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Unfurling Nature’s Geometry

Unfurling Nature’s Geometry

Trilanka, set in the heartland of Sri Lanka, is designed by Ar. Raefer Wallis of A00 Architects, who draws influence from the nature’s Golden Ratio to display the elementary beauty of nature through architecture

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The resplendence of nature gives luxury a new definition. The owners of Trilanka Hotel, Rob and Lara Drummond created this beautiful retreat nestled in the midst of hills and water bodies to showcase the overwhelming beauty and magnanimity of nature. The hotel was opened to public in 2015 but the site was discovered by Robert nearly 10 years ago. He enlisted the support of the award-winning architect Raefer Wallis of A00 Architects to execute a challenging brief: to create a contemporary hotel with minimal impact upon the site.

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The hotel spirals the six acre island hill at Koggala Lake and offers 11 luxury suites with a fantastic view.  The starting point for the architect was to locate structures next to or under trees, or within natural folds in the landscape, to make the buildings blend more easily into the surroundings. The extensive use of sustainable features were incorporated into the design such as natural wall renders, cinnamon cladding and green roofs populated with plant species endemic to the site, plus using recycled wood wherever possible.

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Geometrical Layout

The golden ratio in architecture – as expressed in the spiralling shells or the unfurling of a plant’s petals – bore a tremendous influence on Tri’s design. The innovative design mirrors nature’s Golden Ratio as it spirals eight suites out from a central water town on the crest of the hill down to the water’s edge. Befitting its location in Sri Lanka’s cinnamon heartland, the water tower (home to three lake-view suites) is an elliptical cinnamon-clad edifice with a dramatic 360 degree viewing deck. In addition to marking the site’s mathematical centre, the tower – encircled by spiral-shaped water feature and aquaponic gardens – underlines Tri’s marriage of manmade and natural into a living, useable whole.

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Natural settings

The windows, doors, flooring and cladding have been crafted from entirely recycled local Jak wood. Cinnamon sticks, one of Sri Lanka’s most abundant produce, are used on exteriors to blend buildings into the land, to enhance privacy and regulate temperature. Balconies and terraces are finished with natural pebble wash made from stones sifted from on-site construction sand. Three forms of local granite have been handpicked and hammered out to create pathways, flooring and steps. Other local woods like Domba, Kitul (fish tail palm) and coconut were used for certain highlights and features, such as the jetty and edging on steps.

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The majority of the furniture was made by local designers from local woods. A more distinctive Mara wood was preferred instead of commercially-viable teak wood while recycled local Jak wood has been used for wooden accents including the windows, doors, flooring and cladding. Local granite has been used for the interior steps, vanities and shower walls. Overall, the use of local materials is what kept the project design so indigenous and minimalistic.

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The rustic and unassuming architecture of Trilanka is what draws ones attention to the explicit beauty of the natural surroundings and the country’s rich culture. Overall, this resort is a vacationer’s paradise for those who seek solitude in the company of nature.

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Text: Anuja Abraham


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