The New Sri Lankan House

The New Sri Lankan House

Of course Sri Lanka is a tropical island and hence, houses should be built accordingly, right? The New Sri Lankan House – a book – highlights these aspects and houses built for the tropics. It is written by Robert Powell, of which the essays are by David Robson and photos by Sebastian Posingis. It was launched recently at the Barefoot Gallery and will also be launched on 20 May in London, UK.

In conversation with Powell

“It was around 2013 when the idea of this project came into hold. I’d already written a few similar books on houses in other countries in South East Asia, and it was only a natural choice to also feature Sri Lankan houses in the same manner. The introductory essays were taken over by Robson and I took over writing the rest of the pieces for each house, whilst Posingis took the photographs.”

Robert_Powell
Powell

 

While conversing on the subject of seeing each of these houses to feature, Powell admitted that the trio literary travelled from house to house. “We were given a list at first; this included recommendations for our book by architect C. Anjalendran. We also received a couple of recommendations from the Bawa Trust, architect Channa Daswatte and a few other people I know. As is known, it really isn’t easy to identify houses and those that fit the criteria for this book, and so we looked at the choices laid in front of us and cut the list down further to a total of 25. Once this was sorted out, we simply head off on the road to visit each of them,” he said.

Kadju House
Kadju House

“It took us about a year in all to really put together everything we needed. Going from house to house isn’t as easy as it sounds. I actually put together a map and we worked our way through one by one. It also took us another year to work on the photographs and select what we wanted for the book. I have to admit that the houses featured include that of three completed by foreign architects and the rest by local architects. It also makes it right to feature the work of Geoffrey Bawa first and then move on towards the others. So for those who have a misconception that the book is entirely on the work of Bawa, they are wrong. The book also focuses on many fresh and young architects who are making a name for themselves. There is a link however because some of the featured architects did work with Bawa initially before moving out and practising architecture on their own.”

Thisara Thanapathy
Thisara Thanapathy

“To be quite frank, this is the first book of its kind that includes the names and work of these young architects. Now when I say young, I mean those aged between 30 and 55. They are immerging architects who have their own practices. This book hence creates a lot of awareness and makes these names well known on an international aspect,” he added.

Houses for the tropics

Basically, the criteria for the houses that the team was looking to feature in the book was simple. The houses had to be made for the tropics being on an island. Tropical houses built ideally are surrounded by lushness and have a open sort of aspect to them. They had to be well oriented, must not have chopped down trees in order to create the space, rather it should be that the house were built around the trees. Also there should be little or less use of glass. Now, of course not all the houses fit into all the criteria but meet the idea of being tropical in some way or the other. The book includes house that have been categorized into four – country houses, coastal houses, houses on the edge and city houses.

Amila deMel
Amila deMel

“The New Sri Lankan House is a very special book. I must also mention that the people living in these houses were also very amicable and accommodating. When visiting each of these houses, it was also important for us to be able to see the entire space in all lighting and in all its glory, so it was kind of vital for us to also spend a night; to be able to see the space at dusk and also at morning break. The owners were very hospitable and offered to allow us a night’s stay and it was truly a pleasure. You see, because architecture is not for discussing or talking; one must be able to see it from their own eyes and be able to touch and feel too. We were also very fortunate that the weather was good throughout our journey,” said Powell.

Palinda Kannangara
Palinda Kannangara

What I find most remarkable and a pleasant addition is that Sri Lankan architecture has a connection to the earth. One is always close to the earth. The way that houses are built, you are able to hear the sound of birds chirping in the morning, the lush sway of leaves on trees when a wind blows by and if you’re close to water, the sound of lapping. “So, the connection with ecology is something I find that other houses in other parts of South East Asia does not have. This sensitivity is what makes these houses unique and certainly one of a kind. The people of Sri Lanka are always grounded in this manner, and I also feel that they are all experiencing a new beginning – not with just a new political era but also with this book in terms of it being the first of its kind.”

Channa Daswatte
Channa Daswatte

The New Sri Lankan House is available for sale at the Barefoot Gallery

**As published in the Ceylon Today newspapers**

***Images courtesy Barefoot Gallery and Posingis***

Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest?

I certainly am and I totally love it! I think it’s like the coolest (what’s the word – app?) thing ever to be on and you find the most amazing images and ideas for your day to day life.

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This what my personal (homepage?) wall looks like and these are some of the boards I pin on. I first got on to finding images on Pinterest because of work. We tend to look for images that would be suitable for work related articles and at the time I was writing a ton of fashion related articles and so this one time I wrote on jewellery. I initially searched on Google for images but somehow came across some that were on Pinterest and was totally blown away by the originality and uniqueness. In a matter of days I had pinned over 500 pins I believe in my ‘It’s All About The B.L.I.N.G.’ board and then got hooked on multiple other images that I pinned onto ‘My Favourite Things’.

I love nail polish and so board – ‘All About Nails’ – followed a week or two later and well, every other board followed suit too from shoes to inspirational quotes, food, drinks, bridal related images, couture, lingerie, bath and body products as well as fashion.

