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Built . Compact Living . 2019


Roven Rebeira (Island Studio)

Biophilic Loft is the project that kicked off the Island Studio - Small Projects Series, in which we explore the possibilities of compact spaces in an environment with ever shrinking per capita space availability. This projects explore the possibilities of sustainable reuse, material life-cycle and up-cycling, economic use of space and other similar concepts that attempt to make every inch of a limited space more efficient.

Biophilic loft is located within the upper level of a 70's house in a dense suburb of Colombo. The existing upper level had reached the end of it's natural life cycle and was unoccupied for a long period of time. Building on it's great location within Colombo, this space was designed to be 'Instagram - able'. Keeping to the current trends was a move to make the space financially feasible for the client as a Bed and Breakfast catered to foreign and local travelers.

The design permitted minimum changes to the interior layout. Existing wooden doors and windows were retreated, painted and reused. Natural light was increased within the space by several small interventions. The solid walls to the exterior were opened up strategically to allow the tropical sun to filter through to the interior spaces. The derelict wood-strip ceiling was removed and re-purposed where possible increasing the interior volume which opened up the narrow interior spaces further.

The simple shelves that accommodate the earthenware pots of tropical native vegetation throughout the interior are subtle. Vegetation and their artistic placement is the key feature in this design. All materials and other interventions of built-in bespoke furniture pieces and cabinetry inserts are to complement and enhance the potted vegetation.


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