Wild Elephant Conservation Village at Kalapuraya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
- Name: Sathya Goonawardena
- Year: 2019
- Studio: Level V
- University: University of Moratuwa
“Architecture can be a medium through which human and wildlife discover mutualism”
Understanding “Mutualistic Architecture” to accommodate and enrich the interrelationship between the broader village community and wild elephants
Human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka
It is estimated that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia but the population of Sri Lankan elephants has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations. Human-elephant conflict is increasing due to the conversion of elephant habitat to settlements and permanent cultivation.
- Questionnaire survey with the affected community.
- Interview and design discussion with Local biologists and scientists.
Minneriya-Girithale Sanctuary is a reserve, which is located in Polonnaruwa District, North Central province, Sri Lanka. Minneriya-Girthale reserve is prominent from other protected areas in Sri Lanka because it has identified as the highest elephant density in the Asia. There are 43 boarder villages around the Minneriya-Girithale reserve are which is highly affected by the Human-Elephant conflict.
This project will act as a pilot project to check on the feasibility of using architectural design principles to mitigate the issue. The negative connection between community and wild elephants can reversed by identifying methods of economically benefiting from their unique situation
- Mutualism between community and the wild elephants
- Economic mutualism between community and tourists
This project attempt to create a “mutualistic” relationship between different parties as well as to identify how elephant and humans experience the build domain and their spaces while they coexist without harming each other. Creating the innovative architectural strategies to mitigate the conflict and symbiosis in the same area interpret the “Mutualistic living” between the affected community and the elephants. Therefore using that phenomena as a benefit, that helps to facilitate the tourists to get an experience by observing the behavior of wild elephants, which make as the “Economical mutualism” between community and tourist.
The project shows that conservation and development needs to merge in a sustainable manner. Innovative design principles are developed with the First phase (pilot project) and depending on the success criteria, those principles can be applied to the second phase of the project (affected borderland villages).
|· Earth bag wall construction (lime plaster finish)|
· Local timber construction
· Earthen flooring
|· Local timber construction|
· Wattle and daub partition walls
· Timber cross plates
· Earth bag wall construction
· Mud concrete slabs
· thatched roofing
*Earth bag walls provide exceptional tensile strength while allowing the rows to be stepped in to create corbelled domes and other organic shapes. Interweaving of the barbed wire and steel twine horizontally and vertically, makes the organic walls stable and improve tensile strength, which helps to stand against the elephant attacks.
- In respected to the symbiosis with each other, the 3 key zone contributed to coexist with the wild elephant while the human functions gives zero impact to their habitats. Community participation to mutualistic living with wildlife and transfer knowledge to improve their lifestyle while mitigating the attacks to their properties. The existing local industries and proposed elephant dung paper factory have developed. Spaces provides for main community activities and for their utility services.
- Researcher’s participation to investigate the human-elephant conflict mitigation strategies and contribution in conservation of wild elephants and other species. This category has an important role in the project, which helps to transfer knowledge to the affected community as well as to generate and apply the innovative HEC methods by corporate with community.
- Public participation helps to improve the economic aspects of the overall project and generate the mutualism between community and public as the side effect of the human-elephant conflict. The difficulties of the boarder living would use as the benefit to the affected community by making connection with the public.
- Construction methods of the building consumes less energy due to the localized and ecological material and indigenous construction techniques ( earth bag techniques, jungle wood and used timber, existing rock boulders and thatched roof ).
- The design has been placed with minimal damage to the site as well as giving a life cycle to the building with temporal materials while Easy and flexible construction materials to withstand for Elephant attacks.
- The building will use natural ventilation and lighting during the day time, which is energy efficient in operation.
- Waste management program
- Structural form perform better in elephant attacks
- Traditional- forms interpret local architectural elements – granary & simple house structure