• Company Name RAPA Chartered Architects
  • Entry Name Café UFO
  • Category
    • Architecture +Wood
  • Clients Cloud UFO (Pvt)Ltd
  • Lead Designer archt. Thilina Rathnayaka, archt. Kanishka Padmapani
  • Design Team RAPA Chartered Architects
  • Completion Date December 30, 2019
  • Size 430 Sqm
  • Location 57 Wellawaya-Ella-Kumbalwela Hwy, Ella 90090
  • Photo Credit MAD factory
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Ella, a charming town in Sri Lanka's central hills, boasts tea estates, mountains, waterfalls, and fresh air. Many visit for its stunning views and fantastic trekking opportunities, making it a sought-after tourist destination. The motivation for the sustainable, eco-friendly design of Café UFO in Ella arises from the proliferation of haphazard construction in the area, which disrupts its visual and physical landscape. Ella, being a tourist-sensitive locality, demands a vernacular touch that respects its context, ecology, and purpose. Inspired by local mythological legends, specifically the story of King Ravana and his flying machine, known as the 'Dandu Monara Yanthraya' or 'Flying Peacock Machine,' the design of Café UFO pays homage to this folklore while preserving Ella's rustic charm. The restaurant's name, 'Café UFO,' underscores its connection to the 'unidentified flying object,' combining tradition with a modern flair. The primary construction material is sustainably sourced timber from rose gum trees, approved by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka. Microfiber branches serve as rafters, and reclaimed wooden logs are used for furniture. The thatched roof comprises two layers of blady grass with a waterproof insulation sheet. The interior design incorporates eco-friendly and reclaimed materials, such as cinnamon sticks, reed, rush products, and upcycled metal elements for decoration and lighting. Café UFO's design promotes sustainability and eco-friendliness, creating a warm dining ambience with amber, gold, and brown tones. The establishment offers multiple seating options on the ground floor, first floor, and mezzanine level, providing visitors with a variety of dining experiences. Notably, the project engaged the local community by sourcing raw materials from the area and utilizing local services for carpentry, interior detailing, and masonry, contributing to the social fabric of Ella.