Holiday Cabana at Maduru Oya
by Damith Premathilake


Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Photographer Logan MacDougall Pope has sent us his images of this lakeside retreat in Sri Lanka made using a stray shipping container and timber from weapon boxes.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Holiday Cabana at Maduru Oya, designed by Sri Lankan architect Damith Prematikake, sits on an army training camp surrounded by jungle and faces onto a lake with mountains beyond.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

The dwelling is made only of materials found on-site such as timber from weapon boxes and railway sleepers.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Built for a lieutenant, it was constructed without skilled labour, employing soldiers under the architect’s instruction.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

All photographs are by Logan MacDougall Pope.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Here's some more from the architect:

Holiday Cabana at Maduru Oya

The architect handled the renovation project at ‘Maduru Oya’ Army Camp where the training school for Special Forces of the Sri Lankan army is located. The camp is surrounded by jungle and faces the lake front of Maduru Oya.

‘Maduru Oya’ lake front was is the back drop with a range of mountains making the contextual enclosure towards the land side of the camp. The visual axis towards the mountain range takes the visitor’s mind into different settings due to the water of the lake front, the solid mountains with the green belt under a canopy of blue sky. It is an inviting place to relax.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

While the architect & the client were having a discussion on the renovation project near the lake front, the client did not forget to talk about the tranquility of the surrounding setting. The discussion took place an idealist setting, endorsing the need to enhance architecturally a place for relaxation with the lake front.

There were some containers abandoned after the war. They were lying without being made use of. The containers with their enormous interior space could provide the architect an excellent opportunity to design a setting using them as part of the created space.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Click above for larger image

The conceptual sketch was done by the Architect considering all the natural and man made elements already available in the setting. The Client was advised to find the material such as timber strips form the old bunkers and weapon boxes, old used ‘H’ irons, rods, used railway sleepers for the interior and exteriors. The idea was to create the space using the available resources within the surrounding environment.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Click above for larger image

But the most challenging task in this scheme was to create a resting place that could enable the visitor to experience the environmental quality and the space without making any interruption or damage to the existing natural ambience. Further, there was no trained skilled construction team undertake the project to make it a reality except the soldiers’ who were in the camp. The architect must ensure that the soldiers are able to transform the imagined abstraction into reality.

At the end holiday cabana at Maduru Oya became the ideal destination for the traveler seeking a relaxing and rustic vacation by specious, quiet, and tranquil.

Lake House by Damith Premathilake

Click above for larger image

Holiday Cabana at Maduru Oya
Principal Architect: Damith Prematikake
Associate Designer: Anil Arumpura
The total Project area: 700 Sq.ft
Project Period: One month
Client: Lieutenant Colonel Chandimal Peiris (SF Camp – Maduru Oya)

See also:


Container Studio
by MB Architecture
OceanScope by
AnL Studio
Cop15 pavilion

Posted on Monday August 23rd 2010 at 12:19 pm by Joe Mills. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • edward

    Great job especially considering . using found materials.

    • rob


  • Queria uma cabana igual a esta, se faz favor!

  • great !

  • Felix


  • Amazing what someone can do with just the materials at hand.

  • Michal

    I am impressed.

  • Harsha

    It is the most beautiful cabana that we have ever seen

  • Neville Perera

    It’s simply GREAT. Good job done. We are proud of you L.C. Chandimal.

  • Perfectness!

  • Thilina Ruwan

    This cabana was totally made by Mr.Anil Nishantha Arumapura who is a number one artist with support of SRI “LANKA SPECIAL FORCE” soldiers. Damith didn’t do anything but visit the site once a month. Damith has become the number one architect in SRI LANKA last year because of this great creation, which was made by Anil.

    • Asanga Perera

      Cabana at Maduruoya was totally designed by architect Damith Premathilake. He voluntarily provided his service to fulfill the requirement of our organisation. He was having a vision to make it as a masterpiece. I would like to appreciate his untiring commitment and dedication throughout the project to accomplish our ultimate organisational objective. Architect Damith Premathilake introduced Mr Anil Arumpura to our construction team to guide the implementation part of this cabana and his contribution is also appreciative. Further, I would be much more grateful to my dear friends Kapila Wijesinghe, Swarna Kumara Ranasinghe and Thilak Gunawardane, who introduced Archt. Damith to the Special Forces Training School and provided assistance throughout the period of constructing it. Especially the hard work of the untrained carpenter team of Special Forces Training School is also remarkable. We were not having required sophisticated equipments. Sometimes we used wooden logs as wheels to move heavy containers. Special Forces Training School Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Chandimal Peiris guided us throughout the period of constructing it, which made our team motivated.

      Major Asanga Perera RSP

  • Thushara

    Thilina. I think you are not aware on architects responsibility. Architects never construct buildings but design and managed to get the things done on your ground. That’s why he comes and inspect the construction once a month. So don’t deliver words like bullsh*ts.