Thursday, July 29, 2010

Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010 /2011 Launched in Colombo

Convened by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, a media briefing was held in Colombo to launch Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010/2011 on July 23, 2010 at the late Architect’s residence, who would have celebrated his 91st birthday on the same day.
Architect Channa Daswatte and Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike addressed the media on the background of the Awards and submission details, as well as what the Awards mean not only to Architects, but also to the society of Sri Lanka.
Applications are called from contenders to the Award on the prescribed forms available at the offices of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and will be available from the July 23, 2010 from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. and on week days thereon from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Documents should be submitted by November 15, 2010. Once again the award will be a sum of one million rupees and the winner chosen from the shortlist of 10 announced in May 2011. The winner will be announced at a gala event held on July 23, 2011 – Geoffrey Bawa’s 92nd birth anniversary, where the renowned author Michael Ondaatje has agreed to make the keynote address.

The judges will be Suhanya Raffel (Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and Deputy Director Curatorial and Collection development at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane Australia), Archt. Kerry Hill, Singapore, Archt. Jayantha Perera (Immediate Past President and nominee of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects) and Mr. Ajita de Costa (Textile technologist, industrialist and heritage conservationist).

The Geoffrey Bawa Trust will embark on a national Awards scheme for the second time to recognize and reward outstanding architectural work for architecture in Sri Lanka. The main objective of the Awards is to provide national recognition to the professionals and their contribution to the community and the Country. By honouring them, the Trust will help them advance in their careers and personal networks and provide significant profiling and visibility so as to create additional opportunities and exposure to them through their association “With the world renowned name Geoffrey Bawa”.

The Award, is open to all Sri Lankans and seeks out the broadest possible range of architectural interventions. The Award specifically hopes to encourage and learn more about the works of younger architects while being a forum for emerging talent. There are no fixed criteria as to the size, type, nature or location of project. The awards embraces all kinds of building projects ranging from modest small scale interventions to major complexes in housing and urban complexes that keeps a focus on the community and its neighborhoods. The Geoffrey Bawa Awards scheme has been consciously modeled on the scheme, which is run by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva. That is generally acknowledged to have had a very marked effect on architecture in developing countries since it was inaugurated by His Highness The Aga Khan in 1977 and has now completed eleven of its three- year cycles. The Trust also acknowledges the importance of the honour, that was bestowed upon Deshamanya Bawa when he received The Aga Khan’s Special Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture in 2001.

Geoffrey Bawa is now recognized as having been one of the greatest Asian architects of the second half of the Twentieth Century and one of the most significant Sri Lankans of his generation. With his small group of talented assistants and his circle of creative friends and collaborators, he established a whole canon of prototypes for new buildings in newly independent Sri Lanka.

During a career that spanned forty years Bawa designed about thirty hotels, of which fourteen were realized, twelve of them in Sri Lanka. The Bentota Beach and Serendib hotels were the first purpose-built hotels to be built in the island and they set the standards for the rest to follow. Both contributed immeasurable to the image of Sri Lanka that was projected to the rest of the world. Many Guide Books to the island now include his buildings as “must see” places and rate his hotels as the best on the island.

For more information on the Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010/2011 cycle, and/or to become a sponsor, contact Nuzreth Jalaldeen on (011) 2375666 or(011)2375666 ext: 139 or

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shigeru Ban Designed House in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Shigeru Ban Designed House in Mirissa, Sri Lanka for For Mr. Priengiers jnr.
Take a look at some photos of the model in a previous post.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Old News - Dont read if you've moved out of the 2009 mind frame

The British High Commission building, designed by Richard Murphy Associates, UK (Local Architects- Milroy Perera Associates) was shortlisted for the Lubetkin prize 2009, however the birds nest stadium won the award.

