88 Acres: The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme by Minnette De Silva

30 November 20237 July 2024

88 on view

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

Katherina Tatyana

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, with curatorial assistants, Thinal Sajeewa and Nimaya Harris

Exhibition Design by Jonathan Edward with Exhibition Design and Production Intern 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 assisted by Mineli Karunaratne

We would like to thank all the artists, lenders, funders,
and our Founding Patrons for their 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 of Helga’s Folly*Art*Museum*Heritage*Anti Hotel *Residence* Kandy
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

‘88 Acres: The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme by Minnette De Silva’ exhibition is generously supported by

British Council Sri Lanka

Officially endorsed by

World Monument Fund
Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

Additional support provided by

Art South Asia Project
Foto Design
Foundation for Arts Initiative
Advent Projects (Pvt) Ltd.

Major Benefactors and Funders of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka

John Keells Foundation
Nations Trust Bank
Fairfirst

Official Airline Partner

Sri Lankan Airlines

Radio Partners

Lite FM
Rhythm FM
Rock FM

Founding Patrons 2024

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka is a non-profit organisation that receives annual financial support from a group of Founding Patrons. We proudly recognise and thank the following Founding Patrons for working with us to build a museum of modern and contemporary art in Sri Lanka.

Abbas and Alnaas Esufally
Ajit and Chandani Gunewardene
Amitha, Arshia, and Shasthi Silva
Angeline Ondaatjie
Anila and Romesh Bandaranaike
Christoph Feyen
Kumar and Ranmali Mirchandani
Leena Hidaramani
Niloufer Esufally Anverally
Roshni and Sheran Fernando
Samantha de Silva
Sharmila and Akram Cassim
Shivanthi Atukorale and Ravin Basnayake

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