Urmee Mehta Mankar / January 8, 2018
A row of simple steel structures, framed by a dense green valley — this is the first glimpse of architect Dean D’Cruz’s office in Porvorim, Goa. As you get closer, you see an electric car charging on a metal platform, a small clue to the nature of work being done.
One of the leaders of the sustainable building movement in India, Dean has based his practice on the conservation of natural resources, and broader social and environmental issues. The design of the studio speaks strongly about the collaborative nature of their work, with open spaces that flow naturally into one another. The architect tells us more about the design and its evolution.
How did the design and plan for the office come to life?
We found this little piece of land along the valley, and felt it was a great place to build. We wanted the building to capture the feeling of being in the forest, so we thrust it almost to the very edge and glazed it all over. The plot drops steeply and we kept the uppermost levels same as the road with a gradual step down which gave everyone a view over each other, and created large open spaces at the lower sections.
What was the genesis of Design Valley?
As we grew, we encouraged other architects, product designers and planners to buy plots in the colony and build their own space. We now have a small community of like-minded professionals that we call Design Valley. We don’t work on all projects together, but we want this valley to act as a catalyst for people to collaborate.