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The site is situated 8km south-east of the historical centre of Galle and 500m inland from the Indian Ocean. The lightly populated area contains a sensitive wetland consisting of swamps, mangroves and lakes. Some parts of the site have been backfilled a few years ago with excavated soil left from the construction of the new highway to Colombo.The masterplan aims to regenerate the damaged site. The backfill will be removed using an excavator, leaving a new central lake which is interconnected to the surrounding wetland, recovering the former waterflow and water retention function of the area. In order to create a neutral soil balance, the excavated soil will be used to create an elevated ring road from which the terraced villa gardens step down towards the surrounding lakes.

The sequence of experiences from the arrival road is an important element of the resort’s layout. From the main road, you follow the tiny curving roads through a small village wondering where this journey is heading. After the village, the vegetation gets denser and denser but suddenly it opens up and a large lotus pond appears. You have arrived at the Kollective Galle resort. At the other side of the pond the open lobby space is situated from where the attention is drawn to the magnificent view on the central lake, which stretches for 200 metres towards the horizon. The lobby is situated under the big iconic roof of the main facilities, which covers also the cafe-bar, restaurant and resort’s office.

The resort villas are organized along the ringroad around the central lake with lake views or views on the surrounding wetlands. Entering the villa, wooden decks step down towards the lake, connecting the different rooms at different levels. Being the heart of the villa, the living room and dining terrace are covered under a big ‘turtle shell’ roof, referring to the beautiful turtle shell which was found on site. The bedrooms are situated in the rear of the plot, providing views from a higher level.

The standard villa has 2 bedrooms. The 3 and 4 bedroom villa each of the bedrooms can be extended with an extra bedroom on top, both minimizing the physical footprint of the villa as well offering better views to the surroundings. The roofs of the bedrooms are tilted towards the road, covered in vegetation to minimize their visual impact. The living room and bedrooms have a ‘service volume’ at the back with the kitchen and bathrooms in which all the M&E services are integrated. The other walls, floors and roofs can be prefabricated in panels which can be assembled on site. The bathroom at the back of the master bedroom is elevated, providing a nice view towards the lake from the bathtub.On the north-west corner of the site a wooden walkway meanders through the existing mangroves, connecting small spa pavilions situated on stilts in between the mangrove trees which provide both the needed privacy as well as the connection to nature from the treatment rooms. Further down the mangrove, the walkway climbs up and leads to a few exclusive hotel rooms which are situated in the crown of the trees, offering magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.

Project Data