K House

Way beyond Galle and past Ahangama and Matara in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka is K House, a secluded beach front property surrounded by lush Indian Ocean flora and open ocean views. It is where minimalist architecture of two villas effortlessly blend into nature and stand in comfortable distance to provide intimate privacy within. I was in Sri Lanka over an extended weekend to visit and talk-shop with the proprietors of four boutique hotels in Boosa, Galle and Ahangama but my real intent was to get to K House with as much weekend left to take in the architecture and lounge about (if you can call a 20 hour visit including to and fro ground transportation that).

Time and again I am surprised how warm and temperate weather allows the built environment to immerse into nature through generous openings

Arrival experience at K House is somewhat disquieting affair as my car forks off main road and twists turns into a village pathway obstructed by overgrown jungle. After a few minutes of bump and grind in the back seat of the car, I’m confronted by extra-wide metal door slowly pulled open by a groundsman. Once on premise though, the large openings, soft transitions and natural materials harmoniously present itself among lush greenery.

Time and again I’m surprised how warm and temperate weather allows the built environment to immerse into nature through generous openings. The vast roofs of the two buildings cover indoors and porches from rain and sun, both of which can come down intensely one after another here, protecting you from but also allowing opening to nature.  Semi-outdoor living and dining, large sliding doors agape wide into porches and the lush greenery all connect to each other seamlessly. The two villa structures are positioned perpendicularly in two different planes defining thresholds between them.

I felt a deep and real connection to the place. Perhaps it was the harmony of architecture and pared down nature. Or precious sliver of peace afforded by the welcome, slow weekend. Nature is something that transcends all cultural preferences because we have a natural connection between us and the natural environment and natural materials. We are, after all, at the core, a natural being. 

Early mornings and late afternoons are special time of day when the sun drapes shadows in sharp angles. Simple lines as backdrops for natural textures of concrete and wood abound in K House. Cushions throw a burst of colors to otherwise earthy hues everywhere but curiously seem to soften the overall ambience.

Tide flows deep, all the way right in front of the fences of K House but when it drains away from shore, a wide sandy path shows up for miles to the east. My long solitary walks were occasionally broken by scenes of local families and kids happily noisy yet calm with an utterly charming sort of delicate tenderness. Little girls digging in the sand, absorbed in their activity. Fathers kicking balls around without abandon, each time his boy chasing it down obligingly.

K House is a collaboration between AIM Architecture in Shanghai and Norm Architects of Copenhagen. My visit here was provided by generous courtesy of Wendy Saunders, principal of AIM.

K House – Tangalle Rd, Godauda, Sri Lanka


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