Project Rebuild Kirinda

The reconstruction of a Muslim fishing village in Southern Sri Lanka


Reconstruction of Kirinda village in Sri Lanka was a USD 1.4 million tsunami rehabilitation program initiated and developed by Philip Bay and his new development company, Clean Earth Capital. The fund raising platform was 80% based on shareholders, employees and senior management from Colliers International. World-class Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed the new homes with support from his team at Shigeru Ban Architects, as well as architectural students from the prestigious Keio University, who donated their time and talent to make this the absolute most professionally designed and run Tsunami project in Sri Lanka.

Project mission was to restore the Muslim section of the fishing town called Kirinda. In all, 67 single-detached homes for fishing families in Kirinda were redesigned and rebuilt after the devastation of the Asian Tsunami in December 2004 wreaked havoc throughout Sri Lanka. The development team led by Philip Bay worked closely with the most senior advisors of then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (who later was elected President), simply because the project in Kirinda had become the benchmark that other organizations, such as the UN, US Agency for International Development (USAID) and numerous NGOs measured up against.

Homes built were not only environmentally friendly, but also based upon numerous “town hall” meetings with future residents to ensure, that the interior floor plans reflected their daily lifestyles as Muslims. The pallet of natural materials used in construction ranged from earthen blocks throughout, coconut beams, locally grown teak wood siding and much more. 100% of all the materials -- except for the solar panels made in nearby India -- came exclusively from Sri Lanka. The homes were so well insulated, and ventilated, that residents could stay cool inside when temperatures are scorching outside without air-conditioning.

One year after the project started in 2006, the founder of the Tsunami project in Kirinda, Philip Bay, was appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka to be a developer-advisor for disaster housing and urban renewal in several locations in Sri Lanka. This request was made because of the unique design features of the Kirinda project’s homes -- and the local material usage required by architect Shigeru Ban – as well as the cost-effective management teams led by Anthony Benjamin that were operating with donor funding.



A Clean Earth Capital Project with sponsorship and engagement by Colliers International.


MIPIM Real Estate Summit Awards 2007

Best Residential Award Special Tribute.Award

ULI Awards for Excellence 2007 & 2008

Finalist in 2007 Winner, Asia Pacific, in 2008

CNBC International Property Awards in Las Vegas 2008

Nomination for the Best Architecture (multiple units) prize

2013 AGA KHAN Award for Architecture

Short-listed amongst 20 world-wide projects

Kirinda After the Tsunami

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) on December 26, 2004. The earthquake generated a tsunami that was among the deadliest disasters in modern history, killing well over 240,000 people. Various estimates were given for the magnitude of the earthquake, ranging from 9.0 to 9.3 (which would make it the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph), though authoritative estimates now put the magnitude at 9.15.

In May 2005, scientists reported that the earthquake itself lasted nearly ten minutes when most major earthquakes last no more than a few seconds; it caused the entire planet to vibrate at least a few centimeters. It also triggered earthquakes elsewhere, as far away as Alaska. The earthquake originated in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The resulting tsunami devastated the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, Thailand and other countries with waves up to 30 m (100 feet). Anywhere from 200,000 to 370,000 people are thought to have died as a result of the tsunami.

In the Muslim neighborhoods of Kirinda, the damage was complete with 95% of their homes destroyed, and the local fishing harbor was inundated with sand and broken infrastructure.

Damage to Kirinda

Total population - 7236 Total deaths - 230 Displaced individuals - 535 Displaced children - 280 Destroyed boats - 56 Destroyed business establishments - 22 Destroyed places of worship - 1 Destroyed government buildings - 4

Kirinda Village History

Legend has it that in the 2nd century BC, a king by the name of Devanampiyatissa reigned over the west of the island from his capital at Kelaniya. Devanampiyatissa had a monk put to death and the gods were annoyed and caused the ocean to flood the land.

Overcome with remorse, the king decided to atone for his sacrilegious act by making a sacrifice of his eldest daughter to the sea. The princess was rescued near Kirinda. Eventually Kavantissa, the king of the Southern Region of Sri Lanka married her and named her Viharamahadevi. The popularity of this romantic legend makes Kirinda a focal point for pilgrims and tourists today.

The modern Kirinda is a small port on the south coast of Sri Lanka about 270 km from Colombo, 10km south of Tissamaharama. Kirinda is a harbour town, with fishing as the main local occupation, populated by both Muslims and Sinhalese. The leader of the village is Mr. Jalaldeen, who is the principal of the Muslim school.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

The Trust


Philip Bay


Samiresh Pradip Jayewardna


Edward Charith Goonetilleke


Shigeru Ban Architects

shigeru-picJapanese architect Shigeru Ban and his company, Shigeru Ban Architects, are donating their time and skills to make the Colliers Kirinda project the benchmark of excellence that others are now encouraged to emulate. Ban has become one of the forerunning Japanese architects, embracing the combination of Western and Eastern building forms and methods.

