Hill Country - 2 :
Tea Factory (Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka)
In Hill Country, a big tea plantation has a factory that produces tea from tea leaves. The factory of a famous brand is attracting popularity as a tourist facility with a direct sales store and where a tourist can see the production process of tea.
Pedro in Nuwara Elia was founded in 1885 and is one of the tea brands dealt with at the highest price in Sri Lanka. It is 10 minutes by car from the downtown and is located at the hill of 1890 meters in altitude, standing to overlook the tea plantation and the residence areas for workers with small private farmland (picture on the left in the second row). Not limited to Pedro, the reason for choosing a small hill seems that it is most reasonable to capture the wind necessary for the production process, rather than to monitor.
The factory is divided into 3 buildings. The first one is an entrance building with store, and beautiful tea gardens spread outside the window. A visitor can have a just prepared tea here while seeing the tea garden after the tour.
The second one is a factory building of old-fashioned saw roof. Even if the shape is familiar in Japan, it produces a colonial atmosphere only by placing a green roof on a cream colored wall. In the inside which is prohibited to take photos, work of drying, screening and packing is done. Machines moves while changing the size and sieving method of tea leaves according to the taste of each country to export, such as Europe, Russia, Middle East and etc. It is a hygienic and efficient working space.
In the back of the factory is a wilting building that is connected with a tunnel. It is a contemporary exteriror appearance finished with silver galvanized plate. In the first process, freshly picked tea leaves are laid on a basket rack in the room to evaporate the moisture of the leaves. It is called as wilting. In order to maximize the wind necessary for that purpose, the entire wall is a window with one side open. According to temperature and humidity, the opening way is adjusted like a valve. The reason why staffs get in and out there via the tunnel might be because a tunnel avoids to block the wind.
The building type of the wilted building is not Pedro's original since it is often built in other factories. When the way to wilt using natural wind is investigated thoroughly, a wilted building might be converged to this shape. It is interesting that functionalism created by Sri Lankan cultural climate is not based on human but on tea.
I could not visit tea garden and residence area this time because of holiday. Those road and arrangements would also be planned in consideration with work process and labor efficiency of tea production ? This is the task in the next visit.
10 minute by car from downtown Kandy.
2008.01 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version
2018.01 Change of photos and English text
Copyright (C) 2010 Future-scape Architects. All Rights Reserved.