- Name: Sithija Shehan
- Year: 2016
- Studio: Level III
- University: University of Moratuwa
Community of Moratuwa has been based on timber industry, but the technology of the timber industry has not developed with modern technologies. The site has a potential of being a landmark to the entry of Moratuwa City by one end. The design is to express the timber technology by freeing the ground floor and creating an open space but shaded spaces where the borders between the pavilion and its urban contest are diffused.
It has long been known that the best furniture pieces are produced in Moratuwa area where, simple anything could be custom made of timber. In fact many showrooms across the island source their furniture from Moratuwa area.
The dominant age class in the furniture manufacture industry (FMI) is 55 years, which represents 44% of the total workers. 192 Children out of 378 workers are employed in FMI, which accounts 51% children of the workers join the furniture manufacture industry. The educational levels of the workers are low and they have gained their skills from their fathers and forefathers.
Carpenter and furniture shop owners
The total number of workers is estimated as 3515 workers which comprises, skilled carpenters (68%) semi-skilled carpenters (11%) labourers (7%) other category workers (5%) manager (4%) and supervisor (4%)
Prospective buyers venture to the myriad nooks and crannies of Moratuwa itself is a place where there they is a assured range of the best prices and limitless choices; be it a quick buy that lasts a year or two or an invaluable showpiece.
Reliability of timber structure
Structural timber components are sawn from logs. Apart from some exceptions they have a prismatic shape with a rectangular cross section. In contrast to small clear wood specimens timber components have structural dimensions. The maximum possible dimension of the timber components is determined by the size of the trees in the forest. Eg: one hundred years ago timber components with a length of 20m and a rectangular cross section of about 150×450 mm space were commonly available. Nowadays the forestry strategy has changed and in most countries timber with a cross section over 75×225 mm and a length more than 5m attracts a cost premium due to scarcity.
Timber craft centre is a place that offers a range of services to its community from providing knowledge about timber craftsmanship which offers small scaled crafters the opportunity to exhibit their craft works to various social classes. It also acts as a centre of research and experiments about timber craftsmanship and its products.
Site stands at the entry point of the Moratuwa City as the old and new galle roads separate and ascends from either side of the plot area making the timber craft centre the official entrance to the city, which makes it all the more fitting given Moratuwa’s historical ties with timber crafting.
Preference of steel and concrete over timber as a building material due to their fast construction, lack of high skilled labour force regarding timber construction particularly find detailing and the general conception among people that timber itself fares worse when it comes to tall structures, long spans and bearing greater loads are identified as the issues of timber not being commonly renowned for timber craftsmanship.
Conveying the idea that timber indeed is a material capable of making great structures by reflecting it on the building itself is the core idea of the building and it is achieved by making the structure and details usable to the viewers. Cantilevered spaces and larger spans are used to reflect the potential timber possess when used properly and with care.
The structure itself act as a shading device and adds an aesthetic appeal to the building which holds a great importance in providing greater first impression not only to the people who are from the area but also to the people who are entering to the Moratuwa City as visitors. Building itself acts as an iconic structure that reminds the people about the identity of the city and the potential timber possesses in the field of construction.
It also provides the technical and theoretical knowledge about the timber construction to the community in order to introduce more people to timber manufacturing and enhancing the knowledge of those who are currently active in field by offering them international exposure through research and knowledge sharing. Last but not least it offers a gathering space to families and friends with the unique structure and its architectural spaces being the main attraction.
The large timber structure acts as the dominant usual feature of the building. A large concrete block features as the base with two vertical concrete shafts extending towards the sky. The wooden structure in a way is suspended from these shafts which comprise the service large double and triple height spaces provides the dwellers a daunting and intimidating feeling while sowing the capability of timber.
Eco friendly materials are more and more sought after and there is no better environmentally friendly material than timber. Natural ventilation and daylight can be found in bundles as the building gears up towards a future of possible power and resource struggle and ultimate goal being someday this building can be sustainable and depending.
Black is the only color used in the building other than the textures of the materials. Natural timber texture is the most dominant color pattern which merges with the concrete finishes. Black color is used to highlight the detailing to the user.