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Business Promotion Center for Gem and Jewellery in Ratnapura

Part 2 Project 2012
Vishaka Ratnayaka
City School of Architecture | Sri Lanka
The chosen location Ratnapura, the legendary city with the greatest concentration of gems with its long-established industry of precious stone mining, cutting, processing and trading has made Sri Lanka one of the top five gem-bearing nations in the world.

As a result the gem industry has remained the current predominant economic activity in Ratnapura, despite the fact that it has rarely seen an organised framework to function within. This lack of structured guidance and knowledge in the industry, necessary to compete against the international market has resulted in a setback in the last couple of years.

The project a Business promotion centre for gem and jewellery is therefore an attempt to provide the necessary organized public place for gem merchants to carry out their daily business while concurrently developing and extending their skill levels in the industry to strategically meet current needs.

This centre will also serve as an organized tourist destination that explores the active trade in Ratnapura invariably reflecting the true identity of Ratnapura.

It will further facilitate an institution of learning to understand and educate the youth in the various techniques of gem mining, gem cutting, gem business, jewellery making etc. The centre’s public functions stretch out to reflect and continue the busy drama that presently takes place out in the open streets: small scale trade, gem displays, and gem related festivities all happen in the very heart of the street.

The concept was generated based on a need to expand on the idea of ‘faceting’ in which the transformation of the rough edged gem to a value added cut polished gem takes place. This very process of transformation through faceting to add quality, value, identity and image is explored through in the design. The building form is thus inspired by the exploration of the geometrical principle of a faceted gem and the process of faceting itself. While its form will then be iconic to represent the identity of the gem trade in Ratnapura its functions and spatial quality will explore the exciting process of crafting the gem.

Vishaka Ratnayaka

Dimantha Dharshana Weliange
Tamara Wjayapala
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