Community Centre – Thalalla
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS), invited the architects to design and supervise a community centre building for the tsunami affected community of Thalalla, Southern Sri Lanka. Total budget allocation was Sri Lankan rupees six (06.25) million (55,000/- US$ approx.)Due to budget constraints walls were left exposed brickwork without plaster and paint, and concrete columns and beams including roof beams were left raw concrete. It increased the textured tactile quality of the centre. Roof was left ceiling-less, leaving the possibility for the clay tiled roof to breathe, due to its permeability. Materials used are carefully selected with emphasis on locally available materials such as clay burnt bricks, cement, hardwood timber and clay roof tiles.
The center was designed as a single storey building which could accommodate an additional storey or a floor inside its steeply sloping roof, leaving flexibility for future expansions. User value of this 250 square meter (2700 square feet) modest space compared to the activities it offers are wide ranging. Being housed in a village Buddhist temple – the center for village religious activities- gave the center more value and added advantage as it could be used for various religious activities in addition to community gatherings. For the ‘not so wealthy temple’ it was a great resource, which can be put to use in multitude of ways. The raised stilts floor is intended to withstand a future flood, while it double up as a ‘Tsunami Shelter’ once the mezzanine floor on top of the double height space is installed. This ‘Multi-purpose flexibility’ of the center constructed of a modest budget of US $ 55,000/= is value for money indeed for Tsunami hit Thalalla villagers and The Temple.
- Location : Thalalla