Bhanuka Jithendra De Silva
University of Moratuwa (UoM), Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Moratuwa
Regenerating public spaces through Adaptive architecture The Community Hub @ Badulla project aimed to transform an old prison, with a history of locking down… more
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It is great to see how your project tackles historic conservation; repurposing the existing building to create an exciting new space for the community while maintaining its history as a reminder of a time gone by. The contrast between the new tower building and the existing site is quite interesting but I wonder if some elements from the existing building could be applied to the new extensions as well. It is really interesting to see the picture of your physical model where everything is made from the same material, blurring the line between what is old and new.
Your plan drawing is very strong and very clearly lays out the individual pieces that make up the complex. The integration of the new pocket park and sculpture garden in this site that once held inmates captive is very compelling. It shows how as society progresses we can use existing architecture in a new positive manner. For the prison gallery, I wonder if it would also work if it were one big open space, instead of smaller individual rooms. I would also love to see a coloured rendering of your axonometric view. All in all, I think you have a very successful project, it what it is trying to achieve, by becoming a central hub for the community.
Dear Mr. Ahmad Faisal,
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the time you dedicated to examining my project and providing me with your invaluable comments. I greatly appreciate your insightful observations regarding the integration of the existing buildings with the new intervention. Your point regarding the need to harmoniously incorporate the elements from the pre-existing structures resonates with me deeply.
It is worth noting that the prison gallery, being one of the first established buildings in the complex, has been preserved by the archaeology department. Due to its historical significance, I have made the deliberate decision to retain the small prison cells in their original state. This aspect has been carefully considered and prioritized during the development of the project.
Once again, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for your valuable feedback.
Regenerating public spaces through Adaptive architecture
The Community Hub @ Badulla project aimed to transform an old prison, with a history of locking down individuals, into a public space that unlocks the potential of the surrounding community. By incorporating the principles of adaptive architecture, the project breathed new life into an existing structure, demonstrating the value of repurposing existing buildings. The design intent was to create a new public square that would provide a space for all social groups to come together and connect, creating a sense of community in a city that lacked proper public spaces.
To achieve this goal, the project drew inspiration from the unique features of the prison, such as the horizontal, vertical, and angular steel bars that formed the doors and windows of the prison cells. By incorporating this "caged" effect into the new intervention, created a visually striking design that stands out in the city while also preserving the rough surfaces of the old prison.
The result is a stunning new public space that contrasts with the surrounding environment while still respecting its historical context. It provides a space for the community to come together and connect, demonstrating the potential for urban regeneration through adaptive architecture principles. This project is a testament to the power of creativity in transforming existing structures into vibrant new public spaces that serve the needs of the community.
The proposed project aims to address this deficiency by repurposing the colonial prison as a new public space that will serve as a hub for the city's diverse social groups, linking existing public spaces such as religious sites, playgrounds, libraries, schools and places of interest for visitors.
Regenerating public spaces through adaptive architecture
Adaptive architecture is a framework that changes its structure, behavior, or resources according to request. The design position explores how to adapt a built environment that served a specific purpose for another purpose without harming the existing glory. This will explore what a proper public space is and how the public space becomes multifunctional and adaptive space for different scenarios. Most old buildings have been demolished for new constructions without adapting them for new uses.
In order to preserve the main historical buildings, it is necessary to focus on three key structures: the main ward, the Gate, and the existing female ward that is attached to the Gate. These buildings are surrounded by an old rubble wall that serves as a vital part of the complex. As part of the preservation project, the wall and important buildings will be conserved and repurposed. In addition, the new community hub will include new additions made of steel that contrast with the old structures.
The main components of the complex are The Tower, The Bridge, co-working space, exhibition space, prison gallery, tea shop, and the Gate. The Tower includes a restaurant, snack and juice bar, gymnasium, and backpacker hostel. The Bridge will accommodate service shops as well as the co-working space and administrative area. The new interventions are designed to visualize the complex in a significant way without harming the existing historical glory.
The landscape design includes pocket parks that have different qualities to create a diverse atmosphere. Small pathways have been created to link the various areas of the complex and create new alleyways to the city, which will activate public activities throughout the day.
The service lines have been color-coded and arranged in a manner that exposes them to the exterior. This design feature has been implemented in such a way as to face the school and create a welcoming atmosphere for the students.
A customized outer skin has been designed using steel with the main purpose of reducing the heat generated from direct radiation. The outer skin serves a multi-purpose function, providing storage, seating spaces, working spaces, and a means of transferring service lines.
The construction primarily utilizes steel, with Steel I sections serving as the main structural components. All staircases in the area have also been constructed with steel. Furthermore, there are several abandoned tea factories in the vicinity, and steel from these factories has been repurposed for non-structural purposes such as the outer skin, railings, and windows.
For the older buildings, rubble and timber have been used as the primary construction materials. The main roofing method for the new buildings is concrete, with solar panels covering the roof area to generate electricity and reduce heat.