Santhi Children Home

Rakwana, Sri Lanka 2017

In the winter term 2016 / 17 the project of the real studio was to design an orphanage for abandoned or abused children of Tamilian tea pickers. The orphanage will be run by the Buddhistic monks of the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation. The site is situated on the backside of Sri Lanka´s rainforest reserve Sinharaja Forest in the South of the island at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level.

The main questions that arouse from the project brief are: How do such children actually like to live within the Buddhist and Hindhuist culture? How could such a place for children ranging from 5 to 18 years actually work? How can this place adapt to the needs and possibly grow? How can a building structure be developed by using sustainable materials and interpretations of vernicular building techniques?

project facts

number of students


design period:

1 year
construction period:8 weeks
client:Sri Bodhiraja Foundation

Jonas Aehling, Antonie von Bismarck-Osten, Max Blume, Anna Gehringer

Tobias Grund, Felipe Imhoff, Daniel Kleber, Omar Mekati, Marion Montiel-Gabreba

Sarah Seitz, Franz Siebler, Tanja Sinzinger, Philip Lanthaler, Italia Cazar,

Bianca Woisetschläger, Julian Bustamante, Jana Wunderlich, Nikola Schiemann,

Melanie Schneider

project supervisors:

Matthias Kestel, Anne-Carina Völkl, Hubert Anesser, David Wolfertstetter, Elke Kirst

This questions had been answered by the group of students in a very unique way. The core of the design can be seen in the protective circular shape of the building, which provides a secure feeling of a new home which at the same moment allows to communicate with the landscape around due to it´s three community areas which structure the building. The huge slope of about 3,5 meters difference of height allowed the design to provide also a view on the Sri Pada, the holy mountain also known as "Adams Peak", from the upper part of the building.

You can retrace the building process on the tumblr page