Madhura Prematilleke: Works

Wed 11 May - Wed 11 May' 16

Public Lecture 17

Many of Madhura Prematilleke’s works are in tight urban sites, and yet he aimed to provide some of the basic elements of nature to all users. He declared his design manifesto as:

  • ▪ build less:   slim the program
  • ▪ build on less:    reduce the footprint, grow trees,
  • ▪ build in and out:   dissolve barriers between inside and outside
  • ▪ build slender:   reduce mass, get slim, make natural light and ventilation possible
  • ▪ build robust:   lets go to ruin gracefully, reduce the need for maintenance
  • ▪ build light:   lightweight structures, layers and skin: touch the earth lightly
  • ▪ build leftover:    adapt the existing, bring history to life
  • ▪ build ordinary:   seek out the beautiful in the everyday: regular is the new special
  • ▪ build safe, not sterile:   kill hazard, don’t kill joy
  • ▪ build local:   feed off local material, local skills
  • ▪ build interim:  affordable now, grow later
  • ▪ build hope, not ambition:  architecture should offer hope to grow, not be heavy with ambition
  • ▪ build need, not greed:   necessity is cool, excess sucks
  • ▪ build joy, not ego:  the difference could be subtle

He emphasised a humane quality and honesty within pragmatism in his wide range of works from public places to the interior of Sri Lankan Airlines, and how he incorporated nature and culture in every aspect of design.

And finally he announced a “Bill of Rights” for the users of architecture, which he believes, all architects should aim to provide when they design:

A Bill of Rights  – for (Users of) Architecture

Architecture Shall Provide Every Person Who Inhabits a Building:

  • The Right to  Physical and Emotional Well-being.
  • The Right to  Public Open Space (to Live Within Community, to Be Within Easy Reach of Public Space and Amenities)
  • The Right to  Private Open Space (Gardens, Courtyards, Balconies, Terraces )
  • The Right to  Interact With Nature (via Open Spaces, as Well as via Views and Vistas)
  • The Right to  Fresh Air
  • The Right to  Feel the Breeze and/or Warmth
  • The Right to  Natural Light
  • The Right to  Experience Sunrise and Sunset
  • The Right to  Personalize
  • The Right to  Control the Relationship Between Inside and Outside
  • The Right to  Dignity
  • The Right to  Privacy
  • The Right to  Age With Dignity
  • The Right to  an Environment That Will Age Gracefully
  • The Right to  Cope With Disabilities
  • The Right to  Build With What You Have (to Use One’s Own Skills and Resources)
  • The Right to  Affordability
  • The Right to  Grow
  • The Right to  Hope
  • The Right to  Joy