Monday, December 14, 2009

VAASTU: SLIA going for the Kill?

Check Sevenby3 as well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The "Wright Way” Travelling through Time

I hadn’t really given much thought about Wright’s broad acre city until today. While I was browsing through his un-realized works, I came upon the mile high tower, which seemed very familiar.

The mile high tower by Frank Lloyd Wright

The funny thing is that the famed burj-dubai looks exactly like the mile Hightower which was designed 50 years earlier!

More information can be found here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lesson Learnt from Lanka? : RIBA pitches for Arb's registration role

By David Rogers

The RIBA has called on the government to let it take over regulation and registration powers from the Architects Registration Board.

Research carried out for the institute into the future regulation and registration of the profession by academic Christopher Ball concluded that the current model was unnecessarily complex.

The Conservative Party has previously said it would scrap Arb if it comes to power.

Ball's report was discussed at yesterday’s RIBA Council and president Ruth Reed said: “Sir Christopher Ball’s thorough and objective report has provided evidence which confirms the RIBA’s view that current regulation lacks transparency, fairness and freedom for the development of the profession.

“Therefore we believe that while statutory protection of title should be maintained, we want to thoroughly research and develop proposals for the registration of architects to be transferred from the Arb to the RIBA.”

While putting together his report, Ball consulted with Arb, the Department for Communities & Local Government and other architects.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Google Experience - A very different approach to an office environment

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Urbanism

Shrinking of the Envelope : Archtectural Slavery

After the rigorous education process that a architecture student goes through, at the end of the day one would expect to see a hefty paycheck.

A CSA (Colombo School of Architecture) student has to pay almost Rs. 650000 to obtain their part I, and another Rs 580000 for their part II. It takes almost eight years for this process to end. However the qualifications they receive are not considered degrees. Comparatively a Moratuwa Architecture student spends less amount of money on their education thanks to the free education system, yet they too have to spend almost 7 years within the university system.
After completing education, most students work for private architectural firms. The payment they receive for their services are not even enough to cover their basic needs. Most of them receive less than 25, 000 per month. There are also some students who have passed out as chartered Architects who receive even less than that!

I searched in, and just to see how the job market in Sri Lanka was fairing, salary wise.

Call Center Supervisor
Qualification : A high school diploma or Academic
Qualification in any fields
Pay: Rs.35000

Marketing Experts

Qualification:Should have done G.C.E (O/L)

Part time jobs (Sales promotions)
Qualification: Good looking *fluent in English

After all the sleepless nights, after all the stress from crits, after all those hours spent at the plotting joint, I just wonder if it’s all worth the trouble.

Maybe they do it all for the satisfaction?...May be not.

Maybe it’s just the sorry state of the profession.

Urban Spaces in Shapes and Sizes

Found this site on urban spaces while browsing. Check out the video below for more details.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Architect Upula Chandrakumara : The Big Boss of Bass!

Architect Upula Chandrakumara rocks the stage with Bhathiya and Santhush!

A fluid tablist and an electric bass guitarist Upula, hails from a musical family. He is the son of the late renowned tablist/vocalist Kalasuri Sri P.V. Nandasiri. His mother Ranghabimani Sujatha Kumarihamy was a dance exponent.
Upula studied the tabla under his father and later under the late great Khalifa Ustad Afaq Hussain Khan and Ustad Ilmas Hussain Khan. His sister Vadya Nipun Manomanjari a violinist and a vocalist graduated from the Benares Hindu University with a Master of Music Degree.

Rated as a Super Grade Artiste at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Upula has scored music for the short film Brew directed by Jin How which was sponsored by the Singapore Film Commission, Singapore.

He is also the Chairman of P.V. Nandasiri Kalakendraya dedicated to his late father who had a successful forty year career at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies. Along with his sister he nurtures and educates young talent in oriental music at the Kalakendraya.

(Source: Sunday observer)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The new level of Architectural Journalism!

This advertisement was published by BT Options who makes the layout for the Architect Magazine. I always thought that the magazine was compiled by the SLIA. Not just anyone can be expected to write for a magazine published by a professional institute. This is professional bankruptcy at its best, and this is why we need diversity within the field. Even with Architects writing for the magazine, it was publishing BS, let's see where this new experiment leads to.
Architectural Journalism is a specialized profession. Find a article regarding Architectural Journalism here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Cloud

This is the word cloud for this blog.

I was just wandering around and found this site, where you can create a word cloud. It’s pretty cool.

Just for the fun of it, I made one for Kottu too ! :)

Supporting Architects and the SLIA propaganda campaign

I just got 8 emails (so far) from the SLIA regarding Architect Tilak Samarawickrama’s book “Ink of Lanka”. (Must be really tough times.) I wonder if SLIA’s getting a piece out of the profits as well. Anyway “Ink of Lanka” should be an interesting book.

