kalabala bindu children’s garden

sri lanka


Project Description

CSK worked alongside a landscape architect to design the garden’s play structures and ancillary accommodation for the Kalabala Bindu Children’s Centre in Sri Lanka.  The charity creates peace gardens for children aged between 5 and 13 who were affected by the 2004 tsunami and recent civil unrest.  The process of trauma healing known as the ‘Garden Path Process’ is one which uses contemplation/meditation and creative expression to free the child’s imagination and creativity. Healing is primarily through play and children visit the centre in groups of 65, 3 days a week after school for a period of 6 months. At the end of this period the children put on a performance, a theatrical opera, where shared experiences are re-enacted. Accommodation includes an administration block, a principal performance space, a costume store, scenery & prop wing, catering block, visitors’ accommodation and numerous play structures.

The buildings are timber frame construction and the palette of local building materials include coconut columns and rafters, local thatched roof, mud walls and recycled timber steps and decking.

A covered play walkway weaves through the garden and is supported on a coconut ‘A’ frame over a mud play wall.

Environmental awareness and sustainability are at the heart of the Garden Path programme. The Gardens are built from locally sourced natural materials used innovatively, and incorporate grey water recycling, rainwater harvesting, solar technology and natural ventilation in their buildings. They also facilitate and encourage the creation of natural ecosystems for the local flora and fauna. These are all crucial facets of the Garden Path’s philosophy of earthwork, artwork, heartwork and healing for the children and the community.