Each project is an opportunity for a new design expression, believes Architect Raya Shankhwalker. He constantly seeks to use local arts and crafts in his efforts to conserve and revive them. A chat with the architect
Impressions: Benoy Sebastian
How did you get into architecture?
I got into architecture to escape the rigid educational system that I had to endure during my formative years. I was told that architectural education was more about practical experiences as opposed to reading from books. I jumped for it without thinking twice.
What kind of projects are your forte?
Luxury private residences and hospitality projects are what I enjoy working on most.
Which is your favourite project and why?
Soro, a pub that we completed in Assagao last year is my most favourite project till date. It is very close to my heart, because it was for the first time that my team and I decided to breakfree from our usual mould of design. We started thinking in a quirky manner, and the result was extremely exciting. It was well appreciated by one and all who visited the place.
Where do you derive your inspiration from?
I am a very simple man with traditional roots. My inspiration comes from the everyday things that I witness around me. The beautiful place where I reside also inspires me.
How would you describe your unique style?
Thankfully, I never was bound by the need to evolve a unique style and it allows me to think fresh each time in tune with the need of each project and its context. Its far more exciting that way.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
The most significant achievement for me is the fact that I have managed to build a practice right here in Goa. When the whole world seems to want to move to Goa to live and work, I feel blessed that I never had to leave.
What are the kind of challenges you com across while working on any project?
In life each day is a challenge, I believe. However, thankfully, I never had to face any challenges, I always saw adversities too as just opportunities.
What do you view as your lasting responsibility as an architect?
To continually strive to contribute to a better built and natural environment.