Student – Rashmin Ganepola

Institution – Department of Architecture

University of Moratuwa

B.Arch final year (CDP 2008)

Project – Mediatheque (futuristic information centre)

The Mediatheque is a modern version of the public library concept, which includes many communication media to enlarge the knowledge of the public.

The project, is a Mediatheque (futuristic Information centre) proposed for the city of Kurunegala. The selected site is located at the Kurunegala city centre, the capital of north western province which is a prime transitional node in the country. The city is currently experiencing rapid urbanization. The city location as atransitional hub has given access to the main cities of the country. Easy access and mobility creates a dense catchment population at the city center.

Daily, a large number of people from different social categories visit this area for diverse activities, especially the youth whom you see crowding often, for educational purposes and leisure.

Site Justification

Site is located in close proximity to the Kurunegala bus stand and clock tower. It is at a point of visual focus where it is seen from a distance at Dambulla road. It is at the intersection of city’s recreational, administrative and commercial zones. Therefore the site has a greater potential to build a place like mediatheque as a public space.

Project Justification

Kurunegala can be identified mainly as a transportation node. But it also includes large number of educational institutions. 8 main government schools located within the heart of town.

Two international schools and 10-15 main private educational institutions as well as a large number of small private institutes are located in and around the town center.

These educational Institutions bring large number of students to the city for their academic purposes. The students are not only from the schools located in Kurunegala but also from others around Kurunegala. Many of them can be categorize in the age group between 16 and 20. Weekly 60,000 students come to the city for education purpose. Most of them waste their time hanging around the spaces close by the bus stand, and they engage in various unproductive activities. The Bus stand has become the main gathering space due to lack of community spaces to spend their leisure time or time in-between private classes. These young crowd need a place providing integrated knowledge compatible with the 21st century.

The primary role of a mediatheque is to diffuse the existing knowledge in the absence of other educational institutions.

It is important that mediatheque should build a strong relationship with the community by way of helping to develop their knowledge and serve as a place of mental relaxation. The existing library building is barely adequate to serve the above facility, so there is an essential need for much more specific building, which is fully integrated with supportive functions.

Design Solution

The building ground floor is an open plan encouraging public penetration through the building, integrating the administrative, commercial and recreational zones of the city.

The cantilevered outer edges of the built form create a promenade allowing pedestrian traffic to interact with the interior through an intermediate space.

This uneven stagger also intends to provide ample shade from the harsh day time sun, as the outdoors are especially unforgiving in heat due to the heat mass of the Athagala Rock. The built form attempts to become the cynosure within the built fabric of the town and its interiors attempt to offer relaxation amidst the chaos of town life.

Project Concept – “Urban Magnet”

According to area studies of Kurunegala, it has a high catchment of youth crowd to more educational institutes. And also Kurunegala is the main educational hub for students from areas like Anuradhapura, Kandy, Negombo, Chilaw, Warakapola etc… . This incident is more empowered by the main transportational node. Thus the general public that commutes to the city daily is also high above average.

This information demonstrates that Kurunegala city has a strong youth based educational system. But it is very formal and not developed towards the universial village concept prevailing throughout the world.Therefore my building has a major task, to uplift the youth in to that level from the formal education system. But youth are very energetic and dynamic. Therefore my mediatheque building should be very dynamic, futuristic and more attractive to people. And also it should be iconic within the cityscape making a statement, leaving a deep impression.