WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Marc Hernandez Folguera, Nomadic Resorts
Located on the edge of Yala National Park in the south of Sri Lanka, this first-of-its-kind eco-resort was opened to guests at the end of 2017.
A multidisciplinary team created the five-star 36-tent safari camp for Resplendent Ceylon, a subsidiary of Dilmah Tea, whose unique resorts offer curious travellers diverse experiences linked to Sri Lanka’s history, culture and nature. Nomadic Resorts, an interdisciplinary design and project development company servicing the hospitality industry with offices in the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and South Africa, was involved in the architecture and landscape design. The interior design company and manufacturer Bo Reudler Studio worked on the interiors.
The site comprises dryland forests that merge into the rugged sandy coastline overlooking the Indian Ocean. The intention was for the organic architecture to integrate seamlessly with the setting. The boulder-like pavilions of the camp’s main buildings reference natural formations in Yala’s landscape, namely the massive rounded boulders scattered throughout the park, at a macro scale, and termite mounds, at a micro scale.
The pavilions appear solid, but are revealed to be light, open structures crafted from a woven bamboo shell clad in reclaimed teak shingles. Large, arched openings and high vaulted ceilings create a strong sense of space.
As well as considering local influences, from vernacular traditions and materials to community involvement, the existing vegetation was retained to ensure an authentic experience. “Loopers” – cocoon-like tensile membrane structures – connect the meandering clusters of the welcome area at the entrance with the waterfront bar, restaurant and library. Each cluster overlooks a watering hole designed to attract wildlife.
Visit the site to find out more.