chapter  5
Facing the challenge of a framework approach
Pages 14

Nihal Perera led the Mahaweli Architectural and Planning Unit of the Sri Lankan government beginning in 1983. As a native of Sri Lanka, Perera called upon his regional awareness, as a ‘cultural insider,’ to decipher regionally appropriate design elements that could be adapted for use in this enormous government relocation housing project. Tile roofs with broad overhangs, long verandas, and wall openings (connecting interior and exterior spaces in response to the region’s hot, humid climate) became critical design elements integrated into the new design. Perera now refers to such essential design tactics as the critical vernacular. Perera is quick to note that ‘with over ten years of experience developing critical vernacular design responses in Sri Lanka, Urlik Plesner’s [the design team’s Principal Consultant] input was critical’ to this design approach.