Ayurva | The Healing Link - An Ayurvedic Treatment Journey for Kurunegala

Kusal Lakshan
University of Moratuwa (UoM), Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Moratuwa
Sri Lanka

Project idea

We are in the midst of a global paradigm shift in health care as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic. On top of that the current health crisis in the country is making people more vulnerable. Hence, Hospitals are usually seen by the public with great anxiety and apprehension today.

Hospitals are no longer a healing environment. Rather it has now transformed into a building that promotes care for the physical wellbeing of people. All hospital including Ayurvedic hospitals are now neglecting its healing practices and aspirations towards the wholesome healing of a person which includes their physical, mental and social wellbeing.

In order to swift this peculiar dilemma around, Ayurvedic hospitals can be the best start to incorporate the holistic healing features into bigger healing entities to maximize their comfort level and standard of care. In fact, one of the greatest platforms to include these sensory and healing spatial characteristics that are crucial in the health and wellness sector are the ayurvedic hospitals in Sri Lanka, because Ayurveda has deep connection with the nature, environment and spiritual healing beliefs which recognizes the important role of the mind and emotions.

Ayurvedic research reviews have also proven nature is an inherent factor in the mental and physical healing process of Ayurveda. Ayurveda practices are interconnected with the practices of nature. However, it is not only the practices and the medicine of Ayurveda which includes herbal medicine natural techniques that heals people nor comfort them intimately but also the process, the care, the touch, the communications and the communal feeling that used to re-establish a person’s good health that is reflected in traditional Ayurvedic history and hospitality.

However, unfortunately this cannot be seen in the current ayurvedic hospitals in Sri Lanka. Rather they are just similar to any other hospital building which may only develop stressors that may affect to the patients and the staff utilizing the environment. There are very less sensible places in Ayurvedic buildings today and the practices of Ayurveda are no longer interconnected with the spaces, nature of the context of the hospital building.

Project description

A Hospital is basically a building. However, a building and its spaces can be designed in a particular way that they can have a positive impact on users.
But, Nowadays, hospitals (including Ayurvedic hospitals) usually have tight spaces, lack of privacy, many environmental stressors. This directly affects the patients by eliminating the facts that could support their mental state and homely welcoming feeling.

Therefore, the design intention of this project will focus on eliminating these stressors in current hospital buildings and design a space that could provide a positive and comfortable feeling for patients and healthcare workers to feel the sense of healing from within.

The position of this project is to figure out a way to incorporate the holistic healing features into bigger healing entities to maximize their comfort level and standard of care. This project tries to help create a link between the government hospital, Nursing teaching school and the ayurvedic hospital while providing a common ground of healing among all healing practices and sicknesses eradication.

The idea of the building type is based on an experimentation on how Ayurvedic practices can bring into the building in a way of making healing more sensible in the spaces within the building.

Moreover, Since the healthcare workers are often overworked in the contemporary society, it could be ideal if there is a way to incorporate such features into the built environment in a way that would directly benefit the users and indirectly benefit the workers as well. This will in fact promote the overall healing factors of the hospital and allow workers to maintain the healing aspect of their nature and practices more effectively.

This project attempts to understand ways to create a layout that allows a journey of healing by rearranging the structure of the space and connecting them with a strand of necessary movement.

Technical information

- Technical Feasibility -

With the skilled labors, earth bricks, timber, concrete, steel and rubble are used for the construction. The materiality, quality of spatial arrangement phases is always derived with biophilic design methods, so that biophilic design methods can engage with the design process and outcome of building with exposed building materials. It indicates that repeated and sustained engagement with nature and Positive interactions between people and nature.

- Interlocking compressed earth bricks -
• Interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) is a cost effective and sustainable construction material

• which has potential to bring durable and affordable homes to developing counties around the world ICEB is an earthen brick compressed with hand-operated or motorized hydraulic machines. Interlocking Compressed Earth Block (ICEB) are energy efficient because its require anywhere from 1/5 to 1/15 of the energy to make when compared to fired bricks and concrete masonry units

- Perforated Brick Walls -
• This simple design allows secure natural ventilation at minimum cost with privacy, while creating a magical quality of light internally.

- Environmental Feasibility -

• In the program of the project, Ayurveda plants have been planted within the context as a sustainable solution in urban context.
• Launching an Ayurveda plantation program help to enhance the environmental quality.
• Ayurveda plants can absorb CO2 and release O2 into the atmosphere and can contribute to reclaim from Kurunegala air pollution. (As an ecological corridor in a high urban context).
• Try to keep the environmental quality of the context with design elements. For that Ayurveda Gardens, Green roof terraces have been designed as green elements which help to enhance and preserve the nature.


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