The Barnhouse: Unorthodox, yet truly Sri Lankan

Jan 27 2023.

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The Barnhouse project in Panadura has been designed using principles that minimize the impact on the natural environment, such as ‘upcycling’ waste material, using sustainable materials, and maximizing energy efficiency.

Pictured: Kushantha Hewapathirana, Founder of The Barnhouse

‘Upcycling’ means a creative and resourceful approach to design that involves repurposing materials or products that would otherwise be discarded or considered waste. By using retrieved shipping pallets as the main material of construction, ‘The Barnhouse’ has demonstrated the potential for ‘upcycling’ to not only reduce waste and conserve natural resources but also create unique and visually appealing buildings. As a result, it has succeeded in saving more than 900 trees that would have been used in the property’s construction.

The structure itself is based on the idea of an Old English Barnhouse and each element found on the premises is architecturally crafted in synchronization with the theme.

Located in a working rubber plantation in Kiriberiya, Panadura, Barnhouse provides all hospitality services and facilities including cuisine, accommodation and banquet related. Aside from this, the Barnhouse Studio is also a design gallery, a design store and a creative library full of concepts and ideas. This enables it to offer facilities needed to host fashion shows, beauty pageants, Commercials, TV shows etc.

Designer Ajith Mohan Perera strongly adheres to architectural notions such as resilience and adaptability, and strategies such as recycle, up-cycle, reuse, and reduce. The interiors of The Barnhouse are pleasingly decorated using upcycled material, such as a magnificent glass-bottle chandelier in the restaurant, old typewriters that have been transformed into lampshades, and furniture made of shipping pallets. The Barnhouse consists of 90% upcycled material in its production and interiors, making it the first of its kind in 
Sri Lanka.

The Barnhouse, launched in 2017, has created new, innovative spaces without altering the existing setting of the rubber plantation. The premise’s conserved 300+ trees produce 40 tons of oxygen in a day, allow 43,400 people to breathe every day, store 15 tons of carbon, and evaporate 829,170 gallons of water, which in turn has the cooling effect of 5 air conditioners working for 16 years.

The team behind The Barnhouse, including Managing Director and Founder Kushantha Hewapathirana, has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

‘The primary concept behind The Barnhouse is to create a holistic location that demonstrates a way of life in which humans adapt to nature rather than altering it. This philosophy is reflected in the design and construction of The Barnhouse’ said Hewapathirana. 

Deeply passionate about conservation and sustainability, Kushantha Hewapathirana believes that those in the hospitality industry have a responsibility to address important issues such as community development, energy consumption, food waste, and the conservation of nature. By taking a proactive and responsible approach to these issues, the hospitality industry can play a significant role in promoting sustainability and making a positive impact on the planet.

The Creative Team of The Barnhouse Studio also offers help in creative concept formulation, which includes designing, composing and customizing. “The “Space – By the Barn”, set up for this purpose, offers various themes that would suit the theme of your event, occasion or photo shoot. The Barnhouse also offers a concept called Chalets- By the Barn. This includes intricate wooden structures and is fixated amidst the natural terrain of a Rubber Estate. They have been specially designed for newlyweds with the intention of functioning as a Honeymoon location.

The Barnhouse is in the process of creating a new event venue within the premise. It will be an open-concept event venue, ideal for guests who are looking for a more natural, rustic setting for their events. The emphasis on food and beverage concepts adds an extra layer of depth and interest to the experience. The launch of this venue will bring a brand-new scope to the authenticity of The Barnhouse.

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