nomadic resorts in collaboration with bo reudler studio have teamed up to design and construct the spectacular wild coast tented lodge – the safari camp is the first of its kind in sri lanka. located on the edge of yala national park in the south of sri lanka, the eco-resort welcomed its first guests in november 2017. the multidisciplinary team created the 36-tent safari camp for resplendent ceylon, a subsidiary of dilmah tea, whose unique resorts offer curious travellers diverse experiences linked to sri lanka’s history, culture and nature.


image © nomadic resorts

 

 

the camp’s organic architecture integrates seamlessly into the site, which comprises dryland forests that merge into the rugged sandy coastline overlooking the indian ocean. the five-star nomadic resorts and bo reudler studio-designed lodge is designed to give visitors an intimate experience of yala, celebrating the flora, fauna and culture of the area with minimal intrusion on the landscape. local influences form an integral part of the project, from vernacular traditions and materials to community involvement.


image © marc hernandez folguera

 

 

the architecture references natural formations in yala’s landscape, namely the massive rounded boulders scattered throughout the park, at a macro scale, and termite mounds, at a micro scale. adopting a human scale in between, the camp’s main buildings appear as outcrops of boulder-like pavilions clustered organically together at either end of the site. larger open volumes intersect with smaller enclosed domes that house more private functions.


image © marc hernandez folguera

 

 

connecting the welcome area at the entrance with the waterfront bar, restaurant and library is a meandering natural landscape lined with clusters of cocoon-like tensile membrane structures called loopers. resembling a leopard paw print, each cluster overlooks a watering hole designed to attract wildlife. the spa is set back from the beachfront. from afar, the large pavilions appear solid but on closer inspection, they’re revealed as light, open structures crafted from a woven grid shell bamboo structure clad in reclaimed teak shingles.


image © nomadic resorts

 

 

large, arched openings and high vaulted ceilings create a strong sense of space. the existing vegetation is retained to ensure an authentic experience of the landscape, complemented by an attractive xeriscape of spiky plants and elegant rock balance sculptures by adrian gray.


image © marc hernandez folguera

 

 

the interior recalls the treasures concealed within such as caves, crystals and veins of precious minerals. capturing a sense of discovery, adventure and enchantment, the interior combines ecological luxury and local elegance with a contemporary edge. echoing the context of the site, local materials such as stone, quartz and mud brick are paired with a rich palette of copper, brass, terrazzo, wood, bamboo and textiles, with a strong focus on high quality materials that age gracefully.


image © marc hernandez folguera

 

 

campaign furniture evokes an era of discovery and adventure. highlights include the swimming pool that flows through the restaurant and bar and twinkles like the night sky, an illuminated copper-leaf tree suspended in the 10m-high bamboo dome of the restaurant, mud brick seating installations and bamboo chandeliers that punctuate the main spaces.


image © marc hernandez folguera


image © nomadic resorts


image © marc hernandez folguera

 

 

project info:

 

project address: palatupana, yala 82600, sri lanka
client: resplendent ceylon
program: resort with welcome area, restaurant, bar, library, pool, spa, 28 looper villas and 8 urchin children’s rooms
total floor area: 5250 m2.
architects: nomadic resorts
design team: olav bruin, with freddie catlow, inma cantero, oana tudose, julian klaus trummer
interior design: bo reudler studio
design team: bo reudler, with mandy finke, oana tudose, maddalena gioglio, daniela oliveira, nele teerlinck, larissa thoin, martyna purtak
landscape design: nomadic resorts
environmental & mep engineering: xc02 energy
lighting consultant: robert jan vos
contractor: nomadic resorts
design: 2014-2015
construction: 2015-2017
completion: september 2017

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