Vishaka Ratnayaka Student KURUNEGALA
City School of Architecture Part 1, Year 4 | 2009 Institution

The project is based on the new generation of modern buildings called the ‘Mediatheque’. The Mediatheque is a typology of buildings with which people understand, appreciate and learn the various forms of media-art,information technology, history of the media-arts etc.

It could be seen as a further evolution of a library, which is predominantly (but not exclusively) a repository for printed media.

The setting being one of the ancient capital cities in Sri Lanaka, Kurunegala, the capital of North Western Province is a treasure in terms of archaeological splendours and natural beauty.

Since its location amid the agricultural zone adorned by lush paddy fields, bountiful coconut estates as well as the centre where four main highways meet, Kurunegala town has been developed as a characteristic regional and commercial centre.

So it is an active hub which draws large inflows daily towards facilities concentrated within this developing town. In spite of these rapid developments taking place, it is evident this cosmopolitan city has failed to develop an identity of its own.

The Site Located in the heart of the city the site is a triangular island enveloped by Colombo Dambulla road and Puttalam Kandy road.

Ground Floor

Due to this critical location the site has the potential of making a significant impact on social, economical and cultural spheres of the region.

Both the commercial and administrative zones around, make the area an active hub but the building morphology in it is a result of a haphazard development. The presence and the beauty of natural elements i.e. the lake and Ethugala are neglected in the existing development patterns of this chaotic urban fabric.

Elevation - Kanday Road , Section A - A

All these characteristics inherited to the area contribute towards creating “the sense of the place” in the site.

Design Strategy The modern building type of Mediatheque is still new in Sri Lanka where the accessibility and interchange of information is mostly limited within its capital city.

Though the modern facilities associated with Mediatheques i.e. virtual galleries, audio visual libraries, multimedia libraries and animation studios are novel, it is necessary to develop an understanding of these modern technologies among regional communities as well.

Hence the Architecture of Mediatheque attempts to popularise and propagate them by implying what is happening inside. The result is an extra warded building, which exposes the activities inside through its transparent outer skin. This helps to develop the interest in the creative youth of the community and motivate heir participation.

Being a significant element in its context the building acting as a hub that connects activities around as well as a breathing space, adds value and meaning to where it stands.

The Design The building is conceived as two linear blocks parallel to SoorathissaMawatha and Ethugala. Thus bringing out Ethugala as the backdrop. The longer axis is directed towards the tank to capture panoramic views and its orientation follows the nearby bazaar and the path.

The path between two wings; a metaphor for a bazaar street flanked by Galleries, Lending libraries, Offices, Kiosks etc, thereby catalysing the interaction between the passerby and the building automatically.

Vertical circulation towards upper floors starts from the double height City gallery where exhibits display the heritage of the region.

The elemental globe in this space hints at the modern technologies and the vibrant ambience waiting above. The upper floors are occupied by all media related modern activities; digital libraries, audio visual libraries, film production studios, animation studios, editing studios etc.

The play of a black and red colour scheme enhances the vibrant atmosphere of the interior and it’s brought out by the transparent outer skin of the building. The result is an extra warded building that brings out its activities inside, hence helps to develop understanding of media in all its aspects among the regional community.