Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a new admin centre for Hambantota (cSLa #5)

This is the new administrative centre under construction in Hambantota. My understanding is that this will be part of the new ‘Siribopura’

Aum & Lee Architects Associates, Keangnam Enterprises, Ltd, Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka and Kahavita De Silva (Architects) are involved in various capacities in consultancy and construction of this project.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a new town for Hambantota

Well, I managed get hold of this info from a Planning Institute of Australia doc. Wasn’t aware that PIA is so involved with Hambantota! And the master plan for the 'Siribopura' is not part of that doc, which for what ever the reason reminds me of the city plan of Beijing.


……….. As previously mentioned, there are 9 Urban Design Precincts within the
Hambantota and three defined precincts within the Sirbopura area.

The Vision for these precincts, as illustrated in figure 01 are set out below:

Foreshore Precinct: A natural vegetated area reserved for community use, with minimal structures and
incorporation of a public Tsunami Memorial garden area and other amenities into the Beach Park area.
Foreshore Conservation Precinct (East & West): To protect this area as a natural beach environment and
integral part of the Bundela Bird Sanctuary, and to allow salt production to continue in a way that does not
jeopardise this environment.
Tower Hill Heritage and Conservation Precinct: A 'Living Museum' comprising a compact heritage precinct
with buildings of architectural and historical merit, which provide a variety of cultural and tourist amenities
and commercial facilities, within a pedestrian orientated environment.
Commercial Precinct: A pedestrian orientated central precinct with a mix of heritage and modern buildings
enabling a range of commercial and residential uses and tourist related amenities, within a height restricted
built environment.
Special Residential Precinct: A special character precinct with an emphasis on walkability, road safety,
retail and restaurant functions and tourist accommodation, within a compact central area with an enforced
height restriction and emphasis on retention of heritage buildings and character.
Mixed Development Precinct: A Precinct with a mix of regenerative commercial, residential and tourist
related amenities, which will ensure the vitality of this Precinct during and after the construction, and which
maximises the views towards Lewaya Karagan.
Residential Precinct: A Residential Precinct with a variety of housing styles an which maximises the views
to, and protects the intrinsic environmental values of the adjoining coasts, wewa (ponds) and Lewaya
Karagan, during and after the construction of the Hambantota Port.
Salt Industry Precinct: A viable salt-industry Precinct which balances the salt industry needs with the
attraction of the area for tourists and locals alike, conserving the natural environment whilst allowing limited

Tsu Chi Precinct: A fully functional residential precinct representing both Sri Lankan and foreign design
elements overtime, with additional recreational, educational and small retail amenities.
CARE International Precinct: A fully functional residential precinct with ongoing attention to urban design
and with essential connections to adjoining neighbourhoods and surrounding recreational, educational
and retail amenities.
Sabaragama Housing Precinct: A fully functional residential precinct with ongoing attention to urban design
and with essential connections to adjoining neighbourhoods and surrounding recreational, educational
and retail amenities.

Further info. available at here (1) and here (2)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a new port for hambantota

The port is designed for futuristic needs of deep draughts and wide yard areas so that when the Colombo Port is unable to expand facilities, the Hambantota Port will be ready to take over that demand and be ahead of competitors in the region, he said. Containers too will be handled for the region, he said.

Hambantota is a highly underutilized land and is in close proximity to international shipping routes.

At present more than 100 vessels bypass the Sri Lanka South-West coast daily with no value addition to the country’s economy, he said.

Therefore, the Hambantota Port will be developed to cater to twelve areas - Thermal power generation, oil refinery and petrochemical industry, coal fired power plant, bunkering services, coal transshipment and distribution, ship-building and repair activities, transshipment car activities, bonded export processing zone, bulk cargo and general cargo berths, fishing activities and export of fish products and container traffic.

This blog is about the construction of the port. - HBT port blog

lived space in architecture and cinema

Some heavy stuff on cinema and architecture, if you are interested.

