“Too often in Goa,” observed the magisterial Charles Correa in a keynote address delivered in Kashmir in 1972, “we discuss heritage only in terms of Portuguese architecture — as though Goa never had any prior history. Actually, in Panaji, there is a really remarkable house which predates the Portuguese influence — the Mhamai Kamat house, built around several courtyards, which has wonderful clarity, scale, structural integrity. A truly great example of pre- Portuguese indigenous architecture.” The same distinguished qualities may be discerned in the first complex that Correa ever designed in his ancestral state: the Kala Academy (1973-1983). In a beautiful and memorable manner, this building dissolves the distinction between inside and outside, architecture and nature, formal and informal use. Far from communicating itself as a forbiddingly remote institution devoted to high culture, the built form disaggregates itself invitingly — as a sequence of versatile, multi-purpose spaces arranged in relation to pathways that run transversely through the building, lightening its mass.
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