I wonder why Architects have suddenly taken up writing. I guess the tough times are really hitting a spot, because architects are generally not known as the most "writing savvy" people around. (Architect Anajlendran has his book out, Architect Rathnavibushana has his book out as well, the architects must be getting their fair share of the royalties?)

At least we can be thankful that the SLIA is supporting Architects in some way, since I don’t really see the whole point of having an organization which is only interested in collecting fees, and not providing anything in return.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hamba Stadium

Image stolen from here

MUMBAI – While the Indian cricket board has already commenced readying the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the 2011 World Cup, to be co-hosted by the BCCI, SLC and BCB, the Sri Lankan cricket officials have commissioned the services of Colombo-based M/s. Surath Wickramasinghe Associates (Pvt.) Ltd for the construction of a new international cricket stadium in Hambantota.According to a recent media report, an international stadium was to be built at Kalutara, which is behind scheduled completion by two years. But, the architect designing the new Hambantota stadium promises its completion in record time of 10 months.Speaking to this paper over his mobile from Colombo, architect Surath Wickramasinghe said, “I am confident enough that the construction of the stadium will be completed well before the World Cup matches”.The architect hopes that the stadium will be one of the best in Asia on par with the Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai), Lord’s (London) and MCG (Melbourne), the stadia he has visited to prepare a blue print for the stadium at Hambantota.“The Hambantota stadium will be able to accomodate 30,000 people on completion and it will take around 10 months to complete the same”, he further added.Surath Wickramasinghe Associates (Pvt) Ltd. is a pre-eminent multi-disciplinary consultancy practice established in 1971. Over the last thirty-seven years, it has acquired wide experience in the design and construction of buildings and development projects. Their clients include the SLC, Airport Authority of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan army, navy and police amongst others. Interestingly, the same architect had designed the 17,000 seater Rangiri Stadium at Dambulla, which was completed in six months time. (

Kinniya Bridge

Image stolen from here

President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the Sri Lanka’s longest bridge, the Kinniya bridge in Trincomalee yesterday (October 20) which was built at a cost of Rs.790 million. Three hundred and ninety six meter long and 10 meter wide bridge linked Trincomalee with Kinniya enabling civilians to cross the Kinniya lagoon to reach Kinniya and Muttur areas. It provides 7.4 meters width for vehicles and 1.5 meters for pedestrians(

Dehiwala Flyover open for Business!

Image stolen from here

Image stolen from here

Highways and Road Development Minister T.B. Ekanayake said that the new bridge will pave the way for easy movement of 40,000 vehicles daily.He also said that it was a common scene that heavy traffic congestion during rush hours on the Galle road at the Dehiwala junction and the government went for this mega development work at a cost of Rs.920 million which has been funded by the UK Government.The two-lane flyover is 337 meters in length and 7.35 meters in width. Construction of the flyover commenced on July 7 of this year. Mabey and Johnson Company of the UK and Access Engineering Ltd in Sri Lanka handled the construction work which was supervised by the Road Development Authority. (

It would be great to see someone doing a study on the effect of this flyover on the Dehiwala node.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Safari Park at Ridiyagama

How similar is this to the Pinnawala Zoo proposal huh? fishy fishy..
(Click to view)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Brief Gardens

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Litterbugs infest the Galle face Green

The largest and probably the oldest public space in Colombo, the Galle face green has faced many enemies in the recent past and now is being challenged by the invasive litter bug.

Pinnawala Zoo

Image stolen from here

‘Join us and feel how well we live’ is the theme of the state-of- the-art new zoo which is being developed at Pinnawala, approx 60 km from Colombo . A new zoo has been a long felt need since the existing Zoo in the suburbs of Colombo has its limitations in expansion and upgrading. The new zoo is based on the conceptual theme that focuses towards developing truly an International Zoo reflecting the cultural heritage, highest conservation standards, educational and research demands, and socio-economic aspirations of the nation. The zoo follows the global trend in specialized zoos that rear animals in environments simulating their natural ecological habitats. Once completed , the new Zoo at Pinnawala will truly be not only a much loved destination among tourists, but also an educational and recreational centre for all visitors.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Museum for Sigiriya

Image stolen from here (more images are available here)

The Sigiriya Museum and Information Centre which will be opened on the 28th of July 2009, has been funded by Japan, through JICA, under its Project for the Development of Culture-oriented Tourism (COT) which hopes to promote nature-culture-traditional lives. The funds were channelled through the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage and the project executed by the CCF.

The museum was a long felt need to attract the up-end tourist market, local as well as foreign, stressed CCF DG Prof. Seneviratne. “These tourists look beyond simplistic information or just visiting a site and moving on.”