"Cinema is a multi-dimensional art form as Jean-Luc Godard states: 'There are several ways of making films. Like Jean Renoir and Robert Bresson, who make music. Like Sergei Eisenstein, who paints. Like Stroheim, who wrote sound novels in silent days. Like Alain Resnais, who sculpts. Like Socrates, Rossellini I mean, who creates philosophy. The cinema, in other words, can be everything at once, both judge and litigant.'4 Godard's list of the alternative ways of film making could be expanded by one more specific mode: cinema as architecture."

Photo - Lived Space in Architecture and Cinema (Juhani Pallasmaa)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

a short course on vastu shastra

It wont do any harm if you can get hold some of these books and browse through. Who knows, regardless of the content (which I honestly believe is very valuable) you might end up referring to these books any way in a few years time due to uncontrolled proliferation of pretenders to this sastra.
Canonical Vastu shastras include;
  • Manasara Silpa Shastra (by Manasara)
  • Mayamatam (by Maya)
  • Visvakarma Vastushastra (by Visvakarma)
  • Samarangana Sutradara (by Raja Bhoja)
  • Aparajita Priccha (a dialogue between Viswakarma and his son Aparajita, written by Bhuvanadevacharya)
  • Silparatna
  • Vastuvidyasastra: Ascribed to Manjusri
I rarely quote from WP (as there is no end to  it! might as well add a link to the wp and shut up), but this time it is from the WP. Read further on vastu shastra at WP.
BTW talking about vishwakarma, guess who are the guardians (gods) of 'tangible' and 'intangible' arts? yeh I know deciphering 'tangible' and 'intangible' is hard enough, forget about it!
Came across another work on vastu shastra;
  • Sarajothimalaya (by Koshraja) in Dambadeniya period in Srna Lanka
Here is a sinhala write up. If the text is garbled please follow this post to set up  sinhala unicode
සිංහලෙන් (හෝ සංස්කෘතයෙන්) 'වාස්තු විද්යාව' කියන්නෙත් ඉන්ග්රිසියෙන් architecture කියන්නෙත් හරිනම් එකම විද්යාවට තමයි. නමුත් අපි පහුගිය යුගයේ බොහොම උනන්දුවෙන් අපරදිග 'වාස්තු විද්යාව' ඉගෙනගන්නා අතර සුපුරුදු පරිදි පෙරදිග විද්යාව හෙමින්ම හැලුවා (අමතක කරා).

එකක් වාස්තු අපි ඉගෙනගත් අපරදිග පාඨමාලවේ කොටසක් නොවුනු නිසා, අනෙක කොහොමටත් අපෙ ඒවා style මදි නිසා.

නමුත් දැන් වැඩේ වන වේගනයි යන්නේ. දැන් 'වාස්තු ශාස්ත්ර' ගොඩ වෙද්දු රාශියක් බිහිවෙලා. ගිනි කතිරෙ ඇඳගන්න පුලුවන් හැම එකෙක්ම දැන් වාස්තු විද්යාඥයෙක්. වරද ඒ අයගෙ නොවේ, අපේ ( architect ලාගෙ ).

'හරි' ඉන්දියානු වාස්තු විද්යාවත් 'හොර' වාස්තු විද්යාවත් අතර වෙනස හරියට දේශීය වෛද්ය විද්යාවත් ගොඩ වෙදකමත් අතර වෙනස වගේමයි. එකක් හරි දේශීය වෙදකම, අනෙක කිසි පදනමක් නැති ගොඩ වෙදකම. වෙනස තියෙන්නේ පදනමේ.

දැන් මේකට මොකක් හරි කරන්න වේලාව හරි. අශ්වයා ගියාට පස්සෙ ඉස්තාලෙ දොර වලා වැඩක් වෙන්නේ නැහැ. පදනමක් ඇති වාස්තු විද්යාව කියන්නෙ මොකක්ද කියලා හොයා බලමුද?

