Kasun Perera
Faculty of Architecture,
University of Moratuwa

‘A Market’ is simply a public place for the transactions between buyers and sellers. Yet, apart from the lateral outcome, it is an arena for human socialisation beyond the familiar acquaintances.

The current project attempts a redevelopment of ‘The National Market’, renowned as ‘Jathika Pola’, Narahenpita with more additions of social and physical aspects to the original market place. “The National Market – ‘CMB’ Center” in Narahenpita will be the flagship centre of ‘National Market’ units which will be implemented island wide from the Ministry of Corporative and Internal Trade with the intension of expanding internal retail trade and support low level trade and the economy sector.

Narahenpita can be identified as an intersection of four main zones, namely, residential, commercial, institutional and health. The justification of a market place is essential in this context as it is an entity which is familiar and runs parallel within human lifestyle. This makes the entire area cohesive and will link the main zones in order to develop and build new social and physical integration.

This will be the future “breathing pocket” of the city with many social interactions and will be a catalyst in accelerating the city’s functions and developing social values. The market would attract people through its main function, where they would have the opportunity of stimulating themselves with new market concepts, new shopping experience with leisure, food courts, restaurants, pet shops, mini cinema, water front promenade, children’s play court, and many more functions.

It is an attempt to create a metaphysical link between people and space, to connect people in the urban society to ease their minds from their hectic daily routine and helping to form social interaction while fulfilling their basic needs. The challenge of re-establishing social values, which makes the human the “real social animal,” is taken into serious consideration while creating urban cohesion.