2.9.2013

Kirinda House in Hambantota, Sri Lanka

Located in the south-east coast of Sri Lanka, the village of Kirinda is a community of Islamic fishermen. On December 26, 2004, most of buildings of the village were swept away by the Tsunami of the Sumatra Earthquake. The villagers were forced to live in temporary houses’ severe conditions. This post-Tsunami rehabilitation project included construction of 45 houses and a mosque, and tree planting.

Each house has two bed rooms, a hall and a roofed court which is a semi-open space. The hall and the roofed court could be one large room. However, to respect the lifestyle of the villagers, these rooms could also be separated by folding doors. It is necessary for women to avoid being seen by their guests in person. The roofed court is a space like the shade of a tree, which provides protection from direct sunlight and ventilation through the house. Therefore this space plays an important role in the life of inhabitants; having meals with family, enjoying socializing with neighbors and repairing their fishing nets and equipment. Since this is a rehabilitation project, importance lay in reducing the cost and shortening construction period.

The principal material was compressed earth blocks or CEB, a compressed mixture of clay and cement available in Sri Lanka at a very low cost which does not require skilled labor. The block has un uneven surface, so that it can be easily interlocked and built up like LEGO blocks. Between the foundation wall and core, were placed furniture units that were made from rubber trees, also a locally sourced natural material. Although not normally used as an architectural material, they can be acquired at a low cost in Sri Lanka because they have been planted all over the country by the expansion of the tire industry. The furniture units were pre-fabricated and installed on-site.

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