Information on the British High Commission building and video in support of their nomination for the Lubetkin prize 2009 can be found here

Lubetkin Prize – shortlist of six, alphabetical:

Bird's Nest/ National Stadium // Beijing // China // Herzog & De Meuron with Arup // 7

Bird’s Nest/ National Stadium // Beijing // China // Herzog & De Meuron with Arup

British High Commission // Colombo // Sri Lanka // Richard Murphy Architects

British High Commission // Colombo // Sri Lanka // Richard Murphy Architects

Capital Airport // Beijing // China // Foster + Partners

Capital Airport // Beijing // China // Foster + Partners

Museum for the Brandhorst Collection // Munich // Germany // Sauerbruch Hutton

Museum for the Brandhorst Collection // Munich // Germany // Sauerbruch Hutton

Sean O'Casey Community Centre // East Wall // Dublin // Ireland // O'Donnell and Tuomey

Sean O’Casey Community Centre // East Wall // Dublin // Ireland // O’Donnell and Tuomey

Water Cube/ National Swimming Centre // Beijing // China // PTW with Arup

Water Cube/ National Swimming Centre // Beijing // China // PTW with Arup

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What happened to the web journal?

In a previous post I have mentioned about the web site which hosted the online version of "The Architect" magazine for sometime. It was doing a pretty good job which was not very SLIA ish. Now the website has been removed.

It turns out that BT options which prints "The Architect" magazine for SLIA ( BT options does the printing, laying out and rakes in all the profits from the advertisements and pays the SLIA a measly sum of RS. 30,000 for the articles which are compiled by the SLIA, which in most cases are written by Architects and Engineers) had put up the website without even consulting with the SLIA.

Sri Lanka needs a website which showcases Sri Lankan architects and their works, and was doing a pretty good job, but now we're left again with the crappy old What to do no?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sustaining Colombo through sustaining colonial remnants

Professor Munasinghe in a interesting article to the Sunday Times talks about Colombo and how it should evolve giving consideration to its colonial history. He goes on to say that "Colombo, we note, is one of the most fitting examples to test the hypothesis of development through conservation- using cultural and heritage values to design a development framework"

Leaving aside the romantic notions of the colonial grandeur, should we conserve the so called colonial heritage which our colonial masters bestowed upon us? What should we really conserve?

He further mentions "Our proposal is not to import life patterns that have little to do with living society, its day-to-day activities or its particular origin and evolution, but to regenerate the old city fabric to make conservation of Colombo an economic feasibility. In addition to new uses and users, it is necessary to take measures to control rents, land ownership, and land utilization to control undue increase of property values or gentrification but without curtailing the growth of the city. Infusion of so-called cultural activities to make the historic fabric function alone may not be sustainable in Colombo but striking a balance between conservation of historic fabric and adding new may make the city function as one unit."

Are we conserving Colombo for the sake of Sri Lankan's or the foreigners that we expect would to pour down in the coming years?

World’s tallest residential building

Mumbai’s skyline is all set to play host to the world’s tallest residential building with Lodha Developers announcing the construction of a 117-storey tower in Lower Parel on Tuesday. Once ready in 2014, the 450-mt (1450 ft) highrise will dwarf the existing tallest residential building Q1, which is 323 mt (1058 ft) high, in Gold Coast, Australia. The 80-storey Q1 was built in 2005.

The Structure

Typical floor plan for 1stto 40th Floor

Tentative Floor plan for 1stto 40th Floor (3 & 4 BHK Wing)

The Flat layout of 4 BHK would be similar to 3 BHK only one room would be added and some differences in the dimensions.

The above information is according to the description by the Sales Manager and a bit of imagination, as none of the plans were shown at this pre-launch stage, only some dimensions were disclosed, therefore it may vary a bit from the actual.

It was told that as it is only pre-launch, so only after giving a cheque of Booking amount, a glimpse of the floor plans would be shownbut it will not be given.

