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Proposed Industry Hub Supporting Local Industry & Economic Development in Rathanapura, Sri Lanka

Part 1 Project 2020
Dhanushka Jayanath Abeywickrama
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) | Sri Lanka
Rathnapura known as the “City of Gems”. It has a deep-rooted heritage and cultural background that revolves around the existence of gems that is one of the main natural resources in Sri Lanka, even earning the affectionate name of “Ratnadeepa” (land of gems).

Currently, the value of a gem traded in the market is rapidly decreasing, often sold at a lower value than the potential it holds. This can strip the identity Sri Lanka had for higher quality gems. Decades ago, gems mined in Ratnapura were hand cut using traditional methods, mechanisms and machines that are a part of the Sri Lankan heritage. This processes that were unique to Sri Lanka were used to cut and polished the gems, and to bring to its maximum potential value.

The architectural brief intends to create spaces and activities that will revive and evolve these traditional practices. Traditional hand cutting of gems will be taught and practiced in this centre and be sold to buyers. This will not only generate wealth in the community involved in the industry improving their livelihood, but also improve the quality & the value of the gems. The architecture is to create a landmark building in the city on an elevated platform whereby it symbolises the identity it holds connected to gems.

Dhanushka Jayanath Abeywickrama


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