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Building for Jaffna

Part 2 Project 2022
Sangeerthan Ravindran
University of Moratuwa | Sri Lanka
The end of the 30-year civil war in Sri Lanka has created a political, cultural and social alienation in the war-affected city of Jaffna. The post-war morphological development of Jaffna is a by-product of this socio-political and socio-technical alienation, which has literally ‘killed’ the city’s cultural norms, building traditions and industrial possibilities. To meet Jaffna’s future challenges as an important physical and cultural hub, a new building culture - built on the roots of its past - must be introduced.

To that end, this project presents an architectural proposition to restructure Jaffna’s lost ‘building culture’ while projecting urban infrastructure and the built environment as tools for generating a new identity for the city and its society.

As the physical base for this investigation, the public market complex is extended while retaining some of its pre-war buildings and regulating the urban fabric surrounding them. The design of the new structures taps into the local knowledge systems and labour pools, thereby exploring new configurations between production, labour and capital. At the same time, the building’s functions and spaces are arranged to support the ways of life of the local community, thereby exploring the term ‘building’ both as a noun and a verb.

Sangeerthan Ravindran


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