Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Evaluating Indigenous Knowledge of Civil Engineering and Spatial Planning Techniques Used in Galle Fort
The Galle Fort which is located in the Southern region of Sri Lanka is one of the few living forts in the world. It was initially built by Portuguese, later expanded by Dutch and subsequently rehabilitated by British.Many studies have being under gone with respect to architectural point of view. However attention for the work of engineering is very poor. In this research, the evolution of engineering and aesthetic aspects of the Galle Fort over three colonial eras was studied in detail.
Initially Portuguese started the fortification in the northern section of a rocky peninsula. They built three bastions named Sun, Moon and Star. Later Dutch had extended this fortification up to 14 bastions with connected ramparts around the peninsula. They have added a berm to the Northern ramparts to enhance the strength. Further, they have constructed weep holes and sloping top surface on the rampart walls to reduce the rainfall infiltration to the soil structure. These findings illustrate their engineering knowledge and expertise in fortifications.
Dutch have constructed a sewer and waste water disposal drainage system with a proper flushing mechanism. Pumped up sea water by a windmill, was used to flush the system. British have seen the inflexibility of this method and facilitate a storage facility close to windmill to store excess water. There is a wide spread belief, that Dutch had used tidal movements to flush the drainage system, which has been proven wrong during the study.
The Galle Fort road network was designed according to a grid pattern. The city was planned with public spaces and churches. Colonial rulers valued the beautiful landscapes around and have preserved them. The study identified many interesting landscapes which was emerged after the fortifications.
The data collected during the research were preserved in a relational database for future references. A three dimensional interactive map was developed to resembling Galle Fort. This map can be used as an alternative method to access stored data. The development process of this map itself bears a very significant alteration. The development process was done automatically using a machine code rather than doing it manually. During the research a new, easy to use, robust concept was introduced to develop 3D interactive maps. The Rubyclasses were used in conjunction with MySQL databases to develop 3D interactive map. This method grossly eliminates the cumbersome manual process of Development of three dimensional models.
Full report available on request.