plans, in this case, the site must reflect in the Goa Regional Plan 2031. There could be three possible approaches to get the site demarcated here.
Approaches towards conservation
1. As a National Protected Monument
It is extremely unlikely for this particular site to become a monument to be protected by the Central Act- ‘The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act) , 1958’. It is not of national importance and the ASI presently protect over 3650 monuments.
2. As a State Protected Monument
There was discussion to list this site as a state protected monument and the villagers had already petitioned the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA) to take this case forward. The CCF team however feel that in listing the site as a state protected monument, the DAA becomes another important decision maker in any proposal for re-use of the site. This means any conservation effort would not only need permission from the owners of the site (Provedoria) but any maintenance or conservation done to the monument, would be subject to restrictive measures of ‘Restoration’ put forth in the ‘The Goa Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act, 2010’
3. Get the site on the list for Conservation.
The ‘Goa (Land Development and Building Construction) Act’. in section 6B.2.C has a section titled ‘List of Buildings and sites of Historic and Aesthetic Importance in State of Goa to be notified under these regulations’
There is merit in listing the site as conservation instead of preservation because the site can be developed out of the restrictive definitions within the ‘The Goa Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act, 2010’ , while still having to go through checks and balances put in place by the Conservation Study Committee of the Town and Country Planning Department, Goa.
Meeting between Prof. Edgar, Fernando, Clergy, and Chimbel residents on 29th May 2019 at the Charles Correa Foundation.
Vision for the site
The meeting concluded with the residents and architects contemplating a vision for the site in the near future. A consensus was reached to turning the 4000 square meters (that encompass the ruins and the access to them) into a park for Chimbel Village. Structural preservation would be implemented on the ruins and the rest of the space be notified as green space in the Regional Plan for Goa 2031.
In this regard the Charles Correa Foundation has written a letter in support of this initiative to the Minister of Town and Country Planning, Goa. On the 21st of June 2018, the Minister accepted the request of the Chimbel residents, citing the Charles Correa Foundation’s letter as documentation for significance of the site.
The Bigger Picture
Since 1984, in the state of Goa, no new structures have been listed for conservation. With the success of this initiative, the CCF team believes a precedent has been set. A successful listing and conservation of Nossa Senhora Do Carmo have illustrated that a building of heritage value deserves to be, and can be conserved through public demand.
In the context of Heritage sites in Goa, both ancient and relatively contemporary being threatened. And with certain elements in the State making a case for the demolition of one of the few equitable, civic buildings in the capital city of Goa, Panaji – Kala Academy, we believe, now more than ever it is important for us to be watchful and work to conserve our heritage spaces.
This blog is the first part of a trilogy about a village, its residents, and the ruins of a chapel. The Charles Correa Foundation has been actively involved in assisting the villagers in their project, and our combined efforts have recently yielded positive results. You can read about it on the news section of our website or Aliya Abreu’s article in the Goan Everyday.
The CCF team talks about heritage in Panaji, and CCF’s 2014 Heritage Listing Project.
As Goa’s capital, the city of Panaji draws tourists for attractions that are uniquely its own: its heritage precincts and structures. As observed over recent decades, however, unregulated developments within the heritage areas fail to respect the context. These precincts and structures lose their heritage value when new developments overpower the visual fabric of heritage neighbourhoods.
There is a clear need for conservation of the precincts. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, “conservation” means “the processes through which material, design and integrity of the monument are safeguarded in terms of its archaeological and architectural value, its historical significance and its cultural or intangible associations.”
The Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act 2008, passed by the Legislative Assembly of Goa, mandated the grading of listed buildings, precincts or conservation zones in the Goa, initiated by the Conservation Committee. It was decided that it would be mandatory to indicate a grade for every listed building or listed precinct or conservation zone.
A need for a notified heritage listing of structures and precincts in Goa had been recognised.
In 2014, CCF conducted a documented study on Heritage Listing in Panaji. The listing and grading project was commissioned by the Department of Town and Country Planning, Government of Goa. The purpose of the documentation of heritage buildings in Panaji was to notify structures of heritage value, thus producing a reference for protection of heritage buildings in Panaji.
The study identified, mapped, listed and graded heritage structures based on a survey conducted to note the historic and architectural significance of a structure along with its contribution to a heritage streetscape. The heritage areas include: Sao Tome, Fontainhas, Mala, Portais, CBD (Central Business District), Altinho, Campal and Ribandar.
The survey conducted was based on detailed inventory-making of each building with various parameters. The information gathered on heritage structures include observing the access, ownership of the property, usage, style and architectural features. It also involved examining the materials used and making an overall assessment of the condition, which would help to understand the threat to the building. With a team of project consultants, the structures were then graded based on their Historic, Architectural, Cultural and Streetscape value.
Structures which have high value under all the above criteria are listed as Grade I. Similarly, structures having values in lesser criteria are listed as Grade II, III and IV accordingly. Based on the grade, the activity of protection for the building is recommended by the Goa Land Development Regulations 2010.
Based on the research and documentation, CCF created a set of maps and guidelines to document important heritage structures in the city.
In total, around 900 buildings were documented as part of the study. With the increasing awareness of the significance of conservation in recent years, the heritage list plays a crucial role in framing guidelines for upcoming developments in heritage precincts in Goa.
Heritage listing is an important tool to indicate way-forward steps for conservation of heritage structures in a city. Are the heritage structures in your city or district being conserved? If not, are they on the notified conservation list? What can we, as citizens, do to ensure that significant-but-forgotten heritage structures get notified? Comment below with your ideas!