Page 11 - U4SSC Case study: Affordable housing and social inclusion, June 2020
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Case Study 2 – Kirinda, Sri Lanka: wild coast tented lodge


            Louis Thomson

            Reviewer and editor:

            Gamze Hakli Geray


            Sustainability, community and heritage were intertwined in the design of the Wild Coast Tented Lodge,
            located on the edge of Yala National Park in the south of Sri Lanka. A multidisciplinary design team,
            consisting of Nomadic Resorts (architecture and landscape design) and Bo Reudler Studio (interior
            design), created the award-winning safari camp for Resplendent Ceylon, a subsidiary of Dilmah Tea.

            The project was designed using a combination of local materials like bamboo shingles for the main area
            buildings such as the welcome area, bar, and restaurant, and sophisticated, tensioned architectural
            fabrics for the 36 tented accommodation units. The project was built in close cooperation with the
            local community.


            Kirinda is a small village in the south-east of Sri Lanka on the edge of Yala National Park (the largest
            and oldest national park in Sri Lanka). The village was originally founded as a shrine dedicated to
            Queen Viharamahadevi, who lived in the 2  century BC. The temple is at the heart of a local legend:
            when raging waters threatened Ceylon, King Kelanitissa ordered his youngest daughter into a boat as
            a sacrifice. The waters were calmed and the princess miraculously survived.

            In the 18  Century, when the British built salt flats in the area, they imported a community of Malay
            Muslims into the region and they have lived and worked in the village ever since, side by side with the
            existing Buddhist fishermen and farmers.

            The village is extremely poor – essentially the population survives from fishing activities on the Basses
            reef complex off the coast, working in the saltpans and taking part in some minor tourist activities.

            Over recent decades, fish stocks have been in decline and, as a result, many of the young men from
            the village have left to seek their fortune in the capital, Colombo.

            In many ways, this rural village is an isolated enclave in one of the remotest corners of the country,
            which has been forgotten as the Rajapaksa Government has focused its attention on the mega projects
            planned in the Hambantota.

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