The Geoffrey Bawa Awards


The Geoffrey Bawa Trust is setting up a national award scheme to recognise and reward significant examples of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture. The aim of the scheme is both to foster the production of good architecture and to encourage its wider appreciation in the community.

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The Inaugural 2006/2007 Cycle


Archite,Jayantha Perera, FIA (SL)
President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

Archt. Jayantha Perera completed his Architectural Education at the University of Moratuwa and subsequently was elected a corporate member of the SLIA and the RIBA.
He was on the Academic staff of the University of Moratuwa and the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Having served mainly in the private sector in Sri Lanka for over two decades with short stints in Oman and Nigeria, is presently the Principal Architect of his own practice “Architect Jayantha Perera”.
Currently the President of SLIA, and has held several key Offices in the Council and in Boards of the SLIA. In addition was the Chairman of the ARCASIA Committee on Architectural Education.

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The Inaugural 2010/2011 Cycle


SuhanyaRaffel, Trustee, Geoffrey Bawa Trust , Deputy Director, Curatorial and Collection Development at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Australia

Kerry Hill, one of the foremost architects of Asia and has won numerous awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001 ,

Ajita de Costa is a Chartered Textile Technologist by profession, heads a well known family owned clothing enterprise. He is also the Chairman of the Heritage Foundation for the Environment and Arts

Architect Jayantha PereraFIA(SL), Past President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects ( 2008 –2009 ) .

Trustee Archt. Channa Daswatte and Archt. C. Anjalendran joined the judges to help facilitate effective on-site Technical and Physical Reviews.

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The award scheme has been consciously modelled on the scheme that is run by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva. That scheme is generally acknowledged to have had a very marked effect on architecture in developing countries since it was inaugurated by HRH the Aga Khan in 1977 and has now completed ten of its three-year cycles. The Trust also acknowledges the importance of the honour, which was bestowed upon Deshamaniya Bawa when he received HRH the Aga Kan’s Special Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture in 2001.

In establishing the Award it is not the Trust’s intention to encourage young architects to imitate or ape the work of Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa was himself a restless designer who never stood still and never repeated himself. The last thing he ever wanted was for his work to become a static model for others to copy. If he were a young architect starting his career today he would be looking for new solutions to the new problems which we now face. If he were still alive and able to act as one of the judges he would be looking for vital and innovative designs, ideas which fired the imagination and lifted the spirits.

If Geoffrey Bawa were alive today he would be distressed by the increasing congestion of Colombo. But he would be heartened by the number of talented and creative architects who now practise in Sri Lanka. The architects of this small country with its 20 million inhabitants pack a much bigger punch than those of neighbouring countries and their creations sparkle like jewels across the land.

The Trust wishes to promote the idea that good design is important both to the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka and to the image which their country projects to the rest of the world. It hopes that the Award process will raise the ambitions of all those who participate and that it will confer a special status on those who are premiated. It also hopes to initiate a debate about architecture in Sri Lanka and to increase awareness of the importance of the built environment

The award cycle begins on the 23rd f July of the year prior to the year of award with the call for submission of entries of eligible projects. Entries are shortlisted by a panel of Judge consisting of a Trustee as the chair, an architect from outside the country, an architect representative from the Sri Lanka Institute of architects and a person outside of the field of architecture nominated by the Trust. After the shortlist is announced the Judges and /or a technical committee visits all the sites and a final round of judging is done immediately prior to the award date of the 23rd of July in year for which the award is being given.

Prof. David Robson
Architect, Academic and Author

David Robson has divided his forty year career in Architecture between practice and teaching, having been Chief Housing Architect to the new town of Washington in England and a professor in the University of Brighton and the National University of Singapore. He first came to Sri Lanka in 1969 to develop the new course in Architecture in the University of Ceylon Colombo.Later, in the 1980, he was an adviser to the National Housing Development Authority on the Hundred Thousand Houses Programme.He is the author of a number of books on Architecture, including a monograph on Geoffrey Bawa, His latest book “Beyond Bawa – Modern Masterpieces of Monsoon Asia” will appear in the autumn of 2007.

Prof. SenakeBandaranayake, D.Phil. Oxon.
Emeritus Professor of Archaeology,
University of Kelaniya.

He was the founding Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology and Archaeological Director of the Sigiriya Cultural Triangle Project, posts he held for many years. He was later Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, Director-General of the Central Cultural Fund, and a member of the University Grants Commission. He also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France and UNESCO and High Commissioner in India.

Prof. Bandaranayake has published more than 100 research papers and authored or edited a number of books including Sinhalese Monastic Architecture (1974); Sri Lanka-Island Civilisation(1977); Sigiriya:Excavations and Research (1984); Ivan Peries Paintings: 1938-88 (1986; co-authored with ManelFonseka) The Settlement Archaeology of the Sigiriya-Dambulla Region (1990; co-editor); The Rock and Wall Paintings of Sri Lanka (1996) and most recently Sigiriya: City, Palace, Gardens, Monasteries, Paintings (2005) and The University of the Future and the Culture of Learning (2007).

He holds the national honours of Vidyajothi and Deshabandu.

Architect Anjalendran and Trustee Ms. Eugenie Mack joined the Judges to help facilitate effective on-site Technical and Physical Reviews.

Short listed Projects:

The Winners:

Speakers at the Awards:
Rev. Mervyn Fernando, Director of the Subhodhi Foundation

Short listed Projects:

The Winners:

Speakers at the Awards:
Michael Ondaatje, Author