GBA 2016/2017 CYCLE



The Geoffrey Bawa Trust Shortlists 11 Projects for the 4th cycle 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 projects are (in order of submission):

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.

The Launch of Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture 2016/2017 – (4th cycle of the Award)

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.

The  entries will be  judged by an independent panel of judges appointed by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust. 

Archt. Mok Wei Wei – The  principal architect of W Architects, Singapore. He is professor in Practice of the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore and is often invited as a jury member for design competitions and awards.  In 2012, he was a member of the Grand Jury at the World Architectural festival.

Archt. D. H. Wijewardena – The Senior Vice President of Sri Lanka Institute of Architects. He has also served as a visiting lecturer at University of Moratuwa and University of Sri Jayawardenapura and now he is serving in this capacity at the city School of Architecture, Colombo.

Ms. Sharmini Pereira  -  The founder and Director of Raking Leaves and the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design. She was the Guest Curator at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, in 2014 and for the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2010. In 2006 she co-curated the first Singapore Biennale and has written and lectured about South Asian contemporary art for the last 20 years.

Mr. Ward Beling –  Trustee the Geoffrey Bawa and Lunuganga Trusts. He will chair the Board of Judges in the 2016/2017 cycle.