SLGTI – Kilinochchi
Sri Lanka German Training Institute (SLGTI) , Araviyalnagar, Kilinochchi
Written by Archt. Dhushyanthy Jayawardena
Located about six kms south of Kilinochchi town near Iranamadu, the project area was a former terrorist stronghold in a brutal civil war that spanned three decades. This area was extensively destroyed by the ravages of war. There was a need to rehabilitate the youth in this area as they faced many years of hardship, with very little opportunities for education or skills development. The dearth of skilled labour negatively affected the reconstruction effort in the North, as skilled & semi-skilled workers had to be employed from the country’s South, depriving the North the vital opportunity to gain much needed economic benefits from the reconstruction effort. Therefore in collaboration with the KFW German Development Corpoation Bank and the Government of Sri Lanka SLGTI was started as a beacon of rejuvanation in the area. It would serve as the sister institute to the highly successful Ceylon German Training Centre in the South of the island. The SLGTI curriculum would provide its students the National Vocational Qualification (NQV) levels 4-6 in six specialized areas.
Occupying 10,000 square meters this complex is arranged along a central axis and is anchored on either end by two – two storey blocks which house the administration/auditorium buildings and the canteen. One enters the complex under a sky-bridge that connects the administration and auditorium building, intentionally designed to create a sense of entry while fulfilling a practical need for student movement between the areas. There is a clear segregation on plan of the structures according to their use; namely – Administration zone, Vocational training areas and the Residential zone. While this systematically arranges the management of the institute it also allows the lessons to continue undisturbed. One enters the complex across a pond, once a dry seasonal canal which has now been dredged and landscaped. The soil used to construct the embankment of the pond was taken from the site itself as certain areas required soil replacement. The low walls of the bridge invites students to sit and is used frequently by them. The central area features a turfed courtyard which is interspersed with trees creating a much needed oasis from the arid climate. It has become a rest area for students to gather and hang out. The remaining class room and workshop structures are single storey blocks with butterfly roofs. They follow the lay of the land which is flat as far the eye can see. The muted hues of the structures blend into the landscape.
The governing principals of the design take into consideration the many aspects of successful tropical architecture as well as cost effectiveness and easy maintenance. The use of cross ventilation and natural light is given careful design thought, throughout. The architectural elements include deep eaves, sweeping sandwich panel roofs, the use of clay bricks, concrete grills and cement floors. One million bricks were utilized and were sourced from the areas of Dankotuwa and Batticaloa and has indirectly aided in igniting that dormant industry. Concrete grills are used on the top end of walls to release the trapped hot air and thereby creates natural air flow within the enclosed areas. The long horizontal building forms, are arranged in U shaped blocks that house the classrooms on one side and workshops on the other with an interconnected covered corridor which bridges the open space in between. While the open space provides cross ventilation it also acts as a buffer against noise from the workshops. This layout mimics a real life setup for the students creating a lobby ( a place where a clients’ requirements would be discussed) and workshop area ( where the requirements would be fabricated). The finishes of the two storey administration/auditorium building is treated differently to that of the training areas so as to emphasis its prominence and also to highlight the entry point into the complex. Its exterior façade is plastered and finished with a cement handled wall Finish. The canteen building is essentially a column structure with sweeping butterfly roofs, encouraging un-interrupted air flow throughout. Utilizing the bright sunshine that is freely available year round the project uses photovoltaic solar panels to generate half of the required power supply.
This project is a pioneer educational facility in the North. It emphasizes the need to forget the destructive past, while encouraging reconciliation by way of skilled education. It is hoped that this institute will assist generations of youth to gain valuable vocational skills and contribute to the national economy.
- Client : SLGTI
- Location : Kilinochchi