Pricing Details

Base Rate Rs. 23,000 psf (3 BHK)

Rs. 22,500 psf (4BHK)

Rs. 30,303 psf (Villas)

Floor Rise Rs. 180 per floor
(from 7th floor for 3BHK & 4BHK)

(from 42nd floor for Villas)

Car Parking Rs. 12.6 Lac
per car parking

(2 CPs compulsory for 3 BHK)

(3 CPs compulsory for 4BHK & Villas)

Maintenance Rs. 12 psf
per month

Total Cost Rs. 7.11 Cr
(For a 3BHK at 10th level)

Rs. 8.25 Cr(For a 4BHK at 10th level)

Rs. 21.97 Cr(For a Villa at 44th level)

Payment Schedule

Booking Amount Rs. 18 Lac
(3 BHK & 4 BHK)

Rs. 36 Lac(Villa)

After 27 days
10%of the Agreement Value – Booking Amount

After 18 more days
9.9% of the Agreement Value

Other installments will be due as per the progression of work.

It would take around 5 years in completion of the project.

The above prices are valid only till 17th June and it would be increased to about 20%after that.

LODHA’S World One, Lower Parel


Detail related to



World One


Lower Parel

Land details

17.5 acre plot of Srinivas Cotton Mills

Auctioned by National Textile Corporation in 2005

Development details

3 residential towers, a high-end shopping avenue and a world-class office building.

Height & Areas

Over 117 storeys (Over 450 meters or 1,450-feet)

Total 300 exclusive homes

landscape area

2 lakh sq ft (5 acres)

Sports club

80,000 sq ft

Height of 175 feet above ground


Rs 2,000 crore

(approx US$ 440 million).


Customer receipts, debt finance and internal accruals

Received more than Rs1,000 crore from HDFC, Singaporefunds GIC and Temasek

Expected Revenue

Rs 5,000 crore


Gold LEED Certified building

By the GreenBuildingCouncil


60 km from the building

360° views including Bandra Worli Sealink,Race Course & Arabian Sea.

Type of flats

3 & 4 bedroom World Residences

Lavish World Villas with their own private pools

Limited number of duplex World Mansions


Rs 25,000 per sq ft.

Rs.7.5 to Rs.50 crore ($1.5 million to $12 million)

Sales Commencement

End of June, 2010

Architectural Consultant

Cobb Freed & Partners

New York

Structural Consultant

Leslie E Robertson Associates

New York

Construction by

Samsung Constructions, L&T and Grocon

Technology to be used

High-capacity concrete pumps

Ability to pump to heights over 450 metres

High-capacity construction hoists

With a speed of up to 2 m/sec to move men and materials

Super- Structure

High-strength concrete

Supported by large reinforced concrete mats and piles

Elevation type

Mega Structure

First time in India


Club House

3-level club-house and spa


Bulthaup (Germany)


Antonio Lupi (Italy), Dornbracht (Germany), Gessi (Italy), Villeroy & Boch (Germany/France)


Mitsubishi (Japan), Otis (USA)


Imported Italian marbles

Safety Measures

Fully automated fire detection and sprinkling systems

Dedicated pressurized fire staircases

High-speed fire lifts

Eco-friendly Measures

100 per cent water harvesting and recycling

reducing water consumption by upto 50%

Using VRV air-conditioning and solar energy for common areas

slashing electricity consumption by over 40 percent

Waste segregation and recycling.

Material to be consumed

250,000 cubic meters of concrete

35,000 metric tons of steel rebar

14 million man hours.

18 elevators travelling at upto 8 metres/sec

over 25 ft/sec, more than 2½ storeys/sec




In memoriam of one of the greatest architectural prophets : Bill Mitchell

Authoring a multitude of inspiring visionary books, including City of bits, Me++, and E-thopia, William J Mitchelle is undoubtedly on of the most influential architectural thinkers of our time.

