After working on a number of reconstruction projects post-tsunami in Sri Lanka, renowned architect Shigeru Ban was commissioned to build a private residence on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Built of concrete, local teak and coconut leaves, the home is a cantilevered, open-air beauty with framed views of the surrounding landscape. Shade screens and operable shutters keep out the sun and heat but encourage air to naturally flow through the open spaces.
The concrete home is located on a hilltop overlooking the ocean in Weligama, Sri Lanka, and is composed of a series of platforms accessed by stairs. A large overhanging roof covers the entire space and is built from light, water-proof, cement boards. The open-air home is further protected from the sun with woven coconut leaf sun shades crafted in a checkerboard pattern. Parts of the shade are operable allowing for increased ventilation into the space. Locally-sourced teak, formed into 80mm wide and 3mm thick strips, is also woven into a wickerwork pattern and installed on the ceiling.
Designed to take in the sights of the ocean, cliffs and jungle, the home uses the intersecting planes of the floors, walls and ceilings to frame in three different views. First is the view of the ocean seen from the jungle in the valley, which is framed by the external corridor from another existing house to this house and the roof. Second is a horizontal view of the ocean framed by the large roof and the floor. Last is the view of a cliff, which glows red at sunset, and is framed by a solid wood square frame in the bedroom.
Images ©Hiroyuki Hirai/Shigeru Ban