Vanishing Architecture…..

Central courtyard houses of Goa -the origin of which lies in the Indus valley civilization. Traditional homes of Goa houses central courtyard named as “Radhangan” with tulsi Vrindavan in it for Hindu homes. Open to sky courtyard in the center is surrounded by all other rooms around it keeping the house cool in hot climate along with its sacred properties.
Traditional Goan Hindu house composes of
1)Balcao (an entrance verandah with seating)
2)Central courtyard with tulsi Vrindavan
3)Big Living room
4)Big Dining room
5)Passages around the courtyard used for dining on occasions
6)Puja room as big as living room
7)Kitchen with back door opening to garden
10)Bed rooms
11)Well with open shower space next to it
Central courtyard was used as multipurpose space depending on the season. Some of the uses extended to drying of kitchen stuff, play area, get together space for family, garden space and enjoying monsoons. In older days courtyard was also used to perform wedding in the house. Courtyard controlled all the house activities and was environment friendly. Open to sky courtyard allowed sunlight in the core of the house and controlled air flow throughout the day and night keeping the house cool. It functioned very well from Vastu point of view where brahmasthan is kept open to sky without blocking any energies and keeping the place lively. Brahmasthan is the root of energies that are dispersed to every corner of the plot .
It is very sad today that these houses with so many good features are vanishing .Courtyard concept is hardly used in contemporary houses. We can still use the traditional features blending with contemporary style to retain the traditional architecture.