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I started out sometime early last year and to-date I have over 300 followers, which I think is quite cool considering I pin only specific whatnots and not just about everything I come. I happen to be very picky and choosy. If it’s for the ‘Bath and Body’ board, I look for images that really look good, that are angled well and shot with great lighting and so on, so you can really tell I am picky as to what I choose to pin. It has to be that way in my mind. If it doesn’t look good or appealing to me, then I just would not pin it lol!

My ‘Outfit Inspiration’ board is one of my absolute favourites. These are not necessarily outfits that I myself can wear but outfits that are well put-together and chic at all times. I’ve also got a ‘Desi Inspiration’ board which is for all things desi-fied 😀 I believe that is the board that has the most number of pins.

On my board ‘Destination Wherever’ I’ve also tried to highlight some images I’ve captured myself of my country and of the places I go to. I do not pin on that board as frequently as I think I should however. ‘Bag It’ is another favourite board which includes images of all sorts of bags – clutches, hobos, cross body, satchels and so on.

I don’t follow too many others who pin because it feels like it crowds my homepage a lot, but some of the knows IDs include forever21, Micheal Kors, Victoria’s Secret, NYX Cosmetics, Jimmy Choo and Elie Saab.

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Images on bridals, wedding decor and wedding themes really helped with the planning of my wedding so you can take a look at what inspires me on the board ‘Here Comes The Bride. I do not limit it in any way, so you’ll find everything wedding related in there. Same goes for the ‘Dream House’ board. It’s basically got everything from living room ideas to garden ideas, vanity ideas to bathroom ideas and everything in-between.

What do you like most about Pinterest? Comment below and let me know 🙂

Xoxo

Weekly Snap!

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Earl Grey, Mandarin and Honey Iced Tea

As you all know, I’m a huge tea fan. So here’s presenting my weekly snap – an Earl Grey, Mandarin and Honey iced tea. This fabulous beverage is available at the tlounge by Dilmah on Chatham Street as well as Arcade Independence Square.

Xoxo

Chocolates review

Chocooooolaaates!!!!!!
Chocooooolaaates!!!!!!

Yes, as weird as this topic might sound I am talking about chocolates in my post today. My husband and I headed over to Coffee Stop, Cinnamon Grand and thought we’d give some of the in-house made chocolates a try. We’ve frequented this cafe so many times but never really gave the chocolates much thought until very recently.

I have to admit the choice of flavours could do with a couple more but hey, I ain’t complaining because the flavours currently available are totally amazing. So we got a box of nine and decided to get four different flavours. Our most favourite is mint so we got three of those and then two each of the strawberry marzipan, chocolate crispy and hazelnut cream. The mint flavour one is actually a tad overwhelming at first bite but then settles in after a couple of bites. My new current favourite however has to be the strawberry marzipan. I am not even a fan of anything marzipan but I have no idea what made me go for it, but trust me I am super happy I chose two of those because I downed them like hot cakes! They are simply amazing and the marzipan flavour is actually quite subtle. The hazelnut cream one was very basic so I’d give it a casual thumbs up. Lastly, the crispy one was also a good choice on my part and I would definitely recommend you give it a try as well.

Overall, my husband and I were pretty content with our selections. I was more than thrilled about how amazing the strawberry marzipan chocolate one was. I would definitely go back just to have that one a couple more times. And for about Rs. 80+ each, I’d say they are well worth their price.

Xoxo 🙂

HSBC CFW RESORT SHOW Unveils a Four-Day Showcase

Colombo Fashion Week (CFW), which introduced its Resort edition as a single day event in 2012, is now a four-day showcase  from the 1 to 4 October. The show will unveil the best of resort wear fashion including fifteen ‘Bright Spark’ shows at the start of the week leading up to twenty main shows by established designers. The ‘Bright Spark’ shows will also unveil the collection from Peronie Nadine Stefel who is the first ‘Bright Spark’ designer to be awarded the fund created by CFW in its ongoing effort to develop and support up-and-coming fashion designers.

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Commenting about the show, Ajai V Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week stated, “The creation of resort wear as a season is vital for us as we can play on our strengths and make us shine by the grace of God. Resort wear is a growing category and we want to lead its growth in this part of the world. We can’t do much in terms of fashion with the Fall and Winter seasons, so for designer businesses to grow we need a second season along with Spring and Summer. Two years ago we found that resort wear worked well as our second season. With continuous innovation, we will keep driving this category to greater heights, creating more opportunities for Sri Lankan fashion designers and the industry.”

CFW is one of the three main Fashion Weeks in Asia which have been running for more than 10 years. It is also one of two fashion weeks in Asia which has introduced a dedicated resort wear season in its annual calendar, in addition to its Spring/Summer season. In just two years it has grown to become a four-day event and has shown an ever-increasing growth pattern. The HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show is unique because it takes place at a resort and this time Jetwing Blue and Beach in Negombo will play host to the highly anticipated event.

