- Architect: PWA Architects
- Location: Galle Fort, Sri Lanka
- Area: 2,160 m2
- Project Year: 2015
- Client: Teardrop Holdings
- Interior Designer: Simone Grace
- Structural Engineer: NCD Consultants
- Contractor: Buildmart (Pvt) Ltd.
- Spa Consultant: Roz Freeman-Attwood
- Photographer: Eresh weerasooriya
Text description provided by the architect.
The Galle Fort where the project is located is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this heavily influenced our approach to the design. We arrived at our design for the restoration, expansion and conversion of this heritage property in to a 18 room luxury boutique hotel after studying the typology of existing buildings within the fort. The most suitable examples were of variations on the courtyard house which is what we based our design on.
Front Facade – Before Renovation
Courtyard – Before Renovation
The building as we found it had been neglected for a long time with trees growing within the internal spaces, the roof was partially broken and the elements had a great detrimental impact on the structure. We managed to preserve the older building (facing Church Street) by re-plastering and strengthening the walls yet the building at the back could not be salvaged. In order to stay true to the character we re-built this structure in exactly the same foot print as was there originally. This way we were able preserve the built density of the site.
In order to protect this valuable heritage property from heavy excavation we raised the swimming pool off the ground totally so that no deep excavation would be carried out. This helped to minimize disturbances to the soil and adjoining properties. The courtyard area has been maximized within the plot while retaining as much of the older trees as possible. The old banyan tree at the back of the site forms the main outdoor feature to which the entire courtyard area is orientated to.
The context/environment sensitive approach carried throughout the project has ensured that the original character of the building has been restored and thereby the primary aspect of re-integration of a Heritage building (which was in a serious state of disrepair) has been successfully re-introduced into the fabric of Galle fort.