88 Acres: The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme by Minnette De Silva
30 November 2023–7 July 2024
The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme in Kandy was completed in 1958, and heralded a new form of social housing in Sri Lanka. Designed by architect Minnette De Silva (1918–1998), the Scheme was notably created with the participation of its users.
‘88 Acres’ explores how this sprawling hillside development was ahead of its time in providing affordable accommodation for a diverse ethno-religious community of government public servants in Sri Lanka. Alongside a specially commissioned artists’ film by Irushi Tennekoon (b. 1989), Sumedha Kelegama (b. 1988), and Sumudu Athukorala (b. 1980), ‘88 Acres’ looks back at the Scheme 65 years later to consider De Silva’s influences and the challenges of her design approach.
Minnette De Silva
Irushi Tennekoon, Sumedha Kelegama, and Sumudu Athukorala
Additional artworks in alphabetical order, by and from:
Associated Enterprises Limited
Kandy Public Servants’ Building Society
Modern Architectural Research Group
Municipal Council, Kandy
Royal Institute of British Architects
Survey Department of Sri Lanka
The Studio of Modern Architecture, Kandy
‘88 Acres’ is curated by Sharmini Pereira and Ritchell Marcelline, assisted by, Thinal Sajeewa and Nimaya Harris
Exhibition Design by Jonathan Edward assisted by Raeesah Samsudeen
Exhibition Identity by Nia Thandapani
Exhibition Production by Malshani Delgahapitiya
Editorial by Kaumadi Jayaweera
Translations by Kaumadi Alawathugoda, Miriam Naveendran, Raeesha Ikram, Ravihari Ravendrakumar, Saambavi Sivaji, and Shiyalni Janarthanan
Education and Public Programmes by Pramodha Weerasekera
We would like to thank all the artists, lenders, funders, and our Founding Patrons for the generous support in making this exhibition possible.
Additional thanks and gratitude to:
A. M. N. Koralegedara
Crescat Management, Maintenance, and Security
Don Gamini Ranjith Jayasinghe
Dr. Chandika Basnayake
Helga DeSilva Blow Perera
Lalith Kumara Aludeniya
L. H. A. Tharuka
Council Members of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architecture
Nath S. Weerakoon
P. G. D. Dilrukshi
Rohana Bandara Herath
Victoria De Silva
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