Project – Public building, Beira Place, Colombo, Fort

Student – Vinuri Ethapane | Part two | Year one

Institution – City School of Architecture

The project: A public building within a dense urban environment. The criterion for the building was based on the particular needs to sustain the given environment.

Becoming a country liberated from the war, the year 2020 promises to be a prosperous one. A public building housing mixed developments to sustain the forth coming growth was the main aim of the project.

The site, known as the “Beira place,” is situated at the beginning of Dr Wijewardana Mawatha and Chithapalam Gardiner Mawatha. Six metres below road level the site is currently used as a car park. This circular shaped site is partly bordered by the Beira Lake and partly by the two main roads.

Starting from Gamini Hall junction, Dr Wijewardana Mawatha consists of a monotonous rhythmic sky line. The Building typology and

the way the buildings have responded to the street have created a dull less active streetscape until it meets the Lake House roundabout. This road is 45ft wide and has a wide existing pavement. Having the view of the lake on one side and links into Fort and Pettah on the other proves that this street has the potential to be developed into a street with more activity and excitement along it than it currently has.

Thus, Dr Wijewardana Mawatha was developed as a transit containment zone serving as a gateway to Fort and Pettah, where the transit population could gather at key outlets along the road. The objective was to create a lingering community where those who are transiting and those who come on a daily basis can meet and the transaction of ideas and new developments can take place.

Both visual and physical connections ensured that the lingering community could at all times access Pettah through Dr Wijewardana Mawatha.

The concept for the public building was to create an iconic tower that is a symbol of the growth of Colombo city.

Terminal Tower – The word terminal is directly connected with words of objects that take you places. For example bus terminal, Railway terminal etc… Thus the name for this tower was derived from a terminal which takes you from one place to another; the tower in that sense is a collection of transit functions and facilities that can effectively take you physically and mentally from function to function vertically – so that you are moving while experiencing all that the building has to offer.

The main inspiration for this concept was to symbolise a new start for the city of Colombo where in the year 2020 the people of Colombo will feel that any goal is achievable.

Growth of the city is depicted through verticality stagnation movement and transition. Stagnation is shown through the blocks that are cantilevered off the transparent core. The stagnant blocks house the functions; the steel organic structure is symbolic of the movement and growth pattern of the people that move through these specific functions, the combination of these stagnant functions that need people to move through them in order to function and the people who need these specific functions to grow have an interdependent relationship, which will result in an ultimate, inevitable and continuous growth of the city of Colombo.

With a name that denotes motion, the objective is to make the people of Colombo feel as though in the year 2020, they too can travel to newer heights.