Thursday, February 5, 2009

Architect - Geoffrey Bawa (part i) - Kandalama Hotel

This is the first in a series.
This structure speaks to me, evoking images of the misty, protective jungles on the cover graphic from Robert Rich's Somnium album.
Designed in 1991 by acclaimed Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa – a principal force behind the architectural movement, dubbed ‘tropical modernism – the Kandalama hotel is the first hotel in the world to earn LEED accreditation.
Situated within view of King Kasyapa’s rock citadel at Sigiriya near Dambulla, Sri Lanka, flanked by two world heritage sites, the Kandalama served as an example for future eco-hotels to follow.
The 253,000-sq.-ft. hotel was built on stilts to maintain the natural rainwater flow, landscaping was restored up to the column footings, and 80 percent of the roofs are planted with indigenous horticulture. The building was planned around the backdrop of a rock formation to provide a degree of passive cooling, which reduced the overall cooling load.
All water is recycled and re-used. Water comes from deep wells on the site is treated, and then circulated to the building. Effluent passes through two treatment plants and then used for landscaping. Surplus water is returned to the aquifer. The buildings total water and sewer needs are met from resources on site, with no connections to the utility.
The flat roofs (1% grade) and the thin vertical columns, combined with the green roofs and facades, give rise to an austere yet womb-like experience for the visitors.

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