Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dan Phillips's Budweiser House!

Dan phillips appears to be a very interesting character having a very multifaceted and colorful life which he has spent as an intelligence officer in the Army, a college dance instructor, an antiques dealer and a syndicated cryptogram puzzle maker. Since about a decade ago he has started to design houses from trash!

Take a listen to this very interesting TED talk, where he talks on a number of issues including how standardization has effected the construction industry (even though I don't agree with him), and monotonous character of housing complexes. And also most interestingly, the Budweiser house! very very cool indeed!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fire, fire burning bright...!

This is an image taken from the dinamina online edition, which shows the incinerated kiribathgoda seylan bank building. Apparently the same building had caught on fire three months earlier as well.

There is a ICTAD published manual on fire safety regulation for buildings in Sri Lanka, but no one seems to be adhering to any regulations these days. Pay the TO at the MC 500 bucks and you can build anything you want. Better yet, pay the bugger Rs 15,000 and you can get the approved council drawings for a 5 storied building (real story)

Bottom line is that there should be a more methodical way of getting council drawings approved. The existing system has become a joke, and everyone knows it, but no one wants to do anything because this is much more convenient. The professional bodies such as the IESL and SLIA should do something about this before its too late. well its already too late, but as they say, its better late than never.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kandy: a sketch book

Image stolen from here
(All rights belong to Vasanth Perera)

I am no artist nor an art critic, but I'm confident that I can spot beauty when I see it. And that's why I love Vasantha perera's art. As an Architect I love how those silent buildings are brought to life in his canvas. He has recently published a book titled, "Kandy: a sketch book" which is kind of the part two of his trilogy of sketch books. The predecessor to the recent book was titled as "Jaffna: a sketch book". He also recently held an exhibition of his works to mark the launch of the book.

I will be wating till he publishes his third sketch book, which is supposed to be themed on Colombo.

You can visit Vasantha's web site for more information

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SLIA Drama: season 01- web mania

The most recent email from the SLIA reads as...


All Corporate members are permitted to maintain their own Practice Websites as per 6.4.4 of the SLIA regulations.

The Council has approved the inclusion of 20 (Twenty) images (Maximum) of completed Projects on such a Website.

I had to learn about those fantastic "SLIA regulations" sometime back (I have long forgotten what they are...) But just to recap, I visited the this link which leads to the EXTRA ORDINARY GAZETTE of 1416/10 where I believe you should find the regulations. But the pdf available there only has 5 pages. ( it was a little bit odd, that the heading for the home page of the government press website read "Entertainment" : I guess some might consider reading gazettes entertainment)

Anyway back to the SLIA email. I'm a bit unclear about this, so according to this "new" rule I'm making several assumptions...

1.) You can only have 20 images of buildings completed in your web page?
2.) You can have 20 images per building project that you have completed?
3.) You can have any amount of 3d renderings (since they cannot be considered images of buildings rather representations of the images of buildings)
4.) You can have any amount of images of buildings that are not yet completed ( So construction progress, or even buildings with say one coat of paint, since they cannot be deemed completed, the word completed is such a subjective word!)

According to assumption 01 some web sites such as the following should be taken down

Mihindu Keerthirathna Associates
Milroy Perera Associates
Palinda Kannangara
Sunil Gunawardena

Team Architrave

These are just a few... If my assumption 2 is correct then I guess most of the websites are pretty safe.

Needless to say I fail to understand the logic behind this most recent turn of events, my conclusion is that the SLIA got tired of just sending obituary notices by mail and just to stir up the interest of the membership, they resorted to this. Whatever it is, I think we should re consider the pro's and cons of the SLIA membership. What do we really get back from the SLIA as Architects or better yet as a Country?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Buddha Park

I accidentally came across these interesting images while randomly surfing the web on a Sunday afternoon. Buddha park is located in Laos, and is called Xieng Khuan, which means Spirit City. Even though it looks weathered, apparently it was built in 1958. (more info from wiki)

(image stolen from here)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One finger salute to peliyagoda! : The Terrible TRC Tower

Sunday, November 14, 2010

So you want to be an Architect? Really? you gotta be fucking kidding me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mihindu Keerthirathna to design the new airport hotel!

