Monday, April 6, 2009

Sri Lankan Architect Named as an Honorary Fellow in the American Institute of Architects

Ambassador Blake met with architect Nela de Zoysa to congratulate her on her initiation into The American Institute of Architects (AIA) as an Honorary Fellow. Ms. De Zoysa is one of two women architects honored by the prestigious institution this year. She is the second Sri Lankan architect to earn the honor, after Geoffrey Bawa, and the first woman from Sri Lanka and the entire SAARC region.

The American Institute of Architects has been the leading American professional membership association for licensed architects and emerging professionals since 1857. Honorary Fellowship is one of the highest honors granted to international architects by the AIA, recognizing the significant contribution the individual has made to both architecture and society on an international level.

Ambassador Blake and Ms. De Zoysa discussed her early architecture studies which began at Syracuse University in the US and finished in Sri Lanka, as well as her renowned projects in Sri Lanka and abroad. Daughter of Dr. Justin Samarasekera, founder of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, Ms. De Zoysa has received numerous awards for both her commercial and residential designs. In 2008 she received the Commendation Award at the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture for her design of the Suzuki Maruti Complex.
Ms. De Zoysa is currently working on projects in India and Nepal. She will travel to San Francisco in early May to receive her Honorary Fellowship medal.