When Archt Ruchira Wickramasinghe embarked on designing the Penthouse Level Offices of Mushan Towers it was on 3000sqft of open space high above the rooftops of Colombo and thus affords spectacular views in all directions. Standing tall in the heart of Colombo, Mushan Towers houses ‘Mushan International’, dealers in precious stones on its topmost level. This particular line of business requires a space in which privacy, security and comfort are combined to create a leisurely yet corporate atmosphere conducive to making important decisions.

By Chamindra Warusawitharane  |  Photography: Menaka Aravinda

With this in mind the Architect ventured to invoke the ideal atmosphere for the Penthouse. Although a combination of clear and frosted glass, powder coated aluminum and matt stainless steel give the interior a sleek corporate ambience, as the clients at Mushan International spend much time within its walls, or rather its boundaries, the Architect used local ‘kumbuk’ floors, solid ‘para-mara’ tables and comfortable leather chairs to soften the environment.

The wide, well lit staircase from the lobby leads upto a sprawling double height entrance bathed in sunlight, that enters through the glass curtain by day and is illuminated by a massive stainless steel chandelier by night. The lounge area relishes striking slices of the Colombo city landscape and the use of glass on all sides simultaneously makes one absorb the views and minimise the use of artificial lights as well.

The functional areas of the office include a record room in the centre providing the required privacy from the public areas to the semi-private areas, a boardroom enveloped in frosted glass walls consisting of plush chairs and a long glass table. On either side are the Chairman’s office and the General office and trading activities take place in the three different ‘gem themed’ buying offices, Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby. These three rooms are oriented in three different directions in order to take maximum advantage of natural light.

Additionally, the Penthouse consists of dining and accommodation facilities as well. “Mushan International is essentially a corporate setting but as the clients – mostly foreign – spend a lot of time inside we added a touch of Sri Lanka to the interior with a collection of black and white photographs of ‘Historic Colombo’ which adorns the only solid wall of the Entrance Lobby, that also adds warmth to the setting,” explained Archt Ruchira Wickramasinghe.

The neutral palette used within complement the contemporary elegance of the interior while enhancing a sense of spaciousness and in order to maintain privacy and ensure maximum security, an advanced security system is in place.

Furthermore, visitors can enjoy the ever-changing colours of the Indian Ocean from the west, a green stretch of treetops from the east and a birds’ eye view of the flowing traffic and the hustle and bustle of Duplication road in the north-south direction.

Embedded in the smooth matt silver ceiling are special fiber-optic lighting for added effect. As the day ends with a show of colours from the sunset and darkness descends upon the cityscape the ceiling within, reflects the starlit effect of the glorious sky outside.

A harmonious meeting of business and pleasure!

Project Architect: Ruchira Wickramasinghe

Project Coordinator: Ghazala Muhajireen

Client: Muslim Salahudeen

Contractors & Suppliers:

Main Contractor: Alufab

Sub Contractors: Dissanayake Flooring & Rainco

Furniture: Villa Saffron & The Workshop

Floor Area: 3000 sqft

Date of Completion: January 2007

Project period: One Year