Ban's signature contribution, however, is humanitarian. After the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, Ban responded with inspired designs for temporary houses and a community center, all out of cardboard tubes. Since then, his work has provided refugee housing in Turkey, India, Rwanda and now Sri Lanka.

Although he was asked by over 10 interested parties to design post-tsunami housing, it was the Sri Lanka project that appealed to him the most. He chose Colliers' Sri Lanka project because "it was for a smaller community and a minority group in a more difficult situation." As the architect for this project, Ban has designed homes for 67 families in the small fishing village of Kirinda.

Sri Lanka Team


Project Manager - Anthony Benjamin

Mr. Anthony Benjamin is leading the rebuilding effort on the ground in Kirinda. He has beeninvolved in the project from very early on, ensuring consistent progress, communicating with local and foreign leaders, and listening to the desires of the residents of Kirinda.

Mr. Benjamin has 25 years of experience in the private sector in sales and marketing. Throughout this time, he has been involved in volunteer projects targeting the most impoverished and economically disadvantaged communities in Sri Lanka. After 25 years in the private sector, Mr. Benjamin is now utilizing his outstanding networking, organizational, leadership, and counseling skills full-time to make the Colliers Kirinda project the benchmark for all other tsunami projects in Sri Lanka.


Architectural Team - Philip Weeraratne Associates

Mr. Philip Weeraratne and Mr. Sumith Perera, architects from one of the most prominent firms in the country, are volunteering their time to work as liaisons for Shigeru Ban in Sri Lanka. They have been instrumental in paving the way throughout the country for Mr. Ban, both politically and culturally.

Project Timeline


December 26, 2004: a Tsunami strikes Southeast Asia.

December 31, 2004: First appeal for support of Project Kirinda


January 15, 2005: Architect Shigeru Ban joins the Project Team

June 8, 2005: The ground breaking ceremony for the first homes took place

September 2005: Initial construction begins

October 2005Two model homes completed

December 2005: Japanese volunteers supported Shigeru Ban and CEC Project Team in laying the foundations for 10 additional homes. The first 100% locally-manufactured solar powered street lamp was installed at the end of the year.


January 2006: Walls rise on nearly 30 homes. Installation begins on flood control and drainage systems around the homes.

March 2006: 30 homes were completed turn-key.

April 2006: Six additional homes were awarded to the contractor. 36 homes presented at the Handover Ceremony on April 30th.

May 2006: Six more homes completed. Electricity and water supply obtained for all homes.

July 2006: Completed fencing along the main road and the secondary access roads.

< strong>August 2006: Construction begins on four more homes managed and supervised by CEC’s local project team.

November 2006: An external kitchen and shop was added to provide commercial opportunities for the residents.

December 2006: Four more houses completed.


January 2007: Kirinda village is the first village or town in Asia to have 100% SOLAR POWERED STREET LAMPS (according to our own research at the time).

February 2007: Plans are being drawn to make side walks, pavements and drains on the main road and by lanes. Completed later in the year.

Life in the New Houses

Ground Breaking Ceremony

Setting Out & Foundation

Construction Progress

Handing Over Ceremony

Road Before & Road Now

Final Handover Ceremony

Media and Awards

Mr. Philip Bay & Shigeru Ban with President Mahinda Rajapakse

Mr. Philip Bay & Shigeru Ban with President Mahinda Rajapakse

With Mr. Basil Rajapakse senior advisor to His Excellency the President and Economic Development Minister

With Mr. Basil Rajapakse, Senior advisor to His Excellency the President and Economic Development Minister

November 2005: Global media spotlights Project Kirinda CNN's "Design 360" and "Global Challenges" feature Shigeru Ban, Kirinda and our earthen block signature homes.

June 2006: GTZ has selected our homes for two publications titled "Innovative Technology Towards Sustainability - Building Practices on Post Tsunami Housing" and "Participatory Practices on Post Tsunami Development"

February - March 2007: mipim2007_logo Project Kirinda makes the final three at MIPIM real estate summit awards in March 2007 in Cannes, France. The Kirinda project wins an historic double award at the MIPIM summit; receiving both the first prize for Best Residential Project award (on a global basis) and an award for the Best Sustainable Project. The latter was the first time that MIPIM awarded a project for sustainability..


2007 – 2008: Kirinda is selected as a finalist for the 2007 Urban Land Instiute Awards for Excellence.

la_uli_1ULI Awards for Excellence define the standard for real estate development practice worldwide. In its 31st year, the awards program is the centrepiece of ULI’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development. The awards recognize the full development process of a project—construction, economic viability, marketing, and management—as well as design.

The ground-breaking project created by Philip Bay and his CEC project team after the 2004 tsunami in a sustainable, green vision was selected as one of the winners for the 2008 Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence: Asia Pacific. The award was given in Tokyo and presented by Minoru Mori, Japan’s most famous real estate developer.

home-partners_cnbcCNBC International Property Awards in Las Vegas: The Kirinda project was nominated for the Best Architecture (multiple units) prize as one of the top four scorers in entries from around the world.


2013 AGA KHAN Award for Architecture The Kirinda project was short-listed amongst 20 projects from around the world.