- Chief Designer: Rahul Deshpande
- Structural Designer: Sagar Parab
- Project In Charge: Manjunath Hiremath
- Site Supervision: Dattaraj Naik, Aaditya Gaunekar
- Client: Goa State Urban Development Authority
- City: Panaji
- Country: India
Text description provided by the architects. A unique design assignment. Four varied religious groups, Hindus, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Lingayat, share One parcel of Land to perform the last rights and perform rituals for their departed. The greatest challenge was each religion had its own stringent and divergent approaches to the design, in terms of color, expression, visual language, and privacy. The municipality divided the land into different segments and had common access. It was important to express the design in a universal language to convey the sensitivity of the program while giving each community its sense of identity and personality.
We chose Bricks and used them in their natural color from a local kiln, in the entire construction signifying the very inspiration for this project. “You are a part of this Earth, all along, in life as in Death “An anonymous Hindu once penned. The Bricks and their color were used for all communities, creating a sense of oneness of humanity.
Even before we started the design, we named the MOKSHA, which in the Sanskrit language means “ Liberation “ from the cycle of Life and Death, Liberation from Desire and Greed, Liberation from the world”. The ultimate salvation. The design followed the same trajectory. Simple lines, the soothing play of mass and voids, and the minimal use of light all express calm and silence in unison. Towards nothingness.
The design process took nine years as the religious groups, the clergy, the sentiments, the egos, and the bureaucracy contributed to the problems and subsequently found the solutions. The construction was simple masonry in English bond, meticulously designed with concrete columns and steel structure. The roof was pitched and covered with local clay tiles.
The experience of space compliments the mood of the mourners and attempts to counsel them, subtly but surely. The huge volume in the lobby, scarcely lit with a light from the sky signifying the loss, yet reflecting we are in the end alone, in this huge wide world. The latticed steel structure leads the mourners to the final point, where they can witness the cremation. The Pyres have a shelter reminiscent of a small countryside house, somehow creating a feeling that the loved one is leaving for his final journey from home and not from a burning pyre.