In the realm of architecture, one of the key approaches within the circular economy system is “design for disassembly” (dfd). This approach recognizes that even though we strive for zero waste, there will always be some remnants of materials left over. However, we can mitigate this by incorporating the “cradle to cradle” approach, which takes dfd to next level.
For this project have taken the bold stance of advancing the concept of dfd with innovative material solutions.by doing so, we can truly maximize the benefits of a dfd program. The five main principles of dfd-Modularity, standardization, accessibility, material efficiency, and ease of re-assembly-have been integrated to this design.
In this project, timber has taken as the primary material for the dfd program. Timber, with its renewable and sustainable qualities, low energy input, lightweight nature, and ease of assembly and disassembly, proves to be the ideal choice. The local pine tree has been used, because these trees are non-native plants in Sri Lanka and they are causes for lot of environmental issues. For that project it has master plan proposal for remove those trees and transplanted native, exotic, and endemic species.
But without stopping there, embracing the cradle-to-cradle approach, I have incorporated innovative materials like mycelium into this project. This material suitable for circularity, have been experimentally applied. while Sri Lanka shows potential for the productions of bioplastic and mycelium, specific agricultural waste required for bio-plastic production is currently lacking in sewanagala and pelawatta areas where there are sugar cane industries. However, Pinnawala boasts an opportunity for large scale mycelium production.
Furthermore, a local paper production factory utilizing elephant dung waste exists in Pinnawala. While it has a sustainable production system, the building system itself lacks sustainability. Thus, I propose a community paper factory in Pinnawala- a remarkable endeavor that aims to make both the building and production system sustainable.
The project encompasses two main zones: public and factory facilities. The old factory administration building, overlooking the river, serves as the grand entrance to the factory. Within the public zone, there are three main functions: a promotional center, a restaurant, and a public workshop. The restaurant boasts stunning river views, captivating visitors. The public workshop acts as a buffer zone, connecting the factory and public activity seamlessly.
The building layouts on the site are arranged on the site in the manner of creating courtyards in-between for the use of workers as well as for the public. Community factory workers can use these courtyards for their leisure, recreational and communal activities.
In addition, these working courtyards act as climate-responsive elements as they cross-ventilation through the building. The wet courtyard features water elements that aid in evaporative cooling, enhancing the comfort of workers. Most internal spaces are open to these courtyards, utilizing operable louver facades to allow natural light and ventilation, creating a sense of spaciousness.
After the paper production process, the papers are transported to a podium area for desiccation under warm sunlight. This podium also doubles as a public space, providing an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant environment and engage with the workers.
The public experience the pathway which is direct to the river through this podium and the community hall. At the end of the public journey, the pathway merges with the existing environment towards the river.
The expensive external landscape offers a multitude of recreational opportunities for the public, seamlessly connecting from the riverbank and the elephant walking pathway on one side to the community ground on the upper side. The community ground serves as a vibrant space for various outdoor communal activities, while the adjacent building’s ground floor provides a versatile indoor community hall, catering to a range of multifunctional needs. Harnessing the natural abundance of boulders on this site, the public pathways and site.
Boundaries seamlessly integrate with these rock formations. Inspirations from the sites’ unique character, the rubble foundation of the modules Is crafted from the rubble found on-site, forging a harmonious union between the built environment and the surrounding landscape.
These modules, standing within the terrain, not only serve as inviting spaces for public engagement with their open decks but also serve as markers, demarcating the boundaries for the future expansions of the new factory building. Their presence adds a touch to the ever-evolving landscape, merging artistry with functionality in a seamless embrace of nature and design.
The public can experience the factory process from the elevated pathway at a mezzanine level over the factory processing level. That elevated pathway at a mezzanine level over the factory processing level. That elevated pathway is accessed from the elevated public bridge coming from the public lobby. There is an observation tower for the public to experience the surrounding vistas. The top level of the factories and public spaces have been carefully maintained to differentiate the public and factory circulations without been interfered by each other and to experience the factory process by the users.
The modular system is inspired by the proportions of the existing factory building. The structure is made with basic and simple wood joinery details because this whole building system was erected by the nonskilled local community. As shown in this process, creating this module does not require any kind of nuts and bolts but only simple cuts and carvings. The basic module is constructed out of treated timber and strengthens by filling the gaps with mycelium. Most of the floors and different kinds of partitions walls are made from mycelium panels which are biodegradable.
The circular project program consists with five phases, each focusing on community development and skill enhancement.
In the initial phase, the community is introduced to the materials and raises awareness within the existing non-functioning part of the factory building.
The second phase imparts technological and construction knowledge, focusing on modular structures. People will start erecting modulars practically from scratch. The skill of the community will increase in parallel to the complexity of the building system.
Within the third phase, new factory units are constructed by the community, culminating in a comprehensive understanding of the technological and construction systems.
Over the course of the next five years, the factory expands to its full of capacity. And when the times comes, this building can be disassembled if needed. when it disassembled, either the modules could be used to erect another paper production factory like udawalwa which also has a potential or they can be used for low -scale buildings in the existing community like small houses and stuff. Additionally, modules or materials can be recycled in adherence to the circular approach, allowing for the implementation of entirely different buildings and programs, such as resorts, research centers, housing and more. these stages create a closed loop cycle, ensuring a sustainable and regenerative process.