Following the destruction caused by the 2004 tsunami, developer Phillip Bay asked Shigeru Ban to design a prototype house that could be built cheaply using local materials and would be suitable for the tropical climate. It was to form a template for the construction of 100 replacement homes in Kirinda, a Muslim fishing village  on the south-east coast of Sri Lanka.

Adaptable wooden screens divide the rooms, to suit a Muslim lifestyle
Adaptable wooden screens divide the rooms, to suit a Muslim lifestyle: "This is the first time I've worked for the Muslim societies," said Ban, "so before I built the houses I had a community meeting to find out what has to be carefully done depending on the generation, for example, we had to separate the man's space and woman's space." Ban also designed furniture for the residence, using wood from the rubber trees that are common to the region.

Shigeru Ban’s aim was to adapt the houses to their climate, to use local labour and materials to bring profit to the region, and to respond to the villagers’ own requirements through direct consultation. For example, kitchens and bathrooms are included within each house, as requested by the villagers, but a central covered area separates them from the living accommodation, as stipulated by the government. The covered area also provides an entertainment space from which women can retreat to maintain privacy.