Home / Entertainment / Arts/ Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture 2019-2020 calls for entries

Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture 2019-2020 calls for entries

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00



By Aysha Maryam Cassim

The Geoffrey Bawa Award seeks to recognise the buildings constructed in Sri Lanka that may similarly inspire and lift the spirits of the people of this country and outside while raising awareness and appreciation for good architecture and design. 

The fifth cycle of the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture which coincides with the centenary of Geoffrey Bawa’s birth will serve as a tribute to the legend whose work has inspired generations Sri Lankan and Asian architects to be confident in addressing the contemporary issues of architecture through ideas rooted in indigenous culture and lifestyle of a place – a hallmark of Bawa’s practice. 

The official briefing of the awards was held on 22 July at the reconstructed de Saram House on Ward Place, Colombo 7 by a panel of eminent individuals. 

Calling all architects and non-architects 

The Geoffrey Bawa Awards are open to all works of architecture built in Sri Lanka and aim to confer a special status of recognition on the winners. 

“We encourage submissions of the broadest possible architectural designs. There are no fixed criteria as to the size, type, nature or location of the structure. It could be a major housing project, a modest community centre or even a way-side bus stop which gives shelter to the passers-by. As long as the design meets the standards, anyone is eligible to apply,” said renowned architect and a close confidant of Bawa, Channa Daswatte, while inviting architects and non-architects to become a part of this conversation. 

The variety of projects that made the shortlist in the last four cycles saw a great deal of innovative thinking which would have pleased Geoffrey Bawa himself. Continuing the tradition, the fifth cycle of Bawa awards hopes to set new standards in the field of architects in Sri Lanka by garnering greater recognition of the exceptional work by emerging architects. 

“Over the years we have had young, old and trailblazing architects of the country who were recipients of the Geoffrey Bawa Award. We look forward to seeing burgeoning young talent this year,” said Suhanya Raffel, Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and the Lunuganga Trust, Sri Lanka.

The Judges

The Judges for the 2019-2020 cycle of awards will be Sunethra Bandaranaike (Trustee Lunuganga Trust), Professor Barry Bergdoll (Meyer Schapiro Professor of art history, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University), Architect Veranjan Kurukulasuriya (President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects) and Jayantha Dhanapala (former Diplomat and Member of Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka). 

The multidisciplinary team of Judges will travel across the country, bringing their perspectives into the debate, based on their personal preferences and what they experience in the space. The shortlisted entries will then go through a technical review that will be assessed for practical elements such as disability access and other legal requirements. 


Projects built in Sri Lanka during the 10-year period between 23 July 2009 and 23 July 2019 and used and occupied for no less than nine months, are eligible for submission. Entries not placed in the previous awards cycle can also be re-submitted. 

Applications will be opened to contenders for the fifth cycle of the Awards from 25th August 2019 onwards on www.geoffreybawa.com. Submissions must be on the prescribed form available on the Geoffrey Bawa website. The closing date for entries is 30 November 2019.

The final call

The winner of the fifth cycle will be announced at a gala ceremony that celebrates the winners and their work, to be held on 23 July 2020, to coincide with Geoffrey Bawa’s 101st birth anniversary. The winner will be awarded a sum of Rs. 1 million, as in previous years.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

State of the economy of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I am not an economist nor do I profess to be an economic analyst. The views expressed in this presentation are those of a layman who has always been interested in the economic progress of Sri Lanka.

Premadasa, Père et Fils

Saturday, 21 September 2019

We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age 77, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although J.R. Jayewardene introduced ‘Executive Presidentialism’, coer

Economy, business community and the Prime Minister

Friday, 20 September 2019

The speech made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 deserves very careful consideration by the country due to several reasons. This will no doubt be his last speech on economic policy to be

Sri Lanka needs to invest more on soft infrastructure

Friday, 20 September 2019

Developing countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks in 2020 with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and comm

Columnists More