On View

88 Acres: The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme by Minnette De Silva
30 November 2023–7 July 2024

‘88 Acres: The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme by Minnette De Silva’ closed on 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
Dominic Sansoni
Ulrik Plesner
Anuradha Mathur

Additional artworks in alphabetical order, by and from:

Ananda Moonasingha
Architectural Association
Associated Enterprises Limited
Kandy Public Servants’ Building Society
Michael Blee
Modern Architectural Research Group
Municipal Council, Kandy
Patrick Geddes
Rajitha Konara
Royal Institute of British Architects
Sounak Atta
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
Akesh Fernando
Amaury Blow
Ananda Amarasiri
Anoja Seneviratne
Arj Wignaraja
Bilesha Fernando
Chinthika Gunawardana
Crescat Management, Maintenance, and Security
Desmond Perera
Detmar Blow
Dinesha Pinnagoda
Dinuk Senanayake
Don Gamini Ranjith Jayasinghe
Dr. Chandika Basnayake
Errol Perera
Eyal Weizman
Helga DeSilva Blow Perera
Heshma Wignaraja
John Darlington
Jyotsna Nambiar
Kalpa Munasinghe
Kamal Sanjeewa
Kavidasan Balakrishnan
Kishan San
Lalith Kumara Aludeniya
L. H. A. Tharuka
Linuka Mallikarachchi
Council Members of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architecture
Mohamed Zarook
Nath S. Weerakoon
Neeta Suvarna
P. G. D. Dilrukshi
Priyantha Wickramaratna
Radev Basnayake
Rasika Silva
Robert Trafford
Rohana Bandara Herath
Ruwan Meegammana
Samaneh Moafi
Sandeep Gopal
Sandya Kulathunga
Selina Blow
Shathis Perera
Shivatmika S.R.
Shukla Sawant
Sonali Wijeyaratne
Susil Lamahewa
Thavisha Wickramatunga
Thushara Perera
Victoria De Silva
Yasangi Basnayake

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July 2024

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Curator’s Tour

with Thinal Sajeewa


Reading Group

‘Imagining Minnette’ with Irushi Tennekoon and Ruhanie Perera

For Educators


‘Be Your Own Architect’ with Yuxin Cong (for ages 10–15)

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‘Creating a Stamp of Minnette’ with Kiyawana Muddara (for ages 18 and above)

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‘Make Your Ideal Space’ with Shenuka Corea (for ages 8–13)

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‘Comic Making and Storytelling’ with Shenuka Corea (for ages 16 and above)

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For Kids

Special Children’s Day Curator’s Tour with Sharmini Pereira

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Kids’ Activity Session

‘My Happy Place’ (for ages 9–12)

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Kids’ Activity Session

‘Tin Foil Figures’ (for ages 6–8)

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Kids’ Activity Session

‘Mind Maps’ (for ages 9–12)

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