Family Retreat at Malabe by Architect Palinda Kannangara
Malabe, Sri Lanka
Architects & Firms
Site Size: 8,181 square feet
Project Size: 3,254 square feet
Program: A couple in their fifties, who had lived in the capital Colombo for many years, sought a retreat from the city. They chose to renovate and expand an existing house, where they would relax and pursue gardening and writing. Their daughter, in her twenties, also uses the house to practice her classical Indian dancing.
Location: The house, overlooking paddy fields and woodlands, is in a suburb of Colombo.
Solution: The house was reorganized so that the existing structure is virtually swallowed by the new addition. It now expands eastward to the property boundary that runs at a diagonal to the orthogonal plan.
The new structure is entirely poured-in-place concrete that is exposed on the interior and clad with rubble on the exterior. Residents enter a small foyer that leads to a new living room and double-height dining space. Both rooms feature swiveling glass doors that open to a large field to the north. The dining space connects to the kitchen, reading room, and master bedroom and bathroom, the latter of which receives daylight through a slot-like-garden topped by an open grate.
The main circulation path to the upstairs rooms is via a long linear stair in the dining area. The upper level, which wraps around the double-height dining area, is divided into a bedroom suite for the daughter and a family room.
Construction and Materials: The structure consists of both poured-in-place concrete and brick walls, with a pitched roof partially supported by tubular steel columns. All the glazing is wood-framed, including the family room where expansive glass windows and doors provide views to the north, west, and south.