for National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA)

Dinithi Wijeratne | City School of Architecture | Part II CDP 2009


Biological Oceanography concentrates on the biology and ecology of oceanic, marine, coastal and estuarine organisms. These range from viruses and bacteria to microbes and phytoplankton, from zooplankton and benthic invertebrates to shellfish, fish and marine mammals. The organisms live in a dynamic fluid easily described as a “chemical soup” that covers 71% of the earth’s surface and is intimately coupled to the atmosphere, the seafloor and the land. Thus, to determine how organisms are influenced by their environment, Biological Oceanographers must function across many sub-disciplines such as Biochemistry, Genetics, Physiology, Behavior, Population Dynamics and Community Ecology.

The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA); This is the principal National Institute charged with the responsibility of carrying out and coordinating research, development and management activities on the subject of Aquatic Resources in

Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka has an ocean area which is eight times its land area. Unfortunately with all these natural resources right around our country, there are no proper facilities to study the vast ocean area around us. NARA is one of the leading organisations who do “oceanographic” studies to an extent. The interest lies parallel for both, site location and the project itself.

The proposed site has interesting features with high potentials for such a project which provide inspiration in design.  The project is not a common research centre that we come across often.

Lots of new and interesting areas are found in the brief which can be developed into buildings of interest. Additionally there can be further studies in specialised architectural and structural designs; which will lead to an interesting building complex which is futuristic as well as high-tech.

Weligama town is located 25km from Galle, capital of the Southern Province and 17km from Matara and 133km from Colombo, capital city. Weligama is famous for its beautiful beaches and that serve as the main tourist attraction. Under UDA proposal “Greater Matara Development plan 2006-2030” is mainly proposed for tourist related activities. But certain areas are given priority for other development such as research base activities and conservation of natural resources.


As per clients the requirements:   Unique and specialised research faction and the public forum of the project to be shown out ‘bold’ and to become an ‘image’


Creating An ‘Image’ with specialised functions which is very formal along with public activities which are very informal in the unique site chosen by the client “RESEARCH SQUARE”

Creating common ground where research and recreation could meet

Creating a dialog between  the formal and the informal – celebrating the ocean.