Suchirindia Lankan Hotels and Resorts (P) Limited and Starwood, a leading international hotel and leisure company, singed a letter of intent to establish a 200 keys airport hotel in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone.

Suchirindia is a diversified business group based in India with Infrastructure and hospitality development at its core. Hospitality as a business venture to Suchirindia has profound significance as the company believes this is one line of business that integrates nature, creativity, art and architecture, statement said.

With two hotels under operation back in India, Suchirindia is poised to make a humble beginning in Sri Lanka with a 200 keys hotel at Bandaranaike International Airport in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone in a 3.5 acres land awarded by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

Starwood is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with over 1000 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories. The letter of intent was signed in the presence of the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ashok K. Kantha yesterday.

Dr. Y. Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Suchirindia Group and Mathew Fry, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development in Starwood Asia Pacific, exchanged the signed letters of intent and together they will bring the pacesetting innovation, lifestyle-focused design, signature services and strong traveler loyalty through this project. Mihindu Keerthiratne Associates would be the Hotel Architects.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New customs building

This is the new house of the Sri Lanka Customs. This is a key State organisation at the frontier, which enforces social protection laws of the country while facilitating the trade transactions, contributing to the national development drive. Yet the Sri Lanka Customs worked scattered in different buildings even at the time of their bicentenary celebrations. At a cost of Rs. 4.5 billion the new Customs building is being built near the Charmer’s jetty in Colombo Fort with one side bordered by the Beira Lake.


Landmark? or Loony mark?: TRC Tower

A landmark tower from where people could have an overview of Colombo city has been proposed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRC).

TRC director Anusha Palpita told the Sunday Times that many countries have landmark towers and in keeping with this trend they too have proposed one at Peliyagoda.

He said the tower would also be used as a communication tower by television stations. “Visitors who come to Colombo do not have many places to visit other than the Galle Face Green and the Zoological gardens. Now that the war has ended people are looking for more recreational facilities.

This will serve that purpose,” he said. A revolving restaurant would add to its attraction, Mr. Palpita said.

"OnThree20” luxury residential apartment complex-Union Place

The proposed “OnThree20” luxury residential apartment complex

On Three 20 is the most exciting new condominium project in Sri Lanka. Located in the heart of the city of Colombo this mammoth complex would consist of 475 units on 3 37-storey towers. The residential complex has been designed with special emphasis on the common areas which boasts of swimming pools, squash court and large gymnasium spread over half an acre of landscape garden at the podium level on the sixth floor. For more information please refer our website or contact our sales team.


Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) further signalled it is also upbeat on post-war Sri Lanka’s property sector by kicking off its biggest venture in the segment – building a 475 luxury apartment units complex in Union Place with an investment of US$ 65 million.

The Board of Investment (BOI) agreement to this effect was concluded yesterday with Chairman J.D. Bandaranayake and JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake along with Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene functioning as signatories.

Ratnayake told the Daily FT yesterday that the business climate and timing was right to embark on what is billed as JKH’s biggest venture in the residential apartments sector. He also said that the move follows success achieved in two of its previous initiatives “The Monarch” (with an estimated investment of $ 30 million) and The Emperor ($ 40 million). “Even prior to the official launch of the sale, the response from the market has been tremendous with interest expressed for over 50% of the units,” Ratnayake said.
He added that buyers stand to gain from the stylish design and luxury features of the apartments, attractive pricing, unique proposition in terms of financing options.
Official selling is expected to start next week whilst the construction is scheduled to commence in April 2011 with completion planned by the end 2014.
The project named “OnThree20” (on account of its premises number down Union Place – the area currently housing Singer Sri Lanka and some of JKH Group offices) will be encompassing two acres or 320 perches.
The apartments inclusive of usual luxury amenities will be priced ranging from Rs. 14 million for a two-bedroom unit at the lower levels to Rs. 37 million for a three-bedroom apartment at the highest level. The floor area ranges from around 900 square feet to 1,350 square feet with options for amalgamation. The location, in the heart of the city of Colombo affords convenient access to the Central Business District, all leading schools, hotels, shopping areas etc. The complex has been designed to meet the life style needs of today’s discerning customer.