School by the Lagoon
Maligakadu, Sri Lanka
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Reclaiming lagoon using tsunami debris to re-built a school.

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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Category:
education
Phase:
in use
Design:
Contemporary Architecture
Updated:
14 February 2013
introduction

Two thousand Four (2004) boxing day tsunami was the worst natural disaster to hit Sri Lanka in living memory. For a country already reeling from a two and a half year old war the timing of the tsunami could not have been worse. East and South coast of Sri Lanka was totally devastated with 40,000 human causalities in addition to the colossal damage caused to the road network, bridges, harbors , schools etc.

rear road side view

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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triple height veranda corridor on lagoon side

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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cultural and social context

Surviving students of the school were temporarily housed in makeshift tent shelters built by GOAL Ireland Irish INGO along the banks (where future playground of the school was proposed) of 'Karachchi Thona' lagoon while reconstruction of the school was carried out inland in close proximity to the lagoon. In the Eastern ampara district of Sri Lanka, minority Tamil and Muslim community lived in almost equal percentage to the Sinhalese majority community. Due to above mentuioned multi ethnic multi religious nature of the area it was a hot bed of violance in the centre of the storm of the ethnic war ravaging at the time between the forces of the government of Sri Lanka and the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels. Out of the twenty four (24) districts of sri lanka Ampara was one of the most backward, poverty stricken, down troddeen district of Sri Lanka compared with other districts. Most of the students of the school came to school 'barefoot' due to the poverty effecting their parents and the society in general, suffering from the long standing war and the occasional natural disasters to strike them like cyclones, floods and in this case tsunami. Free education was one of the 'teels' used to 'empower' these underpriviledged sections of the society in Sri Lanka.

materials and building techniques

As the land allocated to reconstruct the school was a reclaimed stretch of land along the 'Karachchi thona' lagoon, a thorough soil investigation was carried out as an initial step to identify the bearing capacity of the soli. The resultant soil investigation recommended a method of 'soil improvement' by digging deep and filling with coarse sand to improve the bearing capacity of the column footing foundations.

Cantilevering sunshade cubes on rear road side

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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Rear double height play area

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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uuninterupted views from every nook & corner of the school

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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rear side road view

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earth and climate

Orientation of the building was done with openings placed along north –South axis with larger openings on lagoon side and smaller openings on rear road side giving a more solid appearance to the rear elevation and more open appearance to the lagoon elevation. Minimal openings were placed on east- West axis. As the triple height corridor verandah was located on lagoon side the school children enjoy high level of thermal comfort due to high cross ventilation through the building.

The all over powering mono pitched clay tiled lean to roof

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
The all over powering mono pitched clay tiled lean to roof

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
The all over powering mono pitched clay tiled lean to roof

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
The all over powering mono pitched clay tiled lean to roof

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
The all over powering mono pitched clay tiled lean to roof

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Cantilevering sunshade boxes to protect upeermost floor windows

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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Tiered steps along front triple height veranda corridor

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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Cantilevering sunshade cubes on rear road side

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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image gallery
view of stircase giving access to multi purpose hall

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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view of stircase giving access to multi purpose hall

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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lagoon side view

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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lagoon side view

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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tiered steps for students to sit

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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step back cross section

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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elevation to rear road

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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school immediately after completion

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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corner view of lean to roof

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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cantilevering staircase accessing multi purpose hall

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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The Central Stair case

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
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Few nooks & corners for school children to play

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Few nooks & corners for school children to play

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
rear road side view

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Double height play area at rear

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Double height play area at rear

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Tripe height veranda corridor on lagoon side

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Cantilevering sunshade cubes on rear road side

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Rear road side elevation

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
Double height play area at rear

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
uuninterupted view of the lagoon from every nook & corner of the school

image: waruna gomis | © all rights reserved
i
technical drawings
Layout Plan

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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Layout Plan

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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Layout Plan

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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typical cross section

image: Chinthaka Wickramage | © all rights reserved
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Location
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Keyword:
education (69)
disaster (16)
repurpose (9)
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