Koswatta House Nawala
Land costs in suburbs of Colombo have risen so high in recent years that it is imperative to think on new lines when planning a house. Average plot sizes in Colombo sub-urbs have shrunk below 200m2 & inward looking courtyard houses have becoe so much the norm. This to make certain what breezes cool the rooms, what views the rooms look out onto, what trees, if any, the courtyard can contain, & how private & serene the house can be, the limits of the site must be one’s world. Roofed & unroofed rooms are the result; open and closed, large & small spaces, limited and separated and sized by the purposes and pleasures of the people who are to live in them. This house has one front garden, central courtyard and rear garden and every room looks onto at least two of them.
The plan take the form of a pattern of linked pavilions, gardens and courtyards all disposed around a large central courtyard or ‘meda midula’ with a swimming pool contained within the parameter wall. Every room was naturally ventilated from two sides. The most important element is the courtyard, with its swimming pool, its stone walls and its small trees. It is this place that breathes for the whole house and that registers the passage of time and the changing patterns of the weather. When the sun shines, the courtyard glows and transmits a diffused light into the first floor living room and when it rains it is as if solid curtain of falling water has been drawn across the balconies.
There was something modern about the open relationship between the living room and exterior courtyard which created the illusion of infinite space on a small plot of land
A number of new devices were incorporated- projecting ‘bay windows’ boxed out with vertical timber slatted multiple sashed windows
The materials used are cost-effective, locally produced- a simple concrete frame with rubble walls and roof on corrugated cement sheeting. The overhanging eaves shield the rooms from sun and monsoon rain, and the section encourages cooling drafts.
Consultants: Chinthaka Wickramage Associates
Project Architect: Chinthaka Wickramage
Structural Engineer: Deeptha Senanayake
Quantity Surveyor: Sunanda Gnanasiri
Architectural Assistants: Dhanushka Welagedara, Lasni Welikala, Shehan Oshada Herath, Awishka Muthu Tharaki
Location : Koswatta House Nawala