U by Upeksha at the CFW Resort 2013 Show

Singh further added, “There’s a valid reason for promoting resort wear, it’s not just part of our efforts to make Sri Lanka a destination for fashion entertainment, it’s part of our plan to make an international impact in the fashion industry. As our plans for CFW’s growth continued to unfold CFW became part of Asian Fashion Week (AFW). Five Sri Lankan designers who showcased their work at CFW, were selected to show their collections at AFW in Indonesia.  Sri Lankan designer, Sonali Dharmawardena even had the honour of opening Asian Fashion Week this year. Colombo Fashion Week is now being recognized internationally for the impact it is making on the local fashion industry and every aspect of fashion in Sri Lanka.”

Along with 17 established Sri Lankan fashion designers, there will be three international heavyweights at the HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show who will add an interesting dimension to the show. Abraham & Thakore, a designer duo and label from the Indian fashion industry which has won accolades and recognitions around world, will be showing in Sri Lanka for the first time. Harare, a label owned by Caroline Fuss will also show at the HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show. Caroline showed at New York Fashion Week just last week and was well received by the fashion community. The third international designer to be featured at the show includes a CFW loyalist and the show’s best international ambassador; Bibi Russell. She is a world-renowned fashion designer and icon who is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO.

In addition to several ramp events this not-for-profit annual event stays true to its vision of developing and uplifting Colombo’s fashion design industry through its behind-the-scenes mentoring process and workshops.  This year at the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week workshop will be held on the 4 October and will focus on a theme titled, ‘The use of indigenous textiles in fashion’. Designers Bibi Russell, Harare and Abraham & Takore will also join the workshop to share their knowledge and experience.

Yoland at the CFW Resort 2013 Show

Every year, as part of the CFW plan, new additions are made to the seasonal CFW calendar.  This year CFW Resort will see designer Pop-up stores being created with the support of TATA housing. TATA housing held a competition among final year architecture students and the designs of two students were selected and awarded. A total of 15 Pop-up stores for each designer brand will be set up at the venue, Jetwing Beach, enabling guests to see the latest collections in a well-designed retail environment. As part of the Fashion + Food series of CFW, a Michellin star chef from Paris and an internationally acclaimed Malaysian chef will be at the event. The chefs will provide delightful cuisines every evening, bringing in a design element to the show from the culinary arts. There will be special menus available on 1 and 2 October, the day of the ‘Bright Spark’ shows and the menus will continue to evolve till the show comes to a close on 5 October.

Issued by    :    Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka; a part of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc.

Colombo Fashion Week Resort Show 2014

The third edition of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort Show will be held from 1 to 4 October in Negombo. CFW has proved to be the backbone of the Sri Lankan fashion design industry, celebrating its 11th year with the launch of its third annual show focusing on a collection of resort wear outfits. This much anticipated seasonal fashion showcase that has been well received by the fashion public in both Sri Lanka and the region; is to take place at Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Beach. The unique annual Resort Show will also focus on a variety of new features this year.

Commenting of CFW’s vision behind the show, Ajai V Singh, President Colombo Fashion Week stated, “Resort is a growing category around the world, and it’s new. I personally feel Sri Lanka is very well positioned to take a lead to create a regional resort wear pivot. This year, CFW Resort Show is a four day showcase of the brightest Sri Lankan fashion talent, we are very proud of that and excited about the new opportunities we have been able to create for Sri Lankan designers. At CFW we are determined to take the Sri Lankan fashion industry from strength to strength.”

The HSBC CFW Resot Show 2014 head table
The HSBC CFW Resot Show 2014 head table

The HSBC CFW Resort Show will celebrate the historic town of Negombo, where the first HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show was held. Negombo, a vibrant town that is home to the oldest fishing industry in Sri Lanka, lies amidst a colourful cultural and historical setting.

“We are pleased to once again be the resort partner for this extremely special and unique event, which continuously adds value and enhances Sri Lankan fashion. This time around, the CFW Resort Show quite rightly heads to the beach – and the beaches of Negombo provide the perfect venue to showcase the diverse creativity, talent, and commitment of our upcoming young designers. We look forward to the best HSBC CFW Resort Show yet!” stated Ishanth Gunawardene, Head of Sales and Marketing, Jetwing Hotels.

New items featured at the show will include a series of ‘Bright Sparks’ shows which were launched earlier this year with talented young undergraduates from a variety of Sri Lanka’s leading fashion institutes. A series of pop up shops will be featured prominently at the show for the first time this year. Pop up shops will be designed to create a sale point for items which will be showcased at the event. The shops will be designed by young architects who will compete for the opportunity to create the ultimate shop design.  This year, Jetwing will add excitement to the show by featuring two internationally renowned chefs (Daniel Hebet and Kenneth Loke) who will create a series of culinary masterpieces at the event. The show is to end with all the glitz and glamour of its legendary after parties this year.

Issued by   :      Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka; a part of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc.