Defined esigns | Daily News


Defined esigns


Defining relationships between the animate and inanimate is a key aspect of architecture. The language of architecture is defining mind and matter. Arch World features Nuwan Premaratne who stressed that architecture is defining rather than creating.

“I used to work at State Engineering Corporation. A few of my friends got together and started the company I work at now - TWA (Team Works Architects). The five of us are basically looking after the company and we are good friends. I am currently lecturing at Kotelawala Defence University,” said Premaratne.

The TWA is very much a team effort. The big projects are handled by the team but the smaller projects are tackled individually.

“We normally work individually. Yet, there are certain big projects where you cannot work alone,” stated Premaratne.

Premaratne is from Kegalle. He is married to an architect too – Dilum – whom he met at university. They have a son and daughter.

“A human’s behaviour is moderated by the environment itself. Humans possess emotions, but the environment can basically moderate it or provoke it. The mood can be changed by the environment itself. Architecture is all about proportions and the connections between spaces; defining relationships between spaces,” pointed out Premaratne.

It could be a modest suburban house or an apartment complex, but humans make the interpretation and evoking feelings.

“With regard to a city scape, 20 or 30 storey buildings are established. You are basically defining the entire city scape. It is simple as well as complex. It is sensitive. When people experience space, they interpret it on their own. This interpretation gives them certain sensations. That changes the mindset of the person,” added Premaratne.

Premaratne admits that he is still learning, even though he teaches at university. This proves that all of architecture cannot be learnt during one lifetime.

“It is about how you perceive things. You have a set of memories and things which you have learnt. So there is an element of creativity in placing things. You are not really creating something but you are defining something. You are defining and interpreting,” explained Premaratne.

What are the clients’ responses to houses? the Daily News asked.

“Clients basically admire houses and sometimes it defines their personality. When people live in houses, it pronounces their personality. They want to create an image for themselves. You are basically placing certain things to define something. You place certain elements to moderate something,” informs Premaratne.

You need to manipulate elements. A building is an interface which gives you a certain amount of protection from the elements – the sun or wind.

“The ultimate result is that it should give them a moderated environment which is needed. We live in a tropical country. You don’t need heating and cooling, and you can live with the elements,” maintains Premaratne.

In a world where dengue and other diseases are prevalent, there needs to be an interface when it comes to the environment.

“There is a big problem with regard to cities. The environment is not that good. The wind is polluted and there are mosquitoes. You need to create an interface which protects the person inside. We have to consider the place, client, project and the requirements of the project. Then we need to go about it,” said Premaratne.

The architect has to consider how the space is manipulated. Where do you place certain things, what are the parametres and how do you connect it to the next space? The connection and definition of the inside and how you manipulate it, is the way you create architecture.

Today people ask for more than what they need with regard to houses. You need to talk to them in this regard.

“I ask most of my clients to cut down their needs. You need to counsel and tell them that something is not needed. Then they will cut down their requirements which will enable you to reduce the size of the house. Then there is more money to work with. That can create better architecture,” he concluded. 


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