Urban Design and Landscape

Connectivity Trailscape: Enhancing Heritage Landscape of Matara City

Hasitha Malake Dissanayake
University of Moratuwa (UoM), Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Moratuwa
Srí Lanka

Project idea

Connectivity Trailscape: Enhancing Heritage Landscape

Matara City, Matara, Sri Lanka.

Project Formulation:

Connect the Important Spaces and Places in the City through an Urban Trail to expose the city value to the visitors.


To create Connectivity between Spaces of Importance, need to Recognize Users, Cultural + Social, Natural, Spiritual and Historical Value of Matara.


1. Making connection between Special areas of the City.
2. Enhancing Cultural, Historical, Social, Spiritual, and Natural values of Matara.
3. Making Spaces for City Users.
4. More Social Interactions between People.

Project description

The project Connectivity Trailscape: Enhancing Heritage Landscape of Matara City mainly focused on recognition of the importance of the city and its main components. Matara City got many remarkable landmarks like Star Fort, Historical buildings in Kumarathuga Street, Matara Bodhiya, Fort Wall and Clock Tower, but less attraction for those areas. The city known as main administrative area of Matara district and a well-known commercial hub. The city is also a major transportation hub in Sri Lanka with railway station and bus station which use by most of public to their needs. Main remarkable areas are all over the city in different spaces and less attraction was given for those areas by users and visitors. The city also gets a cultural value and spiritual value centering Matara Bodiya.

So, the Connectivity of Historically important areas, all surrounding landscape of the area and social-cultural interactions among people are not connected to reveal the Heritage and Identity of the Matara City.

The people who come from Railway Station will engage in activities and sceneries in Urban Trail through the city to Bus Station for experience the city and its’ important areas. Areas will consist Railway Station, Railway station road, St. Thomas Street, Kumarathunga Road, Matara Bodiya and Star Fort area, Nilwala River, Fort wall and grounds and finally Bus Station area to complete the journey.

Technical information


PRIMARY- Local and Foreign Travelers & Commuters
SECONDARY- Residents
TERTIARY- Street Vendors

Matara Municipal Council

Organization of world heritage cities

Design Spaces:

1. Railway Station

The Strings- Structure for reveal idea about the city. Distributed facilities for make pattern to reveal user ideas. There are 6 installed structures with string art on it.
Seating Area- Provided space and shade for users of the railway station.
Car Park- Facility provided for long distance travelers from city and other users who use railway station.
Bike Park- For users of the railway station
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

2. Railway Street
Seating & Shade- For users of the railway station & users of commercial areas.
Car Park- For some residences in then street & commercial area users in an emergency.
One Way Road- Vehicle flow is one way to Nilwala Bypass road direction.
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

3. St. Thomas Street

Cultural Mask Wall- Wall that consist of variety of masks from southern culture. Masks can move like a puzzle where users can get an idea about masks by arranging them in a correct pattern.
Activity Pavement- Pavement area to do mask moving in the street.
Walking Path - Path to walk in the street & area to watch mask moving activities in then street.
One Way Road- Vehicle flow is one way to Nilwala Bypass road direction.
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

4. Kumarathunga Street

Facade Highlighted Area- Area is highlighted with wider pavement and different paving in the street. User can get access or observe the colonial era structures and get an idea about the past.
Seating & Shade- In the highlighted areas seating & shade provided for users in that area who explore old buildings.
One Way Road- Vehicle flow is one way to Matara Bodhiya/ Star Fort direction.
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

5. Matara Bodiya Square Area

Sri Karathota Nahimi Street- Seating Area For the users of Mohotti Hospital & surrounding environment
Historical Wall + Seating Area- Wall that revels identity of past Matara & it visually direct towards Matara Bodhiya. Some part of the area also facilitated seating
Matara Bodhiya Area- Area is highlighted with paving surround the Bodhiya area.
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

6. Bus Station and Fort Rampart Area

Bollards- To stop vehicles to enter the Fort area by using tunnel in the rampart.
Car Park- For the users of the administration area and people who use the city.
Cycle Park- For the users of the administration area, from here cycles are provided to travel into the fort inner area.
Bike Park- For users of administration area.
Vendor Huts- Vendors can come here and do their activities in here. Slots are available in the space vendors need to come and attach their huts to the slots.
Upper Rampart Area- Give viewpoints of Nilwala River, Parei Duwa, Indian Ocean & Urban environment surround the bus station area.
Seating Area- For users of the Administration, Bus station, the trail & other city users.
String Frame Structure- After ending their walk along the city, user might get a different idea about city. So, space provided for reveal their idea about the city.
*Colored paving to guide user through the trail provided in the street.

Master Proposal Suggestions:

1. Facade highlighted Historical trail continuation to the Nupe Market Area
2. Develop St. Thomas Street as Cultural Street
3. Historical Facade walk continuation to the Inner Fort area.
4. shuttle service from railway station to Bus Station
5. Boat Ride service through Nilwala River

Proposed Structures:

1. The Strings- Space for two do string arts
2. Cultural Mask Wall- To identify cultural devil mask industry in southern culture
3. Historical Wall- The area to recognize "Core of Matara" with the past
4. Vendor Huts
5. Seating Areas
6. Rain Garden and Bioswales

Planting Concept:

Main concern in planting concept is work with the user. Space of the street, shade give to the user, comfort of the street and users, identity of important spaces in streets and how user use the streets and spaces within the streets need to be concern in the planting concept.

Material Concept:

When a user walks through the streets and stay in somewhere in the trail and observing streets, need to give uniqueness to the area. Flow of the user, activity in the certain area and space in the street are needed to work together to give unique recognition to the user.

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