Anjalendran Architect of Sri Lanka
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This beautifully illustrated book showcases the works of one of Sri Landa's most influential architects—Anjaledran, an ethnic Tamil and visionary artist.
During the past 25 years of civil war in Sri Lanka, Anjalendran has stayed on, creating architecture that has attracted interest across the entire Indian subcontinent. In Anjalendran, David Robson explores this unique man and his uncommon vision. Anjalendran's buildings have a simple directness and although totally modern in spirit, they acknowledge the rich design traditions of Sri Lanka. Whether working with ample budgets or at rock bottom cost (like his SOS Children's Village orphanages), his work focuses not only on creative buildings, but—:a la Frank Lloyd Wright—:also their landscaping, furniture and decoration.
Just as interesting as the architecture is the process by which Anjalendran works—:from home, never employing more than four student assistants, with no office, no secretary, no car and no cell phone. He operates without a bank account and has never signed a contract with either a client or a builder. With stunning color photographs, plan details and behind-the-scenes insights, Anjalendran sheds light on the works of this exceptional man.
thousand people were killed. The event highlighted the growing gap which had opened up between life in Colombo and the rural areas of Sri Lanka and called into to question the relevance of much of what was being taught in the School of Architecture. Though none of the architecture students was directly involved in the insurrection, some of them had friends who had been killed or imprisoned, and all were jolted out of their insular complacency. Anjalendran’s student design for a house — section
keen for her adult son to stay close to the family home so she gifted him a small slice of her garden on which to build a house. Romesh then turned to Anjalendran who was now practising from the verandah of his mother’s home on the other side of the boundary wall. The mango tree was now twenty-seven years old and dominated the tiny plot so that it became literally and figuratively the centre of the design. The three-storey house caresses the tree as it rises up, and the tree’s branches provide
of the Place’ in Frampton, Kenneth et al. Modernity and Community: Architecture in the Islamic World. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001. Robson, David. Bawa — The Complete Works. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002. Robson, David. Beyond Bawa — Modern Masterpieces of Monsoon Asia. London: Thames & Hudson, 2007. Robson, David and Dominic Sansoni. Bawa: The Sri Lanka Gardens. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Sansoni, Barbara. Vihares and Verandahs. Colombo: Barefoot (Pvt) Ltd., 1978. Smithers, J.G.
produce a three-dimensional design for a cubic tea box based on a two-dimensional cardboard template. They had to visualise exactly how the sides of the cube would be oriented before they could proceed with the design. Robson clearly remembers Anjalendran as a tall, dark and gangly youth in garish clothes, obviously excited and nervous. But for a skilled mathematician and master of origami the spatial manipulation was easy, while the design itself offered little challenge. He passed and joined
the first BSc batch in January 1971. The new Ward Place course had received outline recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A.) and was modelled on that of London University’s Bartlett School which, during the 1960s, had become a centre for modernist Bauhaus-inspired teaching. Robson was a recent Bartlett graduate who had been seconded to run the first year studio and help bring the course up to university standards. He had to operate a programme which conformed to