Kirinda, Sri Lanka

  • Neighborhood

    Kirinda and Anderagasyaya Villages, Sri Lanka
  • Use

    Master Plan and Prototype Housing for Post-Tsunami Reconstruction
  • Clients

    • Sri Lanka Urban Development Authority
    • Village of Kirinda
    • Architecture for Humanity
  • Status

  • Budget

    $1500 per house


On December 26, 2004 the worst natural disaster in South Asian History occurred. A tsunami resulting from an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 struck Sri Lanka particularly hard, affecting over 800,000 people and destroying over 90,000 buildings and homes.  UQ Principal Samir S. Shah was based in Colombo at the time, conducting research as a Fulbright Fellow. He joined with a group of Sri Lankan friends and colleagues to offer assistance in the planning and reconstruction effort.  Collaboration with Pradeep Kodikara, Sanath Liyanage, Varuna da Silva and Arosha Perera.

The team of five architects volunteered to conduct damage assessments and to provide Sri Lanka’s National Planning Authority with a reconstruction master plan for Kirinda and surrounding areas, in the southeast corner of the island. 

Between January and May of 2005, the team consulted with community leaders, larger assemblies of the community, and local officials to review the design work and conduct design charettes.

In addition to this, the team was asked to plan a new village nearby, called Anderagasyaya, and to coordinate with the United Nations and other NGO’s and development organizations who had pledged assistance in the reconstruction process. 

In preparing the master plan, the team also designed prototype housing for the different religious and cultural groups in the area. This included one of ten model prototype homes for permanent shelter built to specifications for the Muslim community of Kirinda by Zonta II Club of Colombo. Eventually, over 200 homes were built from these plans with some modifications. 

New Kirinda Library and Classroom