Project: ENDEMIC WETLAND SPECIES PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION CENTER
A wetland supports a high concentration of animals (mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates etc.) and serve as nurseries for rare, threatened, endangered fauna. Amongst the Sri Lankan’s total inland vertebrate species in Sri Lanka, about 30% are ecologically dependent on wetlands. Among the migratory birds that visit Sri Lanka annually, more than 50% are directly dependent on wetlands for food and shelter. Furthermore, the future survival of approximately 32% of the nationally threatened vertebrate faunal species in Sri Lanka is dependent on wetland ecosystems of the island. Hence wetlands are vital to be conserved.
In the current context, due to destruction and loss of habitat, illegal use of wildlife, poaching, overexploitation of resources, road accidents and lack of conservation awareness has led to a negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems on wetland making it critically endangered. If these species are not protected, they will extinct from the ecosystem leaving nothing for future generations. When these valuable species get injured, there’s no any place around to treat or keep them until they get cured. So, it is important to create a place to help them when they get hurt. Creating a wetland wildlife hospital will be an ideal solution for this issue and it also suits for the location since it’s a wetland wildlife hospital near the wetland and animals can be treated in their natural environment.
CONCEPT – “WARM HEARTS FOR UNSPOKEN WORDS”
The concept was inspired by the mangrove roots which is commonly found around the site and inspiring from how animals move inside mangrove roots to protect themselves from threats/predators, wait until they feel safe and move out from roots to their environment. The center will also collect endangered/threatened wildlife, protect them, and letting out to their natural environment when they are safe while giving the awareness to the community.
The shape of the design layout was determined by the surrounding context which has a shape that blends with the surrounding environment allowing free smooth flow of wind through the building and makes the minimum impact to the ground. The design has 3 buildings and the selected sites for the animal hospital and awareness area are located next to the wetland and the structure of those two buildings are built on a timber supported by stills as in case of a flood and to do a minimum damage to the wetland during construction. The site for the main entrance building is located near the main road.
The buildings are placed apart from each other and linked by paths. Existing trees are used as physical barriers to separate them. The buildings on the land are heavily shaded with surrounding trees and covered with vegetation which makes the surrounding a cooler environment. Main entrance building is located near the main road facing the sea and it catches the sea breeze which makes the building more cross ventilated throughout the day. Wildlife hospital has a separate entrance for its activities.
All the 3 buildings are oriented in a strategic way to avoid direct exposure to heat from direct light which is the NW- SE orientation and the wind flows the direction of NE-SW, the orientation of the building will allow wind to flow through the building smoothly making the interior cooler.
The main entrance building is oriented in a way to catch the sea breeze and to ventilate itself, landscape is done in such a manner that it creates wind channels into the site to ventilate the animal hospital and awareness area which are located near the wetland. The open space interior creates good natural cross ventilation making the spaces more comfortable. Areas with partitions have louvered windows which allows cross ventilation throughout the day through the spaces. Another use of building on stills is, it catches winds of a higher velocity. The open footings at the bottom also allows ventilation underneath.
The open bamboo structure allows indirect sources of light to light up the interior during the day time. Windows are kept low and shaded by the large curve thatch roof which reduce the glare from the open sky. During the night, interior lighting shrines through the cracks in the wall to make the building glow from within.
For a climate in the current context, use of low thermal and high-insulation materials are the most suitable to have a thermal comfort. Materials like bamboo and wood have good insulating properties which prevents heat coming into the building. The large thatch roof controls the solar radiation and gives more shade inside. The large curve roof also gives good protection against rain. Since the interior partitions are not get affected by the rain, the widows can be left open even during the rain.
To achieve the mangrove root like form with a light weight structure while creating a minimum impact to the sensitive ground, the structure is built on a timber deck supported by footings. The shape of the form is taken by using bending GI pipes. Then GI pipes are covered with bamboo to make it looks like natural. Since the main structure is done by GI pipes and it creates some considerable weight on the ground, other materials were chosen carefully where they do not add more weight on the structure. So, the roof is done with bamboo and thatch and the partitions which divides the spaces are done by using bamboo sticks because these materials create a less weight on the structure.
To reduce the impact to the environment, the buildings are constructed using manual labor. It will minimize the vibrations and the pollution caused by the heavy machineries. The common building materials such as bamboo, thatch, and rammed earth walls are consumed from the surrounding saving the cost on transportation and the carbon pollution caused in transportation making the design more ecofriendly.
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