The former dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning, who pioneered urban designs for networked, "smart" cities and helped oversee an ambitious building program that transformed MIT's physical campus, died on June 11 after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

Through his writings he brought us what we will have to expect in the future, and inspired a generation of electronic architects. The void created by this loss will no doubt be felt by the entire Architectural community.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism?

image stolen from here

A very interesting outlook on "humanitarian" design, which we also experienced during the time of the tsunami relief construction projects.

"So what’s going on? Did what I see in these two occasions represent something wider and deeper? Is the new humanitarian design coming out of the U.S. and Europe being perceived through post-colonial eyes as colonialism? Are the American and European designers presuming too much in their attempt to do good?"

Read the full article here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GPS system available in Sri Lanka


Sala Geo Information Systems Pvt Ltd (Sala GIS), a subsidiary of Sala Enterprises, last week announced the launch of ‘Sala ProSat’, a novel GPS Navigation System and available to the general public.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S. space-based radio navigation system that provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to civilian users on a continuous worldwide basis. GPS provides accurate location and time information for an unlimited number of people in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world. A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by the GPS satellites high above the Earth.

Managing Director of Sala GIS Chinthaka Wijewickrama said, “Our main intention is to take advantage of Sri Lanka’s post-war economic boom including the projected massive development in the tourism sector. We are confident that the introduction of this GPS Navigation System will not only be of immense benefit to a very large cross section of users, but will be a national asset and greatly enhance the country’s image in the region.”

Outlining some of the advantages and benefits, Sri Lanka could achieve by using the ‘Sala ProSat’ GPS Navigation System, Wijewickrama said that it helps one find and navigate any address in Sri Lanka. It also provides turn by turn guidance for travelling to any place along a shortest or fastest route. The user will thus save fuel and time to a greater extent and thereby an overall saving of national resources.

It has over 100,000 important landmarks and points of interest such as Fuel Stations, ATMs, Banks, Hospitals, Hotels, Parks, Police Stations etc. It tells you your exact location and easily helps you find places you want to go to, without anyone’s assistance.

“We’re parallelly targeting the massive boom is expected in the tourism sector. Considering the fact that most foreign tourists already use GPS systems around the world, this will be a boon to the thousands of tourists visiting Sri Lanka. It will also give us a distinctive edge when marketing Sri Lanka as a burgeoning tourist destination after a three-decade protracted civil war”, he said.

Sala ProSat’s maps are all prepared according to Sri Lanka’s traffic law and considering the status of roads in this country. In case of any unexpected traffic congestion or obstacles on the way, the GPS System will instantly find and offer the best alternative route and thus improve traffic discipline at all times.

The tool’s ability to calculate the exact time of arrival at the stipulated destination and the distance to it is a great advantage to those who engaged in extensive travelling, such as drivers, tourists etc.

Furthermore when users need to go to multiple places on a single route, the GPS Navigation System will instantly calculate the optimal route, covering all the points to the destination. This system is able to provide useful and comprehensive trip data, such as present speed, the average speed of the overall trip, idling time, movement direction, altitude above the sea level and many more parameters.

“With the launch of this revolutionary satellite-based navigation system, I’m proud to say that Sri Lanka re-defines new boundaries and conquers new frontiers in travel navigation”, Wijewickrama concluded.

General Information about GPS: GPS has become a widely used aid to navigation worldwide, and a useful tool for map making, land surveying, commerce, scientific uses, tracking and surveillance, and hobbies such as geo cacheing and way marking. A precise time reference is used in many applications including the scientific study of earthquakes and as a time synchronization source for cellular network protocols.

GPS has become a mainstay of transportation systems worldwide, providing navigation for aviation, ground, and maritime operations. Disaster relief and emergency services depend upon GPS for location and timing capabilities in their life-saving missions.

Everyday activities such as banking, mobile phone operations and even the control of power grids, are facilitated by the accurate timing provided by GPS. Farmers, surveyors, geologists and countless others perform their work more efficiently, safely, economically, and accurately using the free and open GPS signals.