Exploratorim in Sinharaja

Dilrukshika Ranjan
Srí Lanka

Project idea

The Project idea
The project is to design an Exploratorium at Sinharaja forest to conserve it by spreading the knowledge and value of it. Which will help in conserving nature and also in finding solutions and ideas to protect Sinharaja. Therefore the project is to facilitate the Eco-tourists by making their needs meet the end an also to provide adequate knowledge of Sinharaja and conservation.

Forests are one of the major blessings of Mother Nature. It helps in balancing the eco-system and provides a significant amount of oxygen. In these categories Tropical rain forests are high in biodiversity.

Sinharaja Rain forest
Sinharaja is one of the largest tropical rainforest in the World and least disturbed rainforest in Sri Lanka. It’s located in the southwest low land of Sri Lanka. With the evolutions of 150-200million years sinharaja stays unique and special with its historical, cultural, ecological and Economical values.
As all the rain forests sinharaja has a high biodiversity of flora and fauna. Having a large number of endemic species, migrant species and undiscovered species, sinharaja is known as a biological hot spot. Some rare medicinal plants can be found only in Sinharaja.

Sinharaja faces threats of illegal actions. Such, as gem mining, logging, hunting and collecting rare medicinal plants are occurring in sinharaja. Which paves path to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and unbalance the eco system.

Sinharaja and tourism
Visitors to Sinharaja in ancient times visited it for its historical, spiritual and medical purposes. But with time and access to information people visited sinharaja not only for historic purposes but also to view its natural beauty and to conduct scientific research. Today it has gone beyond. Visitors range from wild life enthusiasts, photographers, adventure travelers, scientific researchers to school children and university students. Therefore the interruption of forest is also high and also can be a threat. Therefore the basic project idea is to protect the forest through visitors by giving adequate knowledge of Sinharaja.
Goals & Objectives
-Provide knowledge of Sinharaja and it's values
-Motivate visitors to protect Sinharaja
-Preserve the astonishing forest

Project description

Exploratorium in Sinharaja
Conveying knowledge evolves forever and one of the best way to convey knowledge is through experiencing it. Therefore,An Exploratorium in Sinharaja can be a eye-opener through the experiences.
Although, Sinharaja itself an exploratorium, one cannot experience and understand the value of it due to restricted access hence the solution needs to be more than, an exploratorium. From which visitors will gain knowledge and also understand the treasure sinharaja. Which will pave path towards conservation of sinharaja.

The theme-Evolution of mankind and information
The knowledge and information became more interesting and took in different forms in 21st century human seek more than this visual information. They seek total experience where all sensors are triggered. Virtual reality games and videos and 8d cinemas are proof to this. Current generation grasps knowledge more by sensing or by experiencing or finding out by themself.
Therefore an experiencing centre which cater all the senses and creates curiosity is much needed in Sinharaja.
These experiencing centers can help to see things with the heart and all senses triggering a mindful experience which in turn could help the visitor to realize the significance of sinharaja and protecting it.
Hence which leads them to come up with innovative and creative thoughts which will not only lights up sinharaja and our nation but also the world.
Therefore Sinharaja should have a centre which will make the visitor curious to seek knowledge, which will teach them to value Sinharaja and also conserve it.

project theme: Experiencing Centre
“Experience is the best teacher” is an old cliché which simply shows the importance of experience in knowledge seeking. Experiencing can be acquired by situations, thoughts and also by senses. Therefore sensing a place can be a milestone in learning.
Therefore, an experiencing centre to be designed at sinharaja to help in the conservation of forest needs to have,
experiences of spaces that can be felt with all senses,
and through this stimulation of senses needs to provoke thoughts and make the visitor feel think and behave.
-one of the best achievement for nature through architecture.
(Thoughts and experiences which create a mind changing impact.)

Experiencing Centre in Sinharaja and special progression
To achieve the concept,the experiencing center will have series of space transitionswhich will be a trailer of sinharaja to create a curiosity to go in, and an awareness of how to and what to seek in sinharaja.
This experiencing center’s sub spaces will reminisce,
Gallery 1:"sinharaja"
Gallery 2:“man & nature-the sustainable period”
Gallery 3:“what if no Sinharaja-imagination”
in a manner to create an awareness without weighing the enthusiasm.

Therefore the subspaces will have the essence of certain periods.
Ex: “what if no sinharaja gallery” will have the cafeteria and baggage center. The concept of the space will be achieved though the volume of spaces and material usage.

While travelling through galleries, because of the difference space sequence people can compare gallery 1 and gallery 3 and understand the value of Sinharaja forest.

Conceptual idea
The project will give a different perspective of sinharaja not only through visuals but with perceptions and visionaries. This will give sensation along with curiosity to explore sinharaja with the knowledge of what to seek and how to seek.


“Journey of Perceiving the revelation”

How the concept will work
The visitor will be guided through spaces and experience different spaces and finally they reach a place which will reminisce the Sinharaja forest. At the end point (Observation tower-before entering the Sinharaja forest) they can see the path the came along and realize a tale that was there. But one step ahead this demo will not only guide but let them take their own time and enjoy with all senses.

Design inspiration
The path of information from sensors to brain
The path will have nodes and the message is conveyed carefully and reaches the brain at end with will creates an outcome of action or thought. But the whole process is done subconsciously but effectively.
Interpretation of the inspiration
The multiple travelling paths will connect to several nodes which allows the visitor roam as they like. Which let their curiosity stay alive and let them explore in their own pace. Parallelly, the spaces will convey information subconsciously. The end point, the observation center will overlook the entire experiencing center, and gives an impact, that stimulates thoughts and actions.

Technical information

An experiencing centre itself should be exemplary in each and every way therefore the entire project uses eco friendly materials and touches the earth light and it minimizes the interruption to the forest, flora and fauna.
The Cross laminated Timber is used to make a magical space that reminisce the magic of early mornings of Sinharaja. CLT timber pieces of varies sizes appropriately jointed to create a curvy structure which not only caters for human but also to the eco system and the nature.

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