Post Disaster Reconstruction @ Poonagala
For the plantation community displaced due to Meeriyabedda landslide
- Name: Yashodhara Ranasinghe
- Year: 2015
- Studio: Level V
- University: University of Moratuwa
October 2014 a huge landslide struck Sri Lanka in the district of Badulla (a hilly region), killing and leaving people missing forever. This lead to a whole line house community to flushed away and buried at dawn while some were still sleeping, and it became Sri Lanka’s second largest natural disaster (first Tsunami) within recent history. Meeriyabedda, the tea estate disappeared from the geographical map and people who displaced were retained in schools as temporary camps. They still are in the same places as there is no other place to go and no resettlement plans as well. Government is now planning for a resettlement program for these people and
to launch it in a massive scale throughout the whole tea estate labor sector.
Responding to all above issues, this project is a ‘resettlement program’ for the line house community who displaced due to landslide. This project to be launched as a time concern, low cost building system as a proper solution for areas where there is landslide vulnerability and at the same time support the native communal values of the community to familiarize and move forward with the new site and the system.
The project is restricted/ challenged with its environmental context, social and cultural context, economical context and technological context. In order to tackle the challenges, the project was manipulated based upon two considerations which are Generic and Specific implementation of problem solving process.
With the relocation plan (as the existing site is not safe enough) the idea is to reinterpret the village as a selfsustain community. The zoning was done with certain inspirations of the destroyed community and project was done in two parts. Part one is housing clusters with regional material (available and discarded), simple, regional and low scale technology and the available unskilled labor force. The part two is develop the village center with some important facility buildings manipulating the same systems into a larger scale.
The design was approached in two parallel ways,
- As a landslide mitigation proposal – Project specific bottom up principles for landslide prone area were derived by referring hillside guidelines, landslide prone area guidelines and special guidelines for Meeriyabedda. The total scheme, building system, structure and materiality were inspired by these ‘technical principles’. Technical Principles (ref. – Guidelines developed and issued by NBRO (National Building Research Organization) and UDA (Urban Development Authority), general data, landslide research data)
- Plantation community as specific social category – The overall layout, spatial planning and small scale details inspired from different plantation settlements (User comfortable Physical setup). Spatial Principles (personal analysis) (Technical and spatial principles appear in the panel as a graphic). The whole scheme would not be built at one time. But it would be grown gradually. All the possible details, growth restrictions are specified in the project and they are very tolerance to unskilled labor errors. Even though one housing prototype is introduced, since there are more than 300 horizontal and vertical growth options, at the end within the scheme the houses would differed one to another as the user requirement of growing pattern, preferences of detailing and affordability differs from each other.