අලි මදිවට කොටි කිව්වා වගේ වාස්තු මදිනම් ඔන්න තවත් එකක් ඈත ක්ෂිතිජයේ පාවෙනවා. එක තමයි feng shui

මෙන්න හොයලා බලන්න ඔනේ පොත් ටිකක්;

මනසාර ශිල්ප ශාස්ත්ර - (මනසාර ශිල්පී)
මායමත - (මායා)
විශ්වකර්ම වස්තුශාස්ත්ර - (විශ්වකර්ම)
සමරාන්ගන සූත්රධර - (රාජ භෝජ)
අපරාජිත පරිච්ච (විස්වකර්ම සහ ඔහුගෙ පුතු අතර දෙබසක්) - (භුවන දෙවාචාර්ය)
වාස්තු විද්යා ශාස්ත්ර - මන්ජුශ්රි

සරජොතිමාලය - (කොෂරාජ)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Danith and Samila Residence - (cSLa #4)

I am planning to do a serial photo-blog on works of contemporary Sri Lankan  architects and kicking it off with this house by mates Nalaka & Nilakshi. Again, as usual there is not academic or theoretical basis for the selection. Building are what I like and most of them are also happens to be done by my mates.
This house is done by Nalaka and Nilakshi while ago and they have been doing some interesting work of late. Some more of their work can be seen at their website n2architects
As usual copyrights of all the photos and sketches belong to Nalaka and Nilakshi. Please seek their permission for reuse.

Monday, June 15, 2009

ampara to kalmunai; architecture sans architects

All photos by Waruna Gomis

chandigarh: a "planned" city

"It is an urban recipe that I have encountered before in Eastern Europe, Northern France, and South America, but in India one notices that the prescriptions of the ideal city cannot entirely fend off local impulses" - Wanderlust
This is not the first time I've come across people talking about Le Corbusier and 'commie' architecture in the same breath.
Check out 'Wanderlust's'  blog
Photo credits - Wanderlust

Friday, June 12, 2009

hollywood's architect of dystopia

When film makers want a nice backdrop for good shoot-out who would they turn to? Of course o Frank Lloyd Wright and his Guggenheim museum in New York. Ramp structure is designer made for a movie set shoot out. And this is not the first time Wright's architecture has been made in  to a back drop for doomsday scenarios. Gattaca (Marin County Civic Center) and Blade Runner (Ennis House) are two of those.

Hollywood's architect of dystopia

The International

Monday, June 8, 2009

No. 87, lydia gunasekera house (cSLa #3)

Few more photos from my mate Waruna gomis' archive. This is the Lydia Gunasekera house in Bentota fronting the Galle road just after the elpitiya Road Junction. Here is some more info.

Friday, June 5, 2009

pop-up architecture

Secretariate, Chandigarh, India
Architect : Le Corbusier
Model Designer : Masaharu Asano
More models from Masaharu Asano
Photo Credits-Shimizu laboratory

Thursday, June 4, 2009

indian megacities

How mega cities are choking India according to the Wall Street Journal

Megacities Threaten to Choke India 

"Across India, poor migrants keep streaming into cities like Lucknow, many of which are woefully mismanaged and ill-equipped to handle the influx. India has at least 41 cities with more than one million people, up from 23 two decades ago. A half dozen others will soon join the megacity list. Urban experts say the risk is now rising that some of these cities could face the same fate as Mumbai and Calcutta, which became synonymous with poverty and decay in the 1970s and 1980s." (Wall Street Journal)

Read the full article

Here is an interesting counterpoint to this article.

What’s Choking India

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a report, “Megacities Threaten to Choke India,” has a catchy but misleading title. Megacities are not threatening to choke India. The megacities are choking already. What is choking India is basically primal human frailties revealed by circumstances that come about through individual rationality but end up in collective irrationality. (Atanu Day on India's development)

Read the full article

Monday, June 1, 2009

troppo architects (book #6)

Troppo Architects by Philip Goad (Author), Patrick Bingham-Hall (Photographer), Glenn Murcutt (Introduction)

Troppo is a practice of regionally based studios aiming to develop regionally responsive architectures. Check out their website