Tsinghua University (THU), School of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Beijing
This design project intended to investigate the waterfront as a public space as a prototype study to find a design solution to enhance the overall… more
Create a sustainable and eco-friendly structures with innovative methodologies and materials. more
In the beginning, I want to thank you for participating and creating this interesting proposal.
- First of all, the detailing of the project is beautiful, just as an advise for the presentation in the future renders keep the photos as much as clear as they could be "fewer people count" or at least use "HQ 3d people models " and concentrate on putting value on the created project and you points of interest by "correct light direction, correct material usage and try to find good angles that improve your presentation.
- The use of Modular structural system, Modular facade system and the repetitive components is great for the economical side of the project.
- The project aims to enhance and improve the actual state of the city of Kandy by green/sustainable architecture and creating a tourism factor, maximizing the navigation and active participation of the locals and the visitors with the cultural destinations.
Per total great job and idea!
Arch. Ezzeddin Alasali
Dear Ezzeddin Alasali,
Thank you so much for your kind feedback. It means a lot. I'll improve the said points and it is truly a great opportunity to get your feedback on my design. Thank you again!
This design project intended to investigate the waterfront as a public space as a prototype study to find a design solution to enhance the overall development of the public space park system and a community center in Kandy city, Sri Lanka. The following design objectives have been considered to evaluate the city’s existing circumstances.
•An “in-between” point in the cultural trail for the different entities of communities,
•Sustainable economy through cultural tourism,
•Waterfront revitalization through a shared public park system,
•Cost-effective design with the traditional ideologies of local architecture,
•Creating awareness and navigation through the experiential heritage of Kandy city.
The overall master planning of the project aims to introduce a sharing system that supports the city revitalization. The master plan focuses on the sustainable improvement of the tourism industry and the quality of life of the local people by improving the heritage site connection (Heritage trail) and the connection of the city’s waterfront through a shared public park system.
What makes a shared public space in a heritage city’s waterfront?
A thriving public space on a heritage waterfront should support the public needs for recreation, multi-functional activities, and local cultural creativity. A space with a diverse park system gives attention to the natural landscape and the urban formation of the cityscape. In response to the climate and cultural creativity, architects can follow traditional local craftsmanship that blends into nature. Furthermore, the space of the “In-between” point of a cultural trail can support the locals’ economy, creativity, and attraction.
Why a shared public space?
"The damage to the urban character, the architectural uniqueness of the town and the setting, thereby losing the town's identity is apparent."
-The Kandy News
As the sharing cities have been studied over the past two decades as a solution for the urban growth and the public space decline, it is essential to create public spaces for the people to share. it allows people to,
•co-exist, creating a sense of belonging,
•exchange cultural creativity and knowledge with the
The site to study is situated in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, the city of Kandy. The focused site is on the banks of the Kandy lake as a waterfront site that connects the main roads from 3 sides. Kandy city’s average temperature is mild as 23 °C in the tropics. The wind direction lays in the north east-south west. The focused site is at the intersection of the visitors’ and the locals’ connection to the city. the local architecture of the area is low-scaled and follows the rigid modular structural system. The site creates a home for many flora, fauna, and animals. The city is diverse in religion, ethnicity, and culture. The primary income is from tourism, as the city is enriched with cultural elements such as festivals, dancing, music, art, and craft. This allows locals and visitors to gain a cultural experience actively.
The total plot area of the waterfront site is 2.9 acres. The existing site occupies a heritage building, tennis courts, cafes, a children’s park, and retail areas. The site’s main issues are fragmented movement, abandoned waterfront, lack of consideration for different user groups, and unorganized temporary structures.
With an understanding of the heritage sites and human behavior through the collection of “points of interest,” has been selected. The urban embedding at the urban level promotes tourism in Kandy, maximizing the navigation and active participation of the locals and the visitors with the cultural destinations. Therefore, the cultural trail aimed to create in the religious, historical, food, natural, arts, and cultural layers. As these trails overlap, a shared mobility network aims to achieve a pedestrian-friendly system, and it is in the types of network such as Bypass roads, a Lake around the main road, a Lake around shared street, Hiking trails, Grid city main road, Pedestrian-friendly shared street and the Alleyways.
The Shared public community center for the Kandy lake waterfront will be explained in the layers of “Sharing, “Park system,” and “Building with nature.”
The site acts as an in-between point of the proposed cultural trail network. It is separated and unapproachable from the waterfront throughout the site in its existing condition. This layout would be opened, allowing diverse communities to approach the abandoned waterfront. The Sri Lankan traditional layout creates a shared open courtyard that acts as an in-between multi-functional space catering to different cultural and community activities as an extension of the surrounding building. It supports the holiday market, open talk and sharing sessions, cultural performance, yoga, temporary exhibitions, etc. The indoor built spaces are placed so that the outdoor-shared space is surrounded and connected with each built space. With a series of courtyards and natural elements, the shared open spaces create a connection with nature to co-exist. Understanding the vernacular ideology of the Sri Lankan traditional dwellings, the public and the private spaces connect and flow through the semi-public spaces when creating the indoor space. The shared spaces of the waterfront site connect back with the proposed cultural trail toward the city and the neighborhood through a park system of leisure and awareness.
