5. Juli 2019
Located in Imaduwa Galle District, Sri Lanka this is a second home and retreat space for a Sri Lankan ethno musician and jazz drummer
Located on the clients’ ancestral lands, in the Lowland wetzone of SriLanka about 60km from Singharaja Rainforest. The land had been abandoned for decades because of constant flooding, the client wanted to reclaim the land and renew his connection to his village where he had spent his childhood. The land is located close to a creek, surrounded by a thicket, and in a farming community. The musician and his young family desired a leisure space, a weekend get away from their busy urban living, a space to enjoy being close nature and living outdoors. The musician had a very small construction budget and wanted quick and cost efficient construction. He was concerned about the flood prone nature of the land.
The structure attempts to negotiate a flood prone landscape, while making minimal impact to the surrounding environment. The idea of the lightness and temporality of the landscape determined the decision to use scaffolding as an exoskeleton. Structured like an arthropod, with an exoskeleton built of steel scaffolding, offers flexibility to reassemble this building on higher ground if desired (as the land is flood prone) .The structure comprises of 3 main platforms, the living , dining& pantry platform connected to two bedroom wings with light bridges, angled to the views of the surrounding vegetation, creek and distant mountains. By using an innovative ‘ out of the box’ but an easily available affordable material, such as a steel scaffold, The larger aim was to test and provide an affordable solution to building in a flood prone landscape and thus a solution for flood related natural disasters in Sri Lanka and similar developing countries which have limited resources. The structure can be adapted, dismantled and re-assembled if required, with relatively less resources.
The temporal quality of the structure ensures that it is more a viewing platform from which to experience the extraordinary beauty of the site and the surrounding wildlife.
Materials of Construction Details:
The size of scaffold formed the modular in the construction, the dimension and proportion of the rooms and openings were resultant of this modular. The building required less labour, post footing stage; the structure only took 2 months to build.
Keeping the structure more a deck / vantage point in the landscape very few walls were used, and when used in the bedroom were light weight superflex dry walls on timber frame. (Exception was the toilet wall in brick).The living area is surrounded by adjustable glass louvers to enable cross ventilation, and permeable to the views.
Flooring in the structure has repurposed timber flooring on timber purlins in the bedrooms and living areas with all externals decks and verandas have painted steel checker plate flooring. Staircase designed out of steel frame and steel mesh. Boardwalk to the structure is made of reused scaffolding platform panels on elevated galvanized iron tubes.
The furniture is largely reclaimed or repurposed from leftover materials from the site during from construction. The clients were very involved with the construction process. The architect’s team and clients spent time custom building the furnishing with the salvaged material.
Built with lightweight materials , steel to gentle perch on the land as a solution to flood impacted land, where the structure can be dismantled and reassembled on higher ground
Construction waste salvaged and repurposed materials used from the construction site, example scaffolding platforms was reused in the creation of paths furniture on site, steel mesh left ovwer was fabricated to form the sofa. Waste parchment paper was used to create the hive lamp (created by the architects office) and hung as a sculptural living room lamp.Left over timber was used in the creation of kitchen counters. Material crates became the base of the mattress.
Low cost to match the clients budget
The cost determined a simple construction technique requiring less labour
The structure follows the dimensions of the scaffold as a modular. The floor is at 5’ -6”, the height of the scaffold with a 6” base pad , hence the decks and living spaces are at 5’feet from Ground and above the flood plane
The structure is merely an elevated deck or framework within the existing landscape to observe the views of the nearby creeks, riparian zone and surrounding wildlife. It’s also deeply ensconced in the village life and activities and thus connected to the surrounding farming community.
The land and lifted structure ensures that the everyday rhythm of the site is still retained, the local villagers continue to use the land to graze their cattle, which move under the deck structure, graze and rest in the shade of the structure, the creek border has several bird species .
Very little labour was required and construction was quick
By using an innovative ‘ out of the box’ but an easily available affordable salvagable material, such as a steel scaffold, The larger aim was to test an affordable solution to building in a flood prone landscape and thus a solution for flood related natural disasters in Sri Lanka and similar developing countries. The structure can be adapted, dismantled and re-assembled if required, with relatively less resources.
The clients and his family were open minded & very involved with the construction process. They spent time with the architect’s team helping custom build the furnishing from salvaged construction material from site, making the project a very collaborative one.
Images: Courtesy of Palinda Kannangara Architects