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Symbiosis – A Cultural Empowerment Centre For Galle

Part 1 Project 2012
Roven Rebeira
City School of Architecture Sri Lanka
Galle a city on the Southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka endured rapid changes to its architectural character with the introduction of the open market economy. Institutional buildings and other public amenities have attempted to capture the illusive character of Galle without success. These architectural typologies have in fact alienated the people of Galle from their city, as much needed public space is either cut off from access or built on.
This alienation from the city runs deep, so much that, traditional norms, practices and unique southern dance art forms are fading away in value and practice to the society of Galle that is rapidly modernizing along with its city. As an attempt to remedy this situation it is proposed to introduce a CULTURAL EMPOWERMENT CENTER for the people and the city.

The master plan proposes to give back the city’s public spaces to create a city that celebrates life through recreational activities.

The design explores the possibility of an architecture that attempts to connect the society of Galle through non linear pathways and patterns of movement that would cause an intense amount of interactions within and around its spaces and functions. The existing movement paths on site are not hindered, allowing them to pass through the structure, where commuters would experience the functions of cultural celebrations around them in a subtle, daily basis.

The building taps into the movements of people, the views to the fort and the ocean and the city itself allowing the functional spaces such as the galleries and the museum to merge with the views of the city and the atmosphere of Galle giving visitors a sense of place.

Connecting to the recreational belt, the urban park and the movement paths allows the architecture to arrive at a symbiosis with its context. The urban park flowing onto the architecture, the rustic pallet of materials that fade through time, the climatic response of the architecture allows it the character of having immerged from the land itself. A symbiotic architecture that suggests that the society and all its daily activities are indeed an integral part of culture.

Roven Rebeira


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