The Line House

Project Details

To Walk with People Living in “Dying Line Houses” together!

Bawlana Village Deltota, Kandy located hilly area at around 1000 meter elevation highland

○In the decline of tea industry and historical worker’s houses  

Sri Lanka is world-famous for its Ceylon tea. The export amount of it used to be the first of the world. However, the people who have engaged in the tea industry as labors are generally not known well. They are Indian Tamil, immigrants from South India in the 19th century. They are neither British people who introduced the tea industry into the country nor Sri Lankan people (Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil). Bawlana village is a former tea plantation area where Indian Tamil have been living for more than 130 years.

90% of Bawlana village people have been lived as “Small Scale Tea Growers” historically. But their income from tea producing have decreased by the effect of climate change in recent years, the lack of proper soil nutrition management, rising of chemical fertilizer price, reducing of governmental funding for tea growers and the decline of tea wholesales price. As the result, 40% farmers have lost stable jobs and are forced to go to nearby city to find day-labor job everyday or leave village for long time to get living expenses. If this negative cycle will continue in the future, the day when the village disappear from the map would come.

Our team has distributed dairy cows for requested people in this village since 2012 to support tea growers’ income and supply cow compost for their cultivation land. Through this income generation project, our members regularly stayed in this village and came to know “the existence of Line Houses”. On March 2014, our team members Dr.Maeda(Architecture Researcher/Kyoto University) and Mr.Oba(Architect)  started to research the line houses’ history, distribution and structure of building…etc. In this research, One Hand we found out “the historical value of the Line houses” and “the interesting relation between people and building”, on the other hand, we had to face the serious situation of dying line houses.

○Focusing on “old line house” as the “new tourism resource” 

2014年3月に、前田(京都大学大学院工学研究科 助教)、大庭(一級建築士事務所 大庭徹建築計画)がバウラーナに滞在し、既存長屋の実測、間取り調査、構造調査、および居住者の生活史や地域の歴史についてのヒアリング調査を実施しました。その中で、「イギリス植民地時代に建設された建物の歴史的価値」、「住民と建物の関係性の変遷」が明らかになってきました。一方で、上記の通り、紅茶産業の衰退から貧困に苦しむ居住者も多く、空き家や未修繕家屋も年々増加し、今後の長屋群の保全や有効利用を考えると、大変厳しい状況にあるという現状もわかってきました。
そこで、一つのコミュニティ開発プロジェクトとして、 地域活性化の資源として「プランテーション長屋」に光を当て、居住者や近隣住民と協働しながら、旅行者がバウラーナ村の自然や歴史、文化を体験できる「地域ツーリズム」のゲストハウスとして長屋の一部を改修し、そこで得られた利益やネットワークを地域住民の生活向上、教育支援、長屋の有効利用ために資金に継続的に供する社会起業スキームを構築するプロジェクト「スリランカ旧紅茶農園長屋再生プロジェクト(LineHouse Project)」が計画されました(なお、ゲストハウスの運営に関しては、コロンボ市において、視覚障がい者の指圧マッサージセンター「トゥサーレ-Talking Hands-」において、主に海外の旅行者を対象にゲストハウスを運営しており、すでにノウハウを蓄積しています)。

○Our Project History since 2012

 year  action details
2012~ Implemented Income Generation Programme by NGO APCAS
(Distributing Dairy Cow with Cow Bank Style)

Distributed Impregnated Dairy Cow for Requested Bawlana People

2013 Started Line Houses Research by Japan  Architecture Team
2014 Bawlana Line House Revitalization Project Planned
Fund-Raising in Japan Started
Tourism Resource Research

Interview for old residents regarding his own life history and line house history by Dr.Maeda(2013)

2015 Reconstructing Started

Solar Boiler and Tank Installed by the Environmental Engineering Team

Damaged Roof (Before Reconstruction) and Prepared Historical Stones to Build Stone Corridor of The Line House (2013-2014).

A measured drawing of existing line house and Meeting Japanese Architect(Mr.Oba) and Mason Leader(Mr.Indika) talking how to manage the reconstruction schedule and process

Japanese Architect Mr.Oba, Mason Mr.Indika and Residents of Line House, Reconstruction on going. Many residents supported this reconstruction work voluntarily (2015)

2016~ The Training for Coordinators Selected in Bawlana Village Started
2017 Guest House “The Line House” Started
Galaha Eco-Farm (Organic Vegetables Farm) Started

Tour Coordinator are selected among local young generation for the future developing of community.

Galaha Eco-Farm near Bawlana Village. We Supply Fresh Safe Veges mainly for Colombo. We also purchase vegetables and milk from Bawlana farmers with fair price.



・石川 直人 (アプカス スリランカ事務所代表)

・伊藤 俊介 (アプカス 日本事務所事務局長)

・前田 昌弘 (京都大学大学院工学研究科 助教)

・大庭 徹 (一級建築士事務所 大庭徹建築計画)

・平石 年弘 (国立明石高専建築学科 教授)