Australian Head of Mission Residence

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Status: Completed 2014


JCA were appointed to develop a design concept for the proposed new Australian Head of Mission Residence, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The architectural aesthetic has sought to provide a visual difference between the two main functions of the HOM Residence (formal and family) - through the use of a select and limited palette of materials these two aspects are connected allowing a holistic building design. The garden is the key linking element that guides the experience through the residence while drawing together architectural traditions of Sri Lanka and Australia. In a sense the Sri Lankan tradition is two fold, that of courtyard gardens where the garden is brought inside and experienced as a tranquil, cooling, light well, and the screened pavilion within a garden. Both are experienced in the round drawing views in, out or through, and gaining formality through the unique qualities of the garden itself, which, typically calls for multiple gardens. The Australian tradition has responded to a largely benign climate where the architecture dissolves and moves out into the garden with patios, verandahs and outdoor rooms. It largely holds a linear relationship to the garden where formality is established with the use of privileged axis. Both traditions celebrate the delightful qualities possible by blurring boundaries between garden and architecture.


Photography: James Cubitt Architects