Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Shortlisted competition entry

90,000 SQ. FT.

Educational, cultural

The Cultural Center was designed as a "House for the city and its people". A bridge like terraced building is proposed that spans over two programmed earth berms. The building program includes educational facilities, an auditorium, cafeteria and other ancillary facilites. The facade of the building is striated to allude to the layering of history and reconciliation after the civil war. It is stepped along the north facade to take advantage of this exposure. A series of terraces allow the use of outdoor space when the weather permits.
The Cultural Centre will be a paradigm of sustainable design. There is a social aspect and an environmental aspect to sustainability. The social aspect is served by the shaded spaces, the steps, the ramp and terraces where people can interact and cultivate their interests, make new connections and help build a vibrant community. The environmental aspect is served by active and passive strategies to harvest natural energy from the sun, wind and the earth to reduce the dependence on public infrastructure.