Built Inside A Vintage House, Terttulia Goa Is A Showcase Of Sublime Design

Otherworlds breathes new life into an old Goan Portuguese house.
Otherworlds breathes new life into an old Goan Portuguese house.Suryan and Dang

Within a hair's breadth of the Mandovi River, along Panaji's well-known thoroughfares of Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, the Rupali House built in 1980s did not sustain any dialogue with its surrounding landscape. No one could have ascribed the slow-living credo of susegad to its ostensibly withdrawn and unassuming architecture. Harmonising all-round-the-clock attributes of a café, restaurant and bar, culinary sensation Terttulia recently commissioned architectural design studio Otherworlds to disrupt the narrative and invite passersby into a monolithic balcão that this structure needed urgently.

Informed by a green-oxide colour palette, the lead designer Arko was eager to make an adaptive reuse of the space, flooding all 6,500 square feet of it with a charming rhapsody of bamboo and terrazzo. "We wanted to mimic the propensity for nature in Goan life, by creating a lush tropical environment that inspires a feeling of presence, well being and harmony," Arko elaborated. Tracing its origins from 13th century temples along the Konkan belt, the balcão is not merely a Portuguese fixture but evolved as a natural extroversion of the archaic, central-courtyard layout into a more accessible façade. The balcão is where one heckles at neighbours or retires for an afternoon siesta. Reviving this culture of serendipity and chance encounters, Otherworld broke down the external walls on the ground floor, sculpting the outdoor porch with an island bar as its focal point.

You can find accents of dark wood sourced from Goa's state tree, Matti.
You can find accents of dark wood sourced from Goa's state tree, Matti.Suryan and Dang

Looming above the bar is a pistachio-hued armature inserted to look like a mezzanine, nicknamed the 'library' that is made of metal and fluted glass, showcasing imported liqueurs and cultural artefacts. Embellished with arches prevalent throughout the design vocabulary, this floating cantilever also bears arboreal-inspired lights, shooting out in slender stems and unfolding with the elegance of touch-me-not leaves. A bamboo canopy with elliptical skylights, ensheathes the balcão, allowing sunlight to play a game of hide-and-seek across the hand-cast chipped flooring. In synchrony with local workshop Jyamiti & Sea, the ovular terrazzo iterations of Indian patented stone and marble that bespatter the ground, punctuate the otherwise uninterrupted concrete with a textural playfulness.

Plated eclectically by Chef Sanjib Das, Terttulia Goa serves a head spinning assortment of cross-pollinated cuisine, from Prosecco Butter Poached Prawns to the lip-smacking Shitake and Truffles Croquettes. Though their cashew and cream cheese riddled Eggplant Cannelloni is an unrivalled scene stealer, you could only round off the meal with a cocktail or two. Their Melon Sangria, Chamomile Fizz and Smoked Picante are crying out for attention. The restaurant's central bar serves as a bridge between the interior and exterior, becoming the new balcão of the transformed house. The architects succeeded in re-establishing the connection between Rupali and the city, creating a space that feels like a public garden, adorned with concrete benches under a bamboo canopy. Terttulia stands as a unique and inviting landmark, celebrating the spirit of Goa.

You can explore their menu here.