Civil war and the 2004 tsunami wrought displacement and destruction in Sri Lanka. The client - of mixed ethno-religious background - survived both and became a child psychologist thanks to a German couple’s benevolence. Two NGOs that he founded to encourage education and inter-community reconciliation helped bring about this centre that hosts gatherings, craft education for adults, and a large annual sports, games, and music festival for children, to reduce inter-ethnic prejudice. The pentangular plan’s circumferential wall meanders inwards and outwards, creating pockets of space. Its five pavilions, of local clay brick in earthquake-resistant concrete frames, stand on a plinth around a central sandy area. Foldable wooden front walls allow indoor/outdoor flexibility. Perforated outer walls and floating cantilevered roofs provide passive climate control. The roofs overhang a platform with deep steps that double as a "grandstand". The programme was developed through a participatory process involving local villagers and University of Stuttgart students.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture