Archt.  Thisara Thanapathy  wins Geoffrey Bawa Award 2016/2017  for Excellence in  Architecture for the Spa at Santani in Kandy

The much-awaited grand finale of the Geoffrey Bawa Awards 2016/17 for Excellence in Architecture was held on 23rd July 2017, at the Park Street Mews, Colombo 2.  Architect Thisara Thanapathy walked away with creatively designed 'Obelisk" trophy and the grand prize of Rupees One Million for  "Spa in Santani" in Kandy  designed by him.  

The Best of Category Awards winners were;

Residential Category: Studio Dwelling, Rajagiriya  by Archt. Palinda Kannangara

Commercial Category: Citizens Development Business Finance PLC Bank and Corporate Office, Colombo 10  by Archt. Shayan Kumaradas

Institutional Category: Kaithady District Vocational Training Center, Jaffna by Archt. Chinthaka Wickramage & Nileeka Senerath.

Honorable mention: Auditorium & Accommodation Chinmaya Mission, Ramboda  by Archt. Yudish Ganesen

Leisure and Entertainment: Spa at Santani, Kandy  by Archt. Thisara Thanapathy

Industrial, Transport and Infrastructure: Sterling Aftercare Center, Galle  by Archt. Thusara Waidyasekera

There were two Honourable Mentions for two designs in Residential and Institutional Categories.

Residential Category Honorable Mention:   Olu Beach Villa   by Mr. Michael Danne Bolier (Architect from the Netherlands)

Institutional Category Honorable Mention: Auditorium & Accommodation Chinmaya Mission, Ramboda by Archt. Yudish Ganesen



Archt. Abha Narain Lambah heads an award-winning practice that has won 8 UNESCO Asia Pacific Awards for heritage conservation and has been selected among the Top 50 architectural practices in the sub continent by Architectural Digest for 2014, 2015 and 2017. The studio focuses on urban and architectural conservation as well as museums across India.  Abha is a recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship (USA) 2002, the Charles Wallace Fellowship (U.K.) 1998, the Attingham Trust Fellowship 2007, the Sanskriti Award 2003 and the Astitwa Awards 2017.  Abha has been a consultant to ICCROM, Global Heritage Fund and World Monuments Fund and has served on the heritage committees of both Delhi and Mumbai and has also authored and edited a range of books.


The Geoffrey Bawa Trust Shortlists 11 Projects for the 4th cycle for Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Excellence in Architecture 2017

This is the fourth cycle of triennial awards hosted by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust.  What distinguishes our awards is that the shortlisted projects are visited by the judges, as well as a technical team, and does not depend merely on images. The Geoffrey Bawa Trust celebrates the shortlist, as well as the awards.

The panel of judges comprising leading Singaporean Architect Mok Wei Wei, Mr. Ward Beling (Trustee of Geoffrey Bawa Trust), Sri Lanka Institute of Architects President D.H. Wijewardene, Ms. Sharmini Perera (founder of Raking Leaves), carefully reviewed  the 65 entries received  for  Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Excellence in Architecture 2017.

The judges, having deliberated in January, visited 15 projects, out of which 11 have been shortlisted. Also for the first time, we have two unexpected projects which have been shortlisted. One by a non- architect who is Sri Lankan and the other by a foreign architect. This suggests that Sri Lankan architecture has attained a level of maturity of design, where non-professional Sri Lankans are also able to participate in this prestigious project.

The shortlisted 11 projects are (in order of submissions):

Samadhi Nature Resort, Narampanawa by Mr. W.C. Jayasinghe (non architect)

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC Bank and Corporate Office, Colombo 10 by Archt. Shayan Kumaradas

Olu Beach Villa, Ambalangoda by Mr. Michael Daane Bolier (architect from the Netherlands)

Auditorium & Accommodation Chinmaya Mission, Ramboda by Archt. Yudish Ganesen

Mihila Green Factory, Agalawatte by Archt. Tilak Samarawickrama

The Urban Haven- Renovation & Addition to Carlton Pre-School, Colombo 10 by Archt. Ranga Dayasena

Sterling Aftercare Center, Galle by Archt. Thusara Waidyasekera

Studio Dwelling, Rajagiriya by Archt. Palinda Kannangara

Family Retreat, Malabe by Archt. Palinda Kannangara

Spa at Santani, Kandy by Archt. Thisara Thanapathy

Kaithady District Vocational Training Center, Jaffna by Archt. Chinthaka Wickramage & Nileeka Senerath.

The judges have made the following observation on the projects;

“After an intensive short-listing process, we are pleased to announce 11 outstanding projects, 6 of which are located outside Colombo, establishing the extent to which contemporary architecture goes beyond the capital.

This year’s submissions were all of notable merit and competition was high. What connects the 11 shortlisted projects is not easy to classify but if they have anything in common it would be that they all question in some way or other what we come to expect when we think of contemporary architecture in the country.

To this end, the introduction of categories by the judges was introduced this year in response to the fact that many of our assumptions about contemporary Sri Lankan architecture are in a stage of flux. While hotels and private residencies have developed rich and unique typologies, helping to establish contemporary architecture not only in the country but internationally, they have also dominated what we understand contemporary architecture to be.

As judges, we asked if it was possible, or indeed fair, to compare a hotel with a training center or a car maintenance facility in terms of their respective architectural briefs, functionality, form and of course budgets. We therefore took a decision to introduce categories in order to recognise architectural projects that might not otherwise make it to a shortlist, which in turn allowed for comparisons to be made on more equitable terms without compromising on a standard of excellence.

It was not our aim to seek out a broader definition of architecture, it was the projects that were put in front of us that compelled us to think out of the box. In this year’s shortlist, we are also pleased to announce the first project in the history of the prize by a non-architect which the judges believed challenged the very question of practice and what qualifies an architect to be an architect today.

Our final shortlist was made on the basis of recognising the fact that architecture in Sri Lanka is changing with the times, notably bringing with it new clients and social and welfare agendas along with the questions of sustainable or green architecture. Changes, we believe that need to be recognised and which the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture makes possible”.

The judges will make their final deliberations, and select the winner who will be presented with the prestigious Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture on Sunday the 23rd July 2017.

Launch of Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2016/2017

The fourth cycle of the Geoffrey Bawa Awards for excellence in Architecture was launched on 23rd July 2016  at the relocated and reconstructed Ena De Silva House adjoining the premises of the historic Geoffrey Bawa Gardens in Lunuganga, Bentota.

This year’s Award commemorates the 97th birth anniversary of the illustrious architect. Three cycles of the Awards were held in 2010/11, 2007/2008 and 2013/2014. Applications are now open to contenders for the fourth cycle of the Awards. Submissions must be on the prescribed forms available at the Geoffrey Bawa Trust Office from 23 July 2016 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. The closing date for entries is 1st November 2016.

The Geoffrey Bawa awards are open to all architects working in Sri Lanka and aim to confer a special status of recognition on the winners. They encourage submission of the broadest possible architectural designs and have no fixed criteria as to the size, type, nature or location of the structures. Projects built in Sri Lanka during the ten-year period between 23 July 2006 and 23 July 2016 and used and occupied for not less than nine months, are eligible for submission. Entries not placed in the previous awards cycle can also be re-submitted.

In establishing the Award, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust does not intend to encourage imitation of the work and style of Geoffrey Bawa but instead, seeks to promote new and dynamic methods of meeting challenges in architecture.

The winner of the fourth cycle will be announced at a gala ceremony that celebrates the winners and their work, to be held on Sunday 23 July 2017, to coincide with Geoffrey Bawa’s 98th birth anniversary. The winner will be awarded a sum of one million rupees, as in previous years.

The judges for the 2016/2017 cycle of awards will be Mr. Ward Beling (Trustee, Geoffrey Bawa and Lunuganga Trusts), Architect Mok Wei Wei (Principal Architect, W. Architects, Singapore), Architect D.H Wijewardena (Senior Vice President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects), and Ms. Sharmini Pereira (Founder and Director of Raking Leaves, and the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design).


You are invited to the Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture 2016 that will be held on 10th June 2016 at 6:30 pm, at  Sri Lanka Foundation Auditorium.  


The Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture 2015 will  be held on 22nd May at 6:30 pm, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Auditorium, No. 100, Independence Square, Colombo 7.


Archt. Yang Zhao from China will deliver the Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture on “Learning through Rural Practice".

After studying at Tsinghua University, Yang Zhao established his own practice, Zhaoyang Studio, in 2007. In 2010, Zhao attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he received a Master’s degree in architecture with distinction.

The lecture is open to public and all are welcome.

Pradeep Kodikara wins Geoffrey Bawa Award 2013/14 for Excellence in  Architecture

The much awaited grand finale of the Geoffrey Bawa Awards 2013/14 for Excellence in Architecture was held on 23rd July 2014, at the Park Street Mews, Colombo 2.  Architect Pradeep Kodikar walked away with creatively designed  'Obelisk" trophy and  the grand prize of Rupees One Million for  "Kadju House" in Tangalle  designed by him.   The re-design of  the Royal Bar and Hotel in Kandy  earned its architect, Yudish Ganesen, the runner-up trophy while  Chamila Alwis Weerasinghe's design of his own home in Mattegoda and Ranjan Aluwihare's design of the Guava House in Mawanella, Kegalle  received commendations. 


(From Left) Chamila  Alwis Weerasinghe , Rohan Aluwihare, Sunethra Bandaranaike – Chairperson of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Pradeep Kodikara and Yudish Ganesen

Honorary Professor Dr. Ronald Lewcock and Emeritus Professor Dr. Senake Banadaranayke  were awarded the Geoffrey Bawa Special Award 2014 for a Lifetime contribution to the Arts and Architecture. (picture below).

This year’s awards celebrate the third cycle of Geoffrey Bawa Awards, and coincide with the 95th birth anniversary of the great architect Geoffrey Bawa. Renowned Indian film director and producer Mira Nair delivered the keynote address at the award ceremony.



















Book of Laki Senanayake's Artistic Talents …..

Archt.  Anjalendran presenting the copy of "Laki" to Laki Senanayake at his home "Diyabubula" in Dambulla

The Geoffrey Bawa Trust has assembled a comprehensive book covering a rage of Laki Senanayake's artistic talents. This book includes  examples of the Laki's work in drawings, paintings and sculptures.  

Archt. Geoffrey Bawa was a great friend and admirer of Laki.  He collaborated with  Geoffrey Bawa continuously and this great  artistic partnership has led to the creation of  some of the masterpieces which are featured in this  book.

By publishing this book, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust  has given an opportunity to a wider audience to understand Laki's work and appreciate his extraordinary talents.

"Laki"  book will be on sale at the Geoffrey Bawa Trust office – No. 11, 33rd Lane, Bagatelle Road, Colombo 3 and  Barefoot Bookshop from 10th June. Call us for more details ; 94 11 433 7335.


We invite you to the Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture 2014 that will be held  on  23rd May 2014, at 6:30 pm, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Auditorium,Colombo 7.


















The Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture is an annual event organized by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust coincides with Archt. Geoffrey Bawa’s death anniversary.  The 12th Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture will be held on the 23rd May 2014 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Auditorium, Independence Square, Colombo 7 at 6.30 p.m.

This year, the Mexican architects, J. Fransisco Serrano and Juan Pablo Serrano Orosco will deliver the Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture. 

J Fransisco Serrano is the third Generation of a family of architects and graduated from the Ibero-American University in 1960. Among his many decorations and awards have been the Luis Barragan award of the college of architects of Mexico City (2008), and the National Architecture prize (2013).

Juan Pablo Serrano Orozco graduated with honors from the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the Ibero-American University in 1991. Since graduating he has worked in the studios of Agusto H. Alvarez and Ricardo Legoretta before setting up the partnership LMNS S.C. Serrano Monajaraz Architectos in 1993. Through his partnership he has worked with several other eminent architects including his father Fransisco Serrano and Legorreta+Legorreta.

The Lecture is open to public and all are welcome.


The Geoffrey Bawa Trust  shortlsts 9 Architects  for the 3rd cycle  of Geoffrey Bawa Awards 2013/14   


From Left) Trustee Eugenie Mack, Trustee and the Chairman of GBA 2013/14  Technical Committee – Archt. Channa Daswatte, Archt. Yudish Ganesen, Archt. Pradeep Kodikara, Archt. Palinda Kannangara, Chairperson of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust – Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike, Archt. Suranjan Ranasinghe, Archt. Ranjan Aluvihare, Archt. Janaka Wijesundara, Archt. Chinthaka Wickramage, Archt. Sudesh Nanayakkara, Archt. Chamila Weerasinghe

The third cycle of Geoffrey Bawa Awards for excellence in Architecture was launched   on the 23rd July 2013. The Trust received 53 entries and the panel of Judges met on 18th January 2014 to draw up a short list.There was such a range of submissions that Judges  finally decided to include a total of nine as shotlist. The shortlist projects was announced at  a press conference on Friday, 28th February 2014,  at Geoffrey Bawa Colombo home "Number 11".

The following are the 9 short-listed submissions in the running for The Geoffrey Bawa Award 2013/14 for Excellence in Architecture.

IFRCS Community Center for Tsunami Affected in Matara (2009)  by Archt.  Chinthaka C. Wickramage

Amal & Himarsha House in Moratuwa (2012)  by Atcht. Sudesh Nanayakkara

Toll Plazas & Toll Gate Office Buildings of Southern Expressway in Kottawa (2012) by Archt. Janaka Wijesundara

Guava House in Mawanella, Kegalle (2008) by Archt.Ranjan Aluvihare & Archt. Rohan Aluvihare

Architect’s House in Mattegoda (2004) by Archt. Chamila Alwis Weerasinghe

The Royal Bar & Hotel in Kandy (2011) by Archt. Y. L. Ganesen 

Temple Pavilion in  Kolonnawa (2011) by Archt. Palinda Kannangara

Kadju House in Tangalle (2007) by Archt. Pradeep Kodikara

Hatton National Bank – Green Building in Nittambuwa (2011) by Archt. Suranjan I. Ranasinghe 

The next step for the 9 short-listed submissions is an on-site technical review, followed by a final judging session which will culminate with selecting the winner/s. The winner/s will be announced at a gala event that will be held on the 23rd of July 2014, coincide with Geoffrey Bawa’s 95th birth anniversary.


Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in  Architecture 2013/2014 

The third cycle of Geoffrey Bawa Awards for excellence in Architecture was launched   on the 23rd July 2013. Applications are called from contenders to the Award on the prescribed forms available at the Geoffrey Bawa Trust office from the 23rd of July 2013 on week days from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Documents should be submitted by the 1st of November 2013. 

The aim of this award is to recognize and reward significant examples of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture. This was achieved in the previous cycles, 2008 and 2011 which celebrated the winners as well as the shortlist. The first and the second cycles indeed generated a wide interest, and indeed the Trust hopes that this interest will bring in a greater number and even better schemes that did not perhaps enter in the last cycle.

Once again the award will be a sum of one million rupees for the winner. The winner will be announced at a gala event that will be held on the 23rd of July 2014 coincide with Geoffrey Bawa’s 95th birth anniversary.


The Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture was held  on the 23rd May 2013 at the P de S Kularatne Hall, Ananda College, Maradana at 6.30 p.m.The Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture is an annual event organized by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust coincides with the Architect Geoffrey Bawa’s death anniversary.


 The lecture will be delivered by Architect Kate Otten from South Africa and the lecture will be on ‘”Landscapes for the Spirit”.

Kate Otten is one of South Africa’s most recognized architects, known for being an architect of ‘place’. Her buildings are born out of the South African context, weaving together materials, skills, politics, and landscape to create places that feed and nurture the human spirit. Kate believes that buildings have an emotional presence and that fulfilling the emotional and spiritual needs of the users is as important as creating a functional space.

Kate started her studies in Durban and graduated from the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg with an exceptional 100% for her thesis. She worked for several leading architectural practices before setting up her own practice in 1989.



The judges for the 2013/2014  awards are  Ms. Eugenie Mack (Trustee, Geoffrey Bawa Trust), Architect Ashok Lall (Architect specializing in sustainable design based in New Delhi), Prof. Chitra  Wedikkara (President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and the Managing Director of Chartered Architect/Quantity Surveyor Qserve (Pvt) Ltd.), Deshamanya Prof. Radhika Coomaraswamy (former Under Secretary General   of  the  United  Nations   and  Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict).

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 twelve 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.

Through a series of innovative private houses built during the 1960s, Bawa actually changed the way that many Sri Lankans lived, demonstrating how it was possible to be both modern and yet still reflect tradition. But he also built innovative schools and orphanages, office buildings and factories, religious buildings and universities, pioneering new ways of studying, working and worshipping in an equatorial monsoon climate. He bequeathed to Sri Lankans the most potent image of their island democracy: the Parliament on an island at Kotte in 1982.

The Trust was indeed heartened by the response and the quality of work that was submitted at the last two cycles. The variety of projects that made the shortlist were all of consistently high quality with a great deal of innovative thinking represented in them. It would have indeed pleased Geoffrey Bawa to see the vital and innovative design ideas, which lifted the spirits, as he was himself a restless designer who never stood still and never repeated himself.

The Trust wishes to promote the idea that good design is important both to the wellbeing of the people of Sri Lanka and to the image which their country projects to the rest of the world. It hopes to bring awareness of good design not just to architects, but to all those who are involved in the built environment and hopefully reverse trends of construction in the landscape of Sri Lanka. Perhaps, the Award process will raise the ambitions of all those who participate and that it will confer a special status on those who are celebrated. It also hopes to initiate a debate about architecture in Sri Lanka and to increase awareness of the importance of the built environment.