The Project – Lanka Learning Center
In the summer semester 2013, 17 architecture students from Germany designed an education and community center in Sri Lanka, the “LANKA LEARNING CENTER“. The project was established by three young architects in cooperation with the german NGO “S.T.E.P.S. of forgiveness“ and the local Association “People Helping People Foundation” from Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The first phase of the project represented an examination of the context, such as cultural, social and architectural, aiming to set up strategies for how to develop a place for education and community activities. The architecture students operated workshops with the local people during the on-site phase, in order to discuss and test different options of functions and uses on their relevance and feasibility.
In a second step, the developed project will be implemented on a plot near Batticaloa on the east coast of the country.
The main topic of the architectural project is to develop long term strategies for a sustainable development for this region in Sri Lanka. This area was severely weakened by the tsunami in 2004 and the civil war.
Furthermore the participation and integration of the the future users, local inhabitants, as well as political and religious representatives in the design and construction phase play a major role. Another important issue is to take into account the limited resources and funds and financial capacities. The usage of local materials is very fundamental.
The concern of the architectural project is to create a comfortable and secure environment, a “common ground”, where prejudices are removed and friendships are made across social boundaries. A peaceful coexistence and mutual trust between the ethnic groups is the foundation for a successful future of the country.