Over 55,000 members of the public attended the Architects’ Work and Trade Exhibition, the foremost exhibition of the construction industry, as the Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) concluded on a grand scale. The exhibition was unveiled earlier following the ceremonial inauguration of the Annual Sessions, titled Architect 2011 by Chief Guest Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development.
Held for the 29th consecutive year, the exhibition is an integral part of the Annual Sessions of the SLIA, drawing large crowds every year. This year’s exhibition featured 315 stalls with around 260 construction related companies displaying their goods and services, showcasing everything related to the building industry. Among the items exhibited were local products, products from overseas, eco friendly products, residential, commercial and industrial products, landscaping, finishes such tiles and toilets, furniture and interiors as well as new technologies and material. Close to 90 architectural practices also displayed their creations and designs, while the coursework of architecture students from the University of Moratuwa and City School of Architecture was also showcased. The Information Centre, operated by the SLIA, was also much visited. The Centre provided opportunities for the public to gain knowledge on various aspects relating to the profession, while giving career guidance to those keen in pursuing architecture.
The five-day Annual Sessions, which commenced on 23 February, 2011, brought together members of the local and global architectural fraternity, other professionals, students, media and the public. Designed along the theme of ‘Architecture for all: City + Community’, the National Conference saw renowned local and international architects deliberate on the above theme, which largely focused on exploring architects’ contribution to national development, including creating the city for the community and addressing new issues and challenges confronting the profession as they fulfill this task. Raj Rewal, an eminent architect and urban designer from India, was the keynote speaker at the event, which was also graced by Archt. Ruth Reed, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Archt. Shahab Ghani Khan, President of the Institute of Architects, Pakistan.
The Annual General Meeting of SLIA saw Archt. Ranjan Nadesapillai, taking over the reins as President of the Institute from Archt. Chandana Edirisuriya for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 sessions. A new council was also appointed. Issues relating to the membership and the profession, progress made and future plans were also discussed during the AGM, which was attended by the membership. Bringing the formal proceedings to a close, the Fellowship Night was a night of festivity, where architects were joined by other members of the industry, family and friends as they celebrated their success and the profession of architecture.