Sigiriya Museum Web Site

Monday, July 20, 2009

How the Lankans Landed on the Moon

The moon landing is considered to be one of the most significant historic events witnessed by modern man. Even if it was a hoax as some skeptics argue, it would still remain significant since it undoubtedly would be one of the greatest hoaxes pulled off in history!

I thought of writing this small post to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. The ground views web site had posted an article which presented an interesting insight on how Sri Lanka had reacted to this historical occasion.

The following images were taken from original newspapers, painstakingly scanned by yours truly, which sheds some kind of light on how the media back then captured this event in a Sri Lankan standpoint.

All images (which are readable) can be found in my photo stream

Dinamina, 16-07-1969

Dinamina, 18-07-1969

Even though for some mysterious reason the Sri Lankan Prime minister had refused to send a message of good will to be etched on the silicon disc, which was to be left on the moon, The Sri Lankan flag had made its way to the moon

Dinamina, 19-07-1969

Dinamina, 20-07-1969

Dinamina, 22-07-1969

Dinamina, 22-07-1969

One of the great sons of Sri Lanka, Professor Cyril Ponnamperuma lead a team in examining a potion of the moon debris collected by Neil Armstrong.

Dinamina, 26-07-1969

The head lines of Dinamina, published on the 26th of July 1969 reads "Mars Next -the project to start off in one year".

That was 40 years ealier.

Porn and Viagra on SLIA website

Just in case they delete the pages I have added images to my photo stream

Previously I have criticized the SLIA web site of not being able to contend with other websites by similar International organizations, but today I may have to take that back. I Just visited some of the links in the SLIA website to end up in some sort of forum, created by the website admins, which took me from tribal tattoo websites to viagra advertisements and to "free porn trailer movies".

The SLIA web site also has a killer discussion forum. check it out here (Read the Address bar which states "")

I agree that the SLIA web site needed a boost in terms of traffic, but this is ridiculous!

ps: Lets just hope that the admins wont remove these pages.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So Long,Frank Lloyd Wright: One of those songs That Architects should give a listen to

So Long,Frank Lloyd Wright by Simon and Garfunkel

It is said that before starting off his singing carrier, Art Garfunkle, had studied Architecture. Their musical genius surpass the boundaries of time. "Even though Bridge over trouble water" and "sound of silence might" be more notable tunes, all their music captures a serene quality which often reminds me of Bawa's Architecture.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

shanghai-apartment: Analysis on toppling over

Some more details of the the shanghai-apartment which toppled over in June. Please refer previous post for images. in the following sketches an analysis is made as to how this accident occurred. One wonders whether if end bearing piles were use instead of precast friction ones could this accident have been avoided.

(1) An underground garage was being dug on the south side, to a depth of 4.6 meters
(2) The excavated dirt was being piled up on the north side, to a height of 10 meters
(3) The building experienced uneven lateral pressure from south and north
(4) This resulted in a lateral pressure of 3,000 tonnes, which was greater than why the pilings could tolerate. Thus the building toppled over in the southerly direction.

First, the apartment building was constructed

Then the plan called for an underground garage to be dug out.
The excavated soil was piled up on the other side of the building.

Heavy rains resulted in water seeping into the ground.

The building began to shift and the concrete pilings were snapped
due to the uneven lateral pressures.

The building began to tilt.

And thus came the eighth wonder of the world.

Join [a]rkitektonics Community - [ Optional :) ]

Just fiddle around with the tool bar which you see at the bottom of the page, it has all sorts of buttons, click on the community button and sign up with your facebook profile.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shigeru Ban Designed House in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Shigeru Ban Designed House in Mirissa, Sri Lanka for For Mr. Priengiers jnr.
Local Consultants - PWA

Tadao Ando Designed House In Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Designed by world famous Architect Tadao Ando, the House in Mirissa for Mr. PRINGIERS snr.
Local Consultant - PWA
Unfortunately I don't have any images of the finish product taken from an interesting angle.

Confidence is returning to the profession, survey claims.

By Ruth Bloomfield

June results of the RIBA future trends survey suggests downturn is bottoming out

Optimism is slowly returning to the architectural profession, according to the most upbeat RIBA future trends survey since the start of the year.

Data for June shows that conditions are still tough, but improving slightly.

Practices predicting more work rose from 27% in May to 31% in June, while the number of staff that are currently underemployed fell from 27% in May to 23% in June.

The housing sector is looking particularly robust compared with previous months. The number of practices expecting their workloads to increase rose from 11% in May to 24% in June. Confidence within the commercial and public sectors remained fairly stable however.

