Cidade de Goa Beach Resort (Charles Correa Now)
Goa, India

Ciudad De Goa is a resort building modeled on a small city or a village. It's a striking building, designed to draw attention to itself. The hotel is built on a slope descending to the sea, near the confluence of the Zuri and Mandovi rivers. 

Cidade de Goa means the city of Goa, as well as the capital of Goa. "When Charles designed it, he wanted to build a small city. He got the name from his uncle, Father Correa from St. Xaviers in Mumbai," said Keth Pinto, the Director of Sales at the hotel who took me for a walk around the hotel property.

The building has stood the test of time, constantly evolving over the years since it was built in 1982. New rooms and galleries were added, designed by a Goan architect who was sensitive enough to respect the original elevation while adhering to contemporary requirements like more space, modern fittings, etc. 

It is one of the buildings where Charles Correa extensively worked with Bhiwandker, a local artist who was a signboard painter. Pinto told me how the hotel is conserving the murals. "We repaint all of these paintings every year. We have a special guy who does all these murals." I asked him if the murals were changing due to many layers of paint every year. He replied, "Let's put it this way; they've become much darker than they used to be because of the continuous repainting as they fade every monsoon. If you come in November and photograph this hotel, it will be different; it will be much brighter. But you lose characteristics if you keep putting on layers".

Bhiwandker has been familiar with the hotel since he was a child. I asked him about the first time he visited the property, "That was in the early 80s when I was 6 or 7. We used to come for a vacation from Bombay. This (Cidade de Goa) was the only hotel to which we would want to go. I always thought that it was built to look like a boat."

Behind the famous humble elevation of Cidade De Goa now stands a massive glass building, the new Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, overpowering the carefully designed and intricately placed Cidade. It's almost symbolic of how most Indian cities (or Cidade) are changing: humble, open houses are being replaced by substantial residential glass buildings. It is the very physical manifestation of Goa right now, a small village and a massive structure in the background. 

While ending the walk in one of the courtyards, he said, "I was telling you about the flow of air and the courtyards. It is very important. We are planning an entire revamp of this place, keeping the [importance of Correa's architecture in mind."

-Nipun Prabhakar, 2021

Vainguinim Beach, Goa, India
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Cidade de Goa
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