By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
and Razia Esufally
Marking Sri Lanka’s most renowned architect’s 94th birth anniversary, the third round of the Geoffrey Bawa Architecture Award was announced yesterday.
Organised by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, entries for the 2013/14 edition of the coveted awards are now open until 1 November 2013.
Judging of initial entries and short-listing of projects will take place on 5 January 2014 and the grand awards ceremony with the winner receiving Rs. 1 million in cash will be held on 23 July 2014, coinciding with the 95th birth anniversary of the great architect. Renowned Indian film director and producer Mira Nair is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
The Trust said the main objective of the awards, held once in three years, is to recognise outstanding contributors to contemporary architecture in the country as a meaningful way of celebrating the life and work of Bawa.
Geoffrey Bawa Trust Chairperson Sunethra Bandaranaike said: “Young architects in our country need recognition and encouragement. There is lot of good work in this field and such need to be brought out and showcased.”
Trustee Architect Channa Daswatte stressed the intention of the award is not to encourage the imitation of work of the renowned architect but to promote dynamism and new methods of solving problems in architecture.
“We as the trustees hope that this year there will be great enthusiasm and the award will bring in a greater number and even better schemes that did not perhaps enter in the previous cycles,” said Daswatte.
Judges for the 2013/2014 cycle will be Geoffrey Bawa Trust Trustee Eugenie Mack, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects President Professor Chitra Wedikkara, an expert from India specialising in sustainable design and based in New Delhi Architect Ashok Lal and former Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict Professor Radhika Coomaraswamy, who will sit on the panel as a layperson. Conceptualised in 2007, the last cycle of the awards was held in 2010/11 when it drew 60 applications. Architect Thisara Thanapathy won the award for his design of the urban Sarath Abeyrathne house, whereas Architect Yudish Ganesan was the Runner Up for his work on Udayapuram School, Periyakallar, Batticaloa.
The Trust said that to be eligible for the 2013/14 awards, projects should be built in Sri Lanka between 23 July 2003 and 23 July 2013. Projects should also be realised and occupied for no less than nine months. The Trust will also accept non-winning applications of the previous cycles when a request to reconsider is made in writing. Since the Geoffrey Bawa Trust is a charitable organisation, officials are on the lookout for sponsors for the event. Those interested are encouraged to contact the Geoffrey Bawa Trust for further information via telephone at 43373353, or via - email@example.com.