Meanwhile eight per cent of practices expect staff levels to increase over the next three months, compared to just three per cent in May. The number of practices expecting staff cuts fell from 23% in May to 16% in June. Three quarters of all practices expect staff levels to remain constant over the next three months.

Adrian Dobson, director of practice at the RIBA said the results indicated the recession was bottoming out for the sector: “The June results mark the end of the first six months of the RIBA Future Trends Survey, and overall we have witnessed a slow but steady return to some confidence and optimism within the profession over the last quarter.”

The Hergé Museum

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

The Hergé Museum by Atelier Christian de Portzamparc

Looks pretty and weird and all that's in between but my question is whether if it capture the true "Tin Tin" spirit? to me it only reflects a few adventures. May be the real thing must be better. What do you think?

Hergé Museum
26, rue du Labrador
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

Georges Prosper Remi (22 May 1907 - 3 March 1983), better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist.His best known and most substantial work is The Adventures of Tintin, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983, which left the twenty-fourth Tintin adventure Tintin and Alph-Art unfinished. His work remains a strong influence on comics, particularly in Europe. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003.

Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi) © Hergé-Moulinsart 2008

illustration from The Adventures of Tintin © Hergé-Moulinsart 2009

Over the years, Hergé’s artistic output has become established as a work of distinction. The idea of a museum has been germinating from as far back as 1979, while he was still alive. The goal was always to make Hergé’s myriad creations known to the wider public. To do justice to such an important project, a lot of time and careful reflection was necessary. The main task was to strike the right balance between the nuances of a complex reality and the legendary status that was starting to develop around the man and his creation.

In 1986, three years after the artist passed away, the idea took shape in the form of the Hergé Foundation. From the start of the new millennium, this organisation (now renamed Studios Hergé) has worked tirelessly to identify and catalogue the most suitable elements for exhibition in a museum consecrated to Hergé. On 10 January 2001, Tintin’s ‘birthday’, the important announcement was made: the Hergé Museum was to be built in Louvain-la-Neuve, a recently created university town, less than 30 kilometres from Brussels.

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

Eight years later and the dream is materialising. The Hergé Museum opens its doors at the start of June 2009, two years after the first stone was laid on 22 May 2007, the artist’s birthday. Expectations are as high as the project is ambitious. A well-known architect was chosen to bring the industrious plans to fruition: the Frenchman Christian de Portzamparc. In recognition of his achievements, in 1994 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious accolade in international architecture.

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

Christian de Portzamparc has used all his skills in building design to integrate the principals of Hergé’s work, superbly highlighting the unique features of the latter’s art, which led to his becoming the founder and master of the clear line technique.

Louvain-la-Neuve is built on a straight-edged concrete slab with a car park underneath. It immediately seemed like a good idea to disengage the museum from the town, better to move it away a little towards the woods. In this way, bathed in the light streaming through the large bays, the visitor is confronted with “four landscape objects”, which correspond to the general layout and Joost Swarte’s scenography.
Each of these objects has its own personality; each is a kind of character. Each has a specific sculptural form, colour and unique design. Each displays an aspect, disproportionately enlarged, derived from Hergé’s drawing style. One traces Tintin in America, another King Ottokar’s Sceptre… To these four “objects”, we can add a fifth: the lift shaft, vertical and coloured in white and blue, which I had first imagined as red and white, but which Fanny found too literal.
What is clear to me, now that the museum exists, is that there were infinite sources of inspiration for the project. There was the programme of exhibitions, of course, and the constant discussions with Fanny and Nick Rodwell, as well as the work of Hergé in all its dimensions of course: its identity, its individuality, its unique character.
I said to myself, from this point on, that the museum was obviously a tribute to Hergé, but also as much a game played with Hergé, or a letter to Hergé.

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009

photo © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc 2009


Beginning of building work : July 2007
Opening day : 2nd June 2009
Program: Cultural facilities accommodating a museum dedicated to Hergé, as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions areas, a video projection room, a cafeteria, shops, studios, storehouses and administrative premises.
Floor space : 3 600 m2
Proprietor: « La Croix de l’Aigle » S.A. : Fanny et Nick Rodwell, Studios Hergé..
Project manager : Robert Vangénéberg.
Project Management : Walter De Toffol – INCA ( Ingénieurs Conseils Associés)
Architect : Christian de Portzamparc
Atelier Christian de Portzamparc TEAM: Céline Barda, Bruno Durbecq, Odile Pornin, Yannick Bouchet, Konrad Kuznicki
Landscape designer: Jacques Wirtz
Scriptwriters : Joost Swarte, Thierry Groensteen and Philippe Goddin
Scenographers : Joost Swarte and Winston Spriet
Director : Laurent de Froberville

3D image © Atelier de Portzamparc 2009