Second Volume (2024)

Second Volume

The Watapuluwa Housing Scheme (1958) in Kandy was designed by the Sri Lankan architect Minnette De Silva (1918–1998) who set up the Studio of Modern Architecture—her own architectural practice—in 1948; The same year Sri Lanka gained independence. Her groundbreaking social housing scheme was created with the active participation of its users, heralding a new era in affordable accommodation for a diverse ethno-religious community of government public servants. ‘Second Volume’ brings together primary research and previously unpublished archival materials, including a transcript of the animated documentary ‘is this an architectural documentary?’ (2023) by contemporary artists Irushi Tennekoon, Sumedha Kelegama, and Sumudu Athukorala. The book also includes a special supplement of De Silva’s seminal essay ‘Experiments in Modern Regional Architecture in Ceylon 1950 to 1960’ (1965–1966), first published by the Ceylon Institute of Architects in 1966. 

‘Second Volume’ continues the archival process begun by De Silva with her posthumously published autobiography ‘The Life and Works of an Asian Woman Architect Vol. 1’ (1998). Similar in size, this publication, by contrast, focuses on a single project by De Silva, opening up the prospect of future ‘volumes’ that would in turn look at her pioneering practice one project at a time. ‘Second Volume’ is printed on locally available paper stock without any paper wastage, highlighting the importance De Silva placed on using local materials, nearly 70 years ahead of her time.

Edited by Sharmini Pereira and Kaumadi Jayaweera
Designed by Nia Thandapani
Published by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka
160 pages
ISBN 978-624-5318-01-8
Dimensions: 255mm x 300mm x 10mm
Language: English

‘Second Volume’ can also be purchased at the MMCA Sri Lanka located in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Tamil and Sinhala translations of ‘Second Volume’ are available below as free downloadables

‘Devani Veluma’ (2024)
‘Irandavadu Thohuppu’ (2024)