Cinematic Unfolding Of Layered Spaces

Project : Villa Sielen Diva, Talpe, Sri Lanka

Architect: VERITAS Design Group, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Located in the idyllic yet private beach destination of Talpe, the site is a narrow rectangular plot of land stretching nearly 100m from an internal road in a dramatic progression through an enclosed walled compound that ultimately culminates in magnificent views of the beachfront, the choppy waves of the Laccadive sea literally at the doorstep of the site. Coconut trees and native tropical vegetation dot the site. The house makes the best of the drama of this linear progression. A realm of separation is created by the walls of the house, effectively marking out the boundaries of the house as an exclusive zone in the already private confines of the site. The site has two distinctive characters that stand in contrast to one another; the linearity of the enclosed inland area and the abrupt openness of the beachfront vista.

Outline of client’s vision:

Set on a one-acre plot right on Talpe beach, sandwiched between the popular holiday enclaves of Unawatuna and Mihiripenna, and a mere 15-minute drive from Galle and its Unesco-listed old town, it is a beautiful structure, a temple dedicated to tropical Cubism. “The family initially wanted a Geoffrey Bawa house,” he says, referring to the pre-eminent Sri Lankan architect. *“But in Sri Lanka, it’s Bawa everywhere, so we decided on something different.” V U does concede, though, that some classic principles were incorporated, such as an expansive courtyard and open spaces so typical of the region.

Design : Demonstrate how excellence has been achieved within the architectural and engineering, spatial and operational aspects of the design. The judges are looking for creative, appropriate and holistic design solutions. Standing between both zones, the house negotiates their meeting with a cinematic unfolding of layered spaces. Anticipation builds with the journey along the long driveway into the site, where arriving through the second gate of the house in a dedicated vehicular compound, the experience of tropical foliage ends with the insertion of desert landscaping, a symbolic paring down of the design aesthetic as the minimal lines of planar wall meeting suspended slab begin to assert themselves.

From there, ascent through a lofty pavilion opens up to a panorama of the beachfront as framed by an open-air courtyard and the aperture of the living room space. The Miesian open plan of the living areas front an elevated pool deck overlooking the beach. True to the purity of its form, spaces fronting the beach are accorded unencumbered views with glass balustrades that can be screened off by sliding louvred windows. Indigenous materials are used, wherever possible.


Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms Economic growth by hiring local community to be part of Villa Sielen Staff by providing sustainable jobs and promote equality. Staff are from the local community around the area, which we train and ensure learning process is an important aspect.

Goal 2: Health

Improved sanitation and hygiene at workspace. Daylight is harvested and used for most of the common area. According to studies, sunlight will have positive effect to the guest and staff of the building and help to increase body immune system. Sanitation-hand wash are biodegradable containers and detergent used are environmental friendly.

Goal 3: Economy Growth

Decent work opportunities for the local community – 100 % are local staff from gardener to office administrative staff

Goal 4: Sustainable Consumption

We remind and note to guest/staff on the usage of water and change of towel/bed sheet. Zero wastage on food implemented as the villa does not provide buffet meal, only set breakfast meal which requires an order a day before. The design of this building which has a lot of light penetrating through the building, all room has a beach front view with ample of light penetrates and the usage of electricity has decreased tremendously; the breeze from laccadive sea sweeps through the open space of this building. All common areas (living space, pool, breakfast area has openness which has natural lighting and breeze, which eliminates of using air condition at the common area.

Gaol 5: Climate Change

At Villa Sielen this is a part of the culture. Staff are taught about the importance of going green in order to save the environment and reducing natural disaster and biodiversity through the landscaping, effects of ecosystem chain and preserving the greens.

Goal 6: Conserve and sustainability use the oceans, seas and marine resources

Being at the beach front site, Villa Sielen situated at Talpe, opens to Laccadive sea. We care and support beach clean up and participate in local environment causes.

Property & Facilities Management 

Operations and maintenance typically includes the day-to-day activities necessary for a small boutique hotel, its systems and space are taken care for the guest’s comfort. Housekeeping staff for interior “cleaning” and maintenance. Using environmentally friendly cleaning products and incorporating safer methods to clean Villa Sielen and it provides for better healthier resort. There are many common living space and a wide variety of experiences to choose from whilst staying at the property in this villa which was designed tastefully to suit the guests choice.

Project website :

About VERITAS Design Group

Lillian Tay, Vice President and Director, VERITAS Design Group

The VERITAS Design Group was founded in 1987 upon the principles of constant innovation and a commitment to quality.

Today the VERITAS Design Group is led by its Group President David Mizan Hashim and Vice President Lillian Tay, Principal Ng Yiek Seng, Azril Amir Jaafar, Edward Chew, Syah Kamaruddin, Eric Tham, Shah Jaffar, Shamsuddin Wahap, Richard Raymond, Khalifah Jamaludin, Fazelyna Rashid, Kenny Wong and is backed by a team of over 340 qualified professionals and professional support staff. Although VERITAS began as an architectural practice, it now offers a full range of supporting design services through subsidiary and associates companies. Interior design services are provided by VERITAS Interiors Sdn Bhd, landscape design services are provided by VERITAS Landscape Sdn Bhd and planning services are provided by VERITAS Planning Sdn. Bhd. The firm’s head office is located in Kuala Lumpur, with a branch office in Georgetown, Pulau Pinang to handle work in the Northern region and in Johor Bahru to handle work in the Southern region. Although much of its work has been in Malaysia, VERITAS is undertaking an increasing amount of work overseas. VERITAS established its first international office in Dubai in 2005 , followed by another in Ho Chi Minh City in 2007 led by Krisztian Kelner, Melbourne in 2010 led by Anton Alers, Mumbai led by Pawar Mahendra, Portland in 2012 led by Richard Woodling, 2017 VERITAS UK, London led by Peter Stocker and the latest VERITAS Singapore led by CK Tan. In mid-2008, VERITAS Contracts Sdn. Bhd. was established with the intention of rendering professional quantity surveying services and now project management, claim consultant and independent checking engineer. In 2010, VERITAS Environment Sdn Bhd (VESB) was established to provide sustainable design consultancy services with our team of GBI engineers.

The success of VERITAS can be attributed to the Principals’ involvement at every stage of each project and the dedication of the VERITAS support team. Furthermore, the computerization of all design and drafting work and continuous investment and training in the latest CAD technology has ensured a greater level of coordination and attention to detail. In 2004, it received the MS ISO 9001:2000 certification for “the provision of architectural design, consulting and contract administration/management services for all types of building projects” in 2010 we upgraded from ISO 9001:2000 to ISO 9001:2008 and in 2013 we received the ISO 14001:2004 and OSHAS 18001: 2007 certification. Our ISO certified work procedures and design processes combined with a corporate culture that emphasizes teamwork and efficiency results in innovative and award-winning designs, which meet the global demands of the future.

As a result of these capabilities, VERITAS has been honored over the years to serve a distinguished number of local and international Clients. Completed works and award winning projects of the firm have been published widely in the local and international media and the Principals have presented their works and ideas at numerous academic and professional forums.

VERITAS has adopted a flexible and adaptable approach to handling projects, tailored to respond to the specific needs of each particular project and Client. The firm’s work is marked not by a fixed stylistic signature, but rather by a consistent approach inspired by the principles of good design and a sensitive response to site and context.

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