RPL Factory Building, Horana, Sri Lanka

Canteen Recreaton and Rest Room, RPL Factory Building, Horana Architecture, Colombo, Architect

Building at the RPL Factory, Sri Lanka : Horana

West Sri Lanka Architectural Development – design by Chinthaka Wickramage Associates

15 May 2011

RPL Factory Building, Horana

Architects: Chinthaka Wickramage Associates

Location: Horana, near Colombo, western Sri Lanka

Canteen Recreaton and Rest Room Building, RPL Factory, Horana, Sri Lanka

Project was to design a Canteen, Recreation and Restroom building for Royal Porcelain Factory in Horana in a newly acquired six (06) perch block of land adjoining the Factory Premises. The Building was designed capturing the architectural idiom of the Factory building itself with a monitor roof in the centre. Due to space constraints the building was to be two leveled. The resultant section designed with a monitor roof in the centre enabled the restrooms and recreation room to be located in the mezzanine level overlooking partly double height canteen area.

RPL Factory RPL Factory Horana
photographs : Waruna Gomis

This ‘proto-type’ section was meant to be replicated in three factories of the Royal Ceramics Group located in Horana, Eheliyagoda and Panagoda. The skeleton of the building was designed as a pre-fabricated steel structure with a pre cast ICC structural slab system mezzanine floor in the centre. Foundation civil work component was completed before the prefabricated steel structure was transported and erected at site. Thereafter the pre cast mezzanine floor slab was installed on the ‘erected’ steel column and beam structure, followed by remaining civil works.Existing trees including a mature bread-fruit tree along the periphery were retained and steel column grid of the building was designed to mimic the surrounding trees and there intervals.

Robust materials – cement louver blocks white plastered brick masonry walls and zinc aluminium roofing sheets are juxtaposed to stunning effect in the building. The mezzanine is truly the ‘heart’ of the building, an informal area with views over the ground floor canteen dining area.Internal finishes are inexpensive and low maintenance–homogeneous ceramic tiles (manufactured in the factory) on both levels. Cement grill louver blocks were used extensively to facilitate cross ventilation and create required levels of privacy. Black Steel structural skeleton was contrasted with white interior walls due to hygiene reasons. Exterior walls are in grey green to merge with similar coloured factory buildings.

Materials used are dominated by ‘steel’ in keeping with the commonly used materials in factory construction, due to there light weight nature and the speed of construction. Insulation pasted zinc aluminium roofing sheets were used for the wide projecting roof. Cement masonry built in seats were incorporated into the block-work half walls, in the recreation mezzanine floor – for the workers to use for a quick game of ‘carom’ or ‘cards’ during their short breaks.Steel structural staircase was incorporated with bent and molded chequered aluminium sheets for tread and riser.Canteen Building was conceived as a ‘Proto-type’ for a ‘Factory Canteen’ with ability to replicate with ease using an architectural idiom merging with typical central monitor roofed factory buildings. It was an extension and development of the same ‘Factory Section’, with the introduction of a mezzanine floor in the centre, creating increased privacy for worker recreation in the upper level mezzanine floor. Staircase creates worker interaction between each level- workers who take meals in lower level canteen and workers who use the recreation room for a quick game during there short break from there hectic work schedules.

Projecting from the mezzanine floor and overlooking the wooded forecourt is an outdoor balcony protected by a thin RCC canopy. The interstitial spaces bring the different parts of the building into play with each other so that the workers always have a sense of what is going on in other parts of the building.

RPL Factory Horana – Building Information

Project Architect: Chinthaka Wickramge

Chinthaka Wickramage Associates – based in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka – are led by Chinthaka Wickramage, B. Sc. (BE) Hons, M. Sc. (BE) London, AIA(SL) Chartered Architect/Designer

Canteen Recreaton and Rest Room Building, RPL Factory, Horana, images / information from Chinthaka Wickramage Associates

Chinthaka Wickramage Associates, Sri Lankan architects : contact details


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RPL Factory Horana Building – page