Park system: A resilient and performative landscape
The new master plan consists of five main entrances. It has been studied under three zones,
•Zone 1 - Waterfront complex
•Zone 2 - Community and creativity complex
•Zone 3 - Sports complex.
An open master plan enables the maximum flow-through of people within the site. An open park system has been introduced to connect with the indoors and the surrounding natural ecology. The built spaces consist of one existing building and six proposed buildings. The park takes curves responding to the existing site, while the building takes a rigid formation following the traditional structures of Sri Lankan architecture.
Building with nature:
The shared public community center’s built space has 2000 sqm under the economic, recreational and activity, sport, learning, service, utility, creativity, culture, and co-work. The programs of the waterfront community park are designed in a manner of sharing between the different communities of locals and visitors.
zone 1 consists of the water pavilion, building A and B as the built spaces with boat deck, bird watching, open waterfront amphitheater, terrace, water fountain, multi-use basketball court, and the spice garden as the outdoor park spaces.
On the banks of the Kandy Lake, the water pavilion consists of a boat ride hub and a bird-watching walkway. It acts as a mobility transit of both water and land. The open waterfront amphitheater uses the sloping topography that offers Kandy Lake terraced seating that accommodates waterside relaxation, cultural performances, stargazing, and festivals.
Building A and the spice garden act as one that allows people to get the awareness of the herbs and support the local spice culture.
Building B consists of a tea hub, tea awareness area, a retail outlet, and a local food café that supports the local economy with the traditional local food of different communities giving a taste of regional identity.
Zone 2 consists of buildings C and D as the built spaces with pocket parks, sand play, and the children’s park for the kids as the outdoor park spaces.
Building C consists of flexible exhibition space. This creative workshop supports the tourism industry with a first-hand experience, a library, co-study, a survival station, and a collaborative working space.
Building D is a Kindergarten space on the site that interconnects with the children’s park.
Zone 3 facilitates the sports areas and a café as the built spaces, tennis courts and table tennis as outdoor sports spaces. Building F consists of a café, a gym, and a yoga area. Terrace seating created under the shade acts as pocket parks and seating to watch the tennis plays.
•Modular structural system
The building system mainly follows a modular space of (5m×5m×3.2m) following the traditional grid building systems of Sri Lanka. In Sri Lankan traditional architecture, the multiplication of the modular spaces has created the bigger spaces of the modular structure. The main structure is steel I beams and timber as flooring and facade materials. In this way, the project aims for a light weighted open structure that allows natural light and ventilation in the buildings.
•Modular facade system
This facade is mainly made with timber frames, framing glass, and timber louvers. The facade on the ground level can be fully open toward the outside, allowing a physical and a visual connection with the surroundings. The facade enables the local people to build within the site with the local building knowledge and craftsmanship.
•Modern + traditional Roof structure
The roof structure in the inner ring faces the middle shared space, followed by the split roof structure with glass as the materiality under the shades of the existing trees on the site. The outer ring of the roofing coverage is by the thatched roof, creating a cooler environment following the traditional materials.
The buildings consist of repetitive components such as a series of courtyards, public bathrooms, staircases, and ramps. This aims to be component-based units that support the introduced modular systems.
Sustainability of the project have tried achieved in the ways of,
•Local and renewable Material usage
The project aims to become a part of the natural environment with local renewable materials. The project has used the local timber (Paara maara/ Mahogany), stonework, and I beam for the main structure. In addition, the local material usage supports the cost of the building, and with time the building can be maintained with the local materiality and the craftsmanship.
•Low impact on the site
A minimum impact has been achieved with a low footprint due to the columns’ built spaces. The steel I beam connected to the stone columns creates these plat-formed built spaces that allow the under layer of vegetation and the ecosystem to be untouched and unharmed.
•Natural light and ventilation
The buildings are very light-weighted open structure oriented perpendicular to the natural wind flow and along the sun path. All spaces gain ample natural ventilation as the glazed roof gives natural light to the inner spaces. As the internal spaces are fully and partially opened, the direct lighting and the temperature are manipulated.
•Vegetation as a natural shading
The site’s vegetation has approached three layers: the above vegetation layer, the intermediate vegetation layer, and the under vegetation layer. The buildings under the existing and additional treescape in the site create a natural shading through the glazed roof. Pedestrian pathways and the terraces are shaded with this natural vegetation creating the shade. The vegetation the indoors tries to create a cooling and comfortable atmosphere.
•Storm-water management and rainwater harvesting
As Kandy gets ample amount of rain, the site landscape’s rainwater is undisturbed and reused for water usage in the bathrooms, water fountain, and gardening.
In conclusion, Leaning on to the vernacular ideologies with the modern construction and blending into those cities that are valued in a heritage manner would create better architectural opportunities for the community.