German Tech – Kilinochchi
SLGTI Kilinochchi represents a major component of German co-orparation in the north of Sri Lanka, contributing to the development, reconstruction and reconciliation effort of the war torn northern province. It provides vocational education & training opportunities at National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) levels 4 to 6 for 600 students.
This 10,000m2 complex not only provide vocational infrastructure, but also, supporting facilities such as male & female hostels, teacher & staff quarters, canteen & multi-purpose hall/auditorium. It strives to set an example of power efficiency by generating 50% of the required power by photovoltaic solar panels and also following a green building concept by preserving and promoting mature trees and rainwater collection in the design process
Construction of SLGTI commenced on 04th November 2014. First phase of the project comprised of completion of admin office bldg, vocational educational buildings and canteen building by July 2015 including fully equipping the vocational educational buildings with training equipment for teacher/instructor training of nine (09) months from July 2015 to March 2016. Residential buildings including male & female dormitories and staff quarters were completed by March 2016 for the completion of phase: 2 SLGTI, and first student intake.
SLGTI Kilinochchi was meant to be the “German Tech North” the second German Tech in Sri Lanka after highly successful vocational training provider for 4 decades Ceylon German Technical Training Institute (CGTTI) in Ratmalana, Western Sri Lanka. SLGTI Kilinochchi (German Tech North) was expected to follow in the footsteps of its highly successful sister organization CGTTI (German Tech South) and follow the same ‘German Tech Brand’ synonymous with providing successful technical training for thousands of skilled workers in Sri Lanka over the years.
MATERIALS, STRUCTURE AND CONSTRUCTION
The site was arranged to form three zones, administration, vocational and residential. Admin building is located in the first 1/3rd of the land, before the enlarged water retainer canal/pond, while second 1/3rd was laid out with a group of vocational education buildings facing a central landscaped common green area in the middle. Third 1/3rd of the land is alocated for residential facilites and canteen.
Canteen is one of the two, double storied buildings in the complex, the other being the admin and auditorium building. Located on the main central axis of the compound, these two double storied buildings, visually anchor the vocational and residential areas to the central axis of the complex, which is planned as a landscaped green area for common gatherings. Additionally admin building is purposefully orientated and planned to signify the ‘main entry’ to the SLGTI premises through an entrance arch formed by the building itself.
Orientation of all buildings, their architecture and the materials used are a directly determined by the physical conditions & context of the Nothern province and the function of the complex itself. use of rugged material such as Zn/al sandwich panel roofing, exposed bricks, exposed concrete finishes and long horizontal building forms , follows the function of technical training as well as it mimic the vast open flat terrains and low lying buildings of the Nothern province.
Admin building is treated with much finer finishes to give prominence to it as the main administrative center, as well as the main entrance to the complex. Vocational buildings are constructed out of exposed wire cut brickwork and exposed concrete structures to promote a robust outlook to depict its functions as well as for less maintenance. The windows are shaded by cantilevering concrete sunshades and set of concrete louvers are placed in between the canopies and roof to allow heated air to escape through the building to cut down heat trapping within.
Both, vocational and hostel blocks are formed in ‘u’ shape plan form with a central courtyard wrapped around by one room thickness building to facilitate optimum cross ventilation and allow ample natural light to the interiors. Windows positioned on either side of this thin section use black powder coated aluminium multiple sashed top hung glazed windows, providing contrast to the otherwise neutral background. Out of the ‘u’ block one wing is laid out with classrooms for theoretical training and the other wing with workshops for practical training. Classrooms and workshops are separated from each other by the courtyard in the middle, to prevent noise pollution from workshops effecting classrooms.
Canteen building depicts a much relaxed and casual expression with its open areas and butterfly roof, giving a ‘futuristic’ twist to the “German tech North”. All gently sloping monopitch Zn/al sandwich panel roofs are orientated to obtain maximum sunlight for the photovoltaic panels as well as to cut down glare without, blocking natural light in to the buildings. The extended eaves serve this purpose well, apart from protecting the buildings from heavy monsoonal rains, which fall during last three months of the year.
Seasonal dry canal occurring in the first 1/3rd of the land was enlarged, forming turfed embankments on either side using backfilled soil, from foundation soil replacement procedure, adopted due to high clay content and resultant swelling nature of the existing soil. Iit resulted in a landscape feature and a water retention pond, with a spillway, retaining a water body of 600mm (2’-0” feet) in this dry landscape.
A twenty six year war does etch indelible sacrs on a nation, more so on its youth who were born into the war and continued to live throughout its inescapable tentacles, especially the youth of the North & East of Sri Lanka. However, the end of the war brought hope for peace. The government of Sri Lanka intensified its efforts to accelarate economc development, especially in the war affected North & East. Hence in collabaration with KFW German Development Corparation Bank, through its ministry of skills development and vocational training, numerous plans were launched to create a sustainable foundation of ‘skilled ‘ people by ‘empowering’ them with vocational training, to push this economic agenda. An urgent response was needed at the end of the war and a catalyst was required to foster the skills of the youth who would confidently and competently spearhead this vision. The need to create and nuture a sustainable, employable base of “young people with skills” in the North & East became a national imperative.
After 3 decades of civil war, Sri Lanka’s Northern & Eastern provinces were substantially devastated & destroyed leaving thousands of inhabitants homeless, properties destroyed, disabled and widowed, with population which survived the violent war lacking any soft or hard skills. This lack of skills due to the decades long drawn out war, negatively affected the reconstruction effort in the Northern province, as skilled & semi-skilled workers had to be employed from the country’s South, depriving Northern populace the vital opportunity to gain the much needed economic benefits from the reconstruction effort. As German Development Cooperation Bank (KFW Bank Germany) initiated vocational training in the North (VTN) project with SLGTI as its core training centre, teaching NVQ levels 4 to 6, while eight other smaller vocational training centers were established in other districts of the Northern province, training NVQ levels 1 to 3 as feeder centers to main center SLGTI Kilinochchi.
Therefore this SLGTI Kilinochchi training centre is projected to be a vital vocational skills training centre, which also allows students not only from north but also from the southern parts of the country to study, helping to resume and strengthen ties once almost broken between North and South because of the long drawn out war.
Since SLGTI is located in the former LTTE held areas of the North- administrative capitol Kilinochchi, which bore the brunt of the destruction during the final stages of the war, the project was intended to be a ‘Beacon’ in the “regeneration” of the heavily devastated surroundings of Kilinochchi, stimulating further growth in the area.
Situated in Araviyalnagar- wisdom village in Tamil-, this project is expected to be first among educational facilities in this particular area, emphasizing the need to forget the destructive past, forging national reconciliation and looking to the future by way of skills education, one of only few “social ladders” available to the under privileged, war torn backward minority communities of the northern province of Sri Lanka. Therefore the social impact of this project, situated in the war torn Northern province is significant and expected to assist generations of students to gain vocational skills and contribute to the national economy.
It was also expected to fill in as a vocational training provider in the war torn Nothern Province, satisfying a vital need of a society lacking vocational skills after decades old war, in turn helping students to move up in the ‘social ladder’ through vocational education, and achieve much needed economic stability in the economicaly reeling northern Province.
The vocational training offered to youth at this institute will encourage them to gain technical and vocational skills and high degree of proficiency in their chosen vocational trades, with the understanding that they are a vital moving force of the future economic development of the Northern region and the country. SLGTI Kilinochchi, encompasses founding ethos of imparting ‘employable skills’ that will encourage ‘entrepreuerial ventures’ and equip young people in the North with competancies and abilities leading to empowerment, that will induce economic development of the region in general